Fried Chicken

I had a craving for fried chicken last weekend, and wanted to use a new recipe. New as in I haven’t tried before, but not new as in age. I’m still on a vintage recipe kick, so researched fried chicken recipes and found that many of the older recipes start with the direction “kill the chicken and pluck it”.  Haven’t done that and really don’t want to.  I finally settled on a recipe from 1921.

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  • 1 to 2 pounds chicken, either with skin or skinless (legs, breasts, or thighs)
  • 1 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 15 oz. can chicken broth

Salt and pepper all sides of the chicken to taste,

then coat in flour.

Melt shortening in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add chicken to skillet,

and brown on both sides over medium to high heat.

Remove chicken from skillet, drain grease, and return chicken to skillet. Add chicken broth,

and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and cover. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.

Now this isn’t the usual way I fry chicken which is to deep fat fry in oil, but all of the older recipes I found either said to boil the chicken and then fry it, or to fry the chicken and then simmer it, like the one above. I puzzled over this, and finally asked the fount of all farm knowledge, my husband Harland. He said it was probably because chicken breeds back then produced a tougher meat, requiring all the simmering and boiling to tenderize it.  At any rate, this recipe was delicious.

The meat was very tender and bursting with flavor. And since it wasn’t deep fat fried, it’s probably a healthier alternative too.


——->UP NEXT: It’s almost February, but I’m Thinking of Flowers of summer.

——> UP NEXT WEEK: Come over and watch as we make a year’s supply of soap.

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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21 Responses

  1. Brenda says:


    That looks great. Just wondering what you did with the leftover broth, looks like it would make a wonderful gravy/sauce. just sayin.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Brenda,
      Since we didn’t have mashed potatoes with the chicken, I didn’t make gravy, but the broth would have made a wonderful gravy, I agree. Next time I’ll make mashed taters and use the broth to make gravy.

  2. Glenda says:

    Ah, I like the premise here. MUCH less fat. I will have to try this one.
    Homemade soap! Oh goody!!!

  3. Sally Bishop says:

    I’m all about the gravy and the healthier frying method. Suzanne, I’m really enjoying your trek into food history.

  4. Shonneky says:

    I definitely will be making the chicken this way next time. I plan to make a copycat recipe of red beans and rice from a chain restaurant called Popeye’s on Sunday and this would be perfect with it! Plus I am sooooo lookng forward to your soap making post. I’m just getting into that myself and would love some pointers. Thanks for sharing such wonderful stuff!

  5. I too am loving your trek into food history, and this is a very interesting take on fried chicken. If you enjoy Old Bay Seasoning, you’re just going to have to try their fried chicken recipe sometime though… yuum!

    Your photography with these recipes is awesome.

  6. Doe of Mi. says:

    I hate to say this but, you’re making me feel my 70 yrs. young! I cook both the chicken and the potatoes in your last two recipe the way they were written. Just the way I learned as kid on the farm. Starting with “kill the chicken”. And as far a making soap – I remember my Mom doing that. Oh dear, guess I’ll go back to bed. LOL ;-}

  7. Chester's Mom says:

    Your yellow dishes are beautiful! Will you share the brand, pattern?
    My husband said the same as Harland. Those folks were eating tough old birds.

  8. Glenda says:

    I asked my 78 yr old hubby about the tenderness of those chickens. He said his Dad always just fried them up in a cast iron skillet in lard with no extra liquids. These were the ones right out of the coop.

  9. That is so interesting! I always thought the only way was to fry it in a pan in lots of oil for a long time. I love to learn different ways of cooking. I am most definitely going to try this. I have never made fried chicken, I swear it….but I have always wanted to. My usual way to make chicken is to bake it or cut it up and cook it stir fry style. I especially like this recipe because it is old-timey, and you know I like old-timey things. Thanks for posting this, or I would have never learned about cooking the fried chicken in chicken broth!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      Until I found that recipe, I didn’t think there was any other way to fry chicken either. I’m sure this recipe must be better for us too, health wise.

  10. P.S. I laughed out loud about the “first you kill the chicken and then pluck it”…cause that’s going to be me next summer. We are planning to raise meat chickens for the first time. We will “harvest” them at 8 weeks old. I don’t know what the nice way to say “kill the chicken” is, so I said “harvest”. You can be sure, I will document it and make a “nice as possible without leaving out too much” kind of post. Oh man, I’m a little nervous.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      CAn’t wait to see your posts on raising and butchering chickens. Gore doesn’t bother me, so don’t worry about grossing me out. Good luck, you’ll do fine!

  11. Chris says:

    Great tasting recipes.
    We have been using them, for many years.
    And the Son/daughters feed their families with them too.

    The chicken recipe is better for feeding 2-3 people.
    Because of the time & size of skillet needed to boil/simmer.
    We use butter instead of shortening, & leave the skins on. (my favorite)
    Another thing we do.
    Is sometimes add red potatoes, or rice. to the broth.
    And cook them together, saves propane.

    The Au Gratins.
    We use dehydrated sliced potatoes.
    Cheaper, as we live in remote Alaska.
    Also the same style sauce.
    Can be used for homemade Mac, ham & cheese.

  12. Fran N VA says:

    I can really relate to this recipe. My grandmother used to “stew” (or boil) her chicken and once cool, she would dredge it in flour with salt and pepper and then fry it. With the drippings, she would add her chicken stock to make a gravy. It was very tender, but yet crispy with a bit if the “fried” taste. Of course, there would always be mashed potatoes with it. Every Ssaturday for Sunday dinner my mom would alway “pluck” her chicken, soak it in salted water and then “fry” hers in seasoned flour. Thanks for a great blog.

  13. Viki says:

    My extended family and I just got up from a delicious meal thanks to you! Everyone gave this old receipe rave reviews and we all decided it’s a keeper. I thickened the soup drippings and we had a delightful gravy to go along with biscuits, peas and rice. At my grandson’s request, I will be passing this on to his mom. Thanks so much, Suzanne, for sharing!

  14. Gretchen Cole says:

    These recipes for fried chicken, potatoes, biscuits, etc are just like my mom made and taught me. Guess that makes me old! :}

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