Fried chicken Louisiana-style means hot sauce; here, it is used to marinate the chicken for at least 8 hours or overnight. Is there a substitute for Tabasco? "I've never used another hot sauce in my cooking or serving," says Marguerite Kelly. "It seems quintessential Louisiana to me."
The self-rising flour makes the skin puff up; all-purpose flour would make it crisp but not puffy, she says.
- 6 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (dark- and white-meat pieces)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the chicken pieces in a shallow pan or divide between two resealable plastic food storage bags. Add the hot pepper sauce according to taste and turn the chicken to coat with the sauce on all sides. Cover the pan or seal the bags and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. While it marinates, turn over chicken in the pan or turn the bags occasionally to redistribute the sauce.
Line a large tray with paper towels and set aside; have ready a large cast-iron skillet. Pour in 1 to 1 1/2 inches of oil. The oil will take a while to heat, so start it over medium heat while preparing the chicken. The oil is ready when it just begins to smoke.
Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a paper bag or a baking pan with sides or on a piece of wax paper. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Either place the chicken in the paper bag and shake, or coat it in the flour that is in the pan or on the paper. Make sure each piece is well coated.
Place the chicken in the hot oil a few pieces at a time; do not crowd. Regulate the heat so that the chicken sizzles in the oil. Cook about 10 minutes per side, until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
Use long-handled tongs to transfer the fried chicken to the paper towel-lined tray. Let the chicken cool for at least 15 minutes; it should not be served too hot. The chicken is also good at room temperature.
From Marguerite Kelly.
Tested by Bonny Wolf.
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