Fried Chicken Recipe / by Michael Graves


The fabulous Gus’s Fried Chicken has opened on Washington Avenue. Here is my “take” on their recipe. It takes advantage of a long marinade to tenderize the chicken and a higher of amount of corn starch for extra crispness. I hope you like it.

 24 hour marinade. Begin the day before you plan to fry the chicken
(Increase these quantities, depending on how much chicken you plan to make)
1 lb (one) boneless skinless chicken breast  or thigh meat, cut into three pieces, or, double recipe ingredients for the weight of your chicken, for example, if you are using a 3-5 lb chicken cut into pieces

  • 1 cup corn starch
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup water (note: 1 ½ cups is too much. I actually ended up with 1 ¼ cup water and poured off a little water in the morning that had gathered on top of the marinade)

Marinate for 24 hours.

Fry at 325-350 F. Use a neutral vegetable or corn oil. I do not recommend canola oil as it smells like frying fish and adds an unpleasant fish taste to fried foods.

Note, when the exterior crust looks perfect, the interior may still be uncooked. It is the curse of the larger chickens that they sell now in the grocery stores (which is why my original instructions are for a boneless skinless chicken breast). Try your best to buy a 2.5-3 lb chicken.

If it isn't spicy enough, "salt" with Tony Chachere creole seasoning. Next time you make it, increase the amount of cayenne, and/or, add chopped whole serrano chiles or habanero chiles to the marinade.

I still finish the chicken in the oven to assure that it is cooked throughout.

Temptation may be to make a thicker batter. But I think that for the crispiest crust, a thinner batter is the way to go. Just enough so that it clings.

I used to remove my chicken pieces from the marinade batter with tongs. But I found that this scraped away some of the batter. Now, I just spear the pieces with a fork and drop them into the hot oil.

You can test the quality of your batter by pouring some into the hot oil and frying it up crisp. Taste it and adjust seasonings. If it is too spongy tasting instead of crisp tasting, it may have been too thick and will need to be thinned slightly. 

- Jay Francis, VP Membership