Storified by Arya McLean· Sat, Apr 13 2013 22:45:28
Add life and zing to everyday fried chicken with a medley of spices. In this gourmet cooking recipe adapted from the How to Cook Everything cookbook, chicken is seasoned and coated with a combination or potent spices including chili powder, ground cumin, ground turmeric, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. All-purpose flour is combined with the spices to coat the skin of the chicken and result in a crispy golden exterior after it is fried. This unforgettable dish is perfect with cola, soda or ice cold beer. Serve it to friends for a weekend get-together or a casual party at home.
The perfect fried chicken is crispy and golden on the outside while soft, tender and juicy on the inside. For the best results, but fryer chicken pieces that are sold specifically for the purpose of frying. These pieces are not too large or too small, but are medium-sized with superior flavor. Pieces that are too large will be overcooked outside and undercooked inside while smaller pieces will dry out inside too soon.
When frying, use a heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet, which can take large amounts of heat for long periods and distributes the heat evenly throughout. It is also best to have a kitchen thermometer for determining the temperature of the oil, which is a crucial factor when cooking perfectly fried chicken. In this recipe, peanut oil is used to fry the chicken. This adds a bit of flavor to the skin and the meat and also enhances the golden color of the fried chicken.
Fry the chicken in smaller batches since the temperature of the oil will drop significantly when the meat is dropped in it. The temperature of the oil should not drop below the 350 degrees F mark so adjust the heat accordingly. If you do not have a kitchen thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping a pinch of flout and if the temperature is right, the flour will fry upon contact with the oil but will not turn black too quickly.