Today is National Alabama Day. Alabama, the Heart of Dixie, was the 22nd state to join the union. She was home to the original capital of the Confederacy, Montgomery. Alabama set the stage for secession, and nearly 100 years later, set the stage for the Civil Rights Movement.
Alabama has much to boast about. She lays claim to 60 miles of Golf Coast shoreline, dotted with swamps, bayous and beautiful sandy beaches. Her fertile soils of the Black Belt has long produced cotton. Further north, and the state is dominated by the forested hills and valleys of the Appalachians.
Alabama is home to the first African American military aviators, helped put a man on the moon, and the first African-American woman in space. Alabama continues to look to the skies.
And let’s not forget her music. Sweet Home Alabama – if that doesn’t get your feet moving and your head bobbing, I don’t know what will.
Alabama has a lot of great foods. But nothing says southern like fried chicken.
Alabama Fried Chicken
2 cups Lard
1 large Fryer
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1-1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour
1 cup Buttermilk
Place enough lard in an electric frying pan set at 350 to 375 degrees to come up the sides about 1/4 of an inch. Since temperatures may vary on fry pans, be careful not to let the oil burn.
Cut chicken into eight pieces (2 wings, 2 breast, 2 thighs, 2 legs). Freeze wings for another use or discard. Cut the breast meat in half for uniform sizes. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper and cayenne. Set chicken aside.
Place flour and paprika in a paper bag, give it a shake and set aside. Pour buttermilk into a shallow bowl. Coat the chicken buttermilk and shake off excess. Place the chicken, a few pieces at a time, in the bag of seasoned flour and shake to coat. Set the chicken on a rack and repeat until all the pieces have been dipped and coated.
Brown chicken on each side in the hot lard. Place the the thighs in first, then add the legs, then the split breasts. (Dark meat takes longer to cook, so it needs to go into the pan first).
Once all the chicken is browned, cover and cook until juices run clear, about 20 minutes.
Serve with all your favorite Fried Chicken Sides such as corn, biscuits and mashed potatoes with country gravy.