Southern Fried Chicken

prep time:20 min
cook time:30 min
ready in:50 min
Paleo since December 2010. Eating since 1980.
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  • 2.5 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, breasts, wings or drumsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or sub coconut or almond milk with a TBSP of vinegar for strict paleo)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch or other paleo starch of your choice such as yuca starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 or 3 cups lard
  • *Note: this recipe calls for a half cup of potato starch. I would certainly consider this small quantity paleo for most, although if you are particularly sensitive to white potatoes, feel free sub another of the more paleo safe starches like yuca starch or white rice flour and experiment.
  • Gently rinse the chicken parts with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the pieces in a gallon-sized ziploc bag, and add the buttermilk. Put the bag in the fridge and marinate overnight.
  • The next day, place the pieces in a colander and allow them to drain for 20 minutes. Move the pieces around every few minutes so they properly drain. This process will help bring the pieces to room temperature, which is a crucial part of getting this dish right. Meanwhile, warm the lard in a cast iron skillet on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  • In a shallow pan, mix the potato starch, salt, paprika, and black pepper. Coat the chicken pieces with the potato starch mixture, then place them in the skillet. You only need to coat the pieces that you’re going to fry immediately.
  • Fry the pieces for ten minutes on one side, reducing the heat if the lard starts to smoke. Flip the pieces over and fry for another ten minutes. The internal temperature should be around 165 degrees.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Drain the chicken pieces on paper towels for a few minutes, then place them in the oven (on a cooling rack if you have one, otherwise a plate or cookie sheet is fine) while you fry the rest of the pieces. Before adding new chicken pieces, check your lard and add more as needed.
  • That’s it! Season with a little salt and pepper right before serving, if you’d like.