Chicken That’s Good for Your Soul

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Chicken That’s Good for Your Soul

By Paula Deen

Fryin’ chicken is a way of life down here and it’s a tradition us Southerners take very seriously. That certainly is the case with my family. I remember standing in the doorway to my Grandmother Paul’s kitchen, taking in that sizzlin’ goodness from a safe distance. See, I knew not to get too close or I’d likely get stung by snapping grease. Plus, my grandmomma was moving so fast I was afraid I might get trampled on. She was an expert fryer. She swiftly dipped pieces of the freshest chicken into flour and egg mixtures without spilling a drop—a skill that only comes with years of practice. Then I’d listen as the legs, breasts and thighs sizzled and popped as she carefully slid them down into in the hot oil. Funny I could hear anything over the growlin’ in my stomach.

Sure, Grandmother Paul must’ve had chicken in her blood, but I’ve always believed that the real secret to great tasting chicken begins with how the chicken is raised. My new friends at Springer Mountain Farms understand this too. Their chickens are raised to be 100% natural, which means no growth hormones or antibiotics. Y’all, their chicken not only tastes good, but it’s also good for your body and your conscience. As someone who adores birds (I have 15 of my own), this is very important to me. Their chickens live the life of Riley—they’re fed with a vegetarian diet full of natural vitamins, minerals and, of course, fresh mountain water. They eat better than most people! And don’t just take my word for it; Springer Mountain Farms raises the only poultry that is American Humane Certified by the American Humane Society.

I instantly connected with the folks at Springer Mountain Farms. Like most people nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northeast Georgia, they’re real salt of the earth with strong values, which includes a real interest in the environment and maintaining strong ties with the local farming community. See, this family-owned business has been makin’ a clean living raising chickens for over 40 years and really live by their motto: “Great care, great taste.” For all these reasons, I’m excited to partner with Springer Mountain Farms.

The first time I tasted their chicken in one of my recipes, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. And I just know you’ll love it too, which is why I’m sharing some of my most favorite chicken recipes here. If you’re from the South, these mouthwaterin’ dishes will make you feel like you’ve come home to your momma’s house. If you’re not from ‘round here, you’ll see what you’ve been missing!

Southern Fried Chicken
Chicken Divan
Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps
Chicken Georgia
Chicken and Dumplings

Y’all there are just so many delicious chicken dishes—many of which are probably down-home family recipes. And I’d love to hear about yours!

But listen, y’all, I really do encourage you to try Springer Mountain Farms chicken in your best recipe and taste the magic. Click HERE to find a retailer near you. You might not always believe your eyes, but the stomach never lies—especially a Southern one!

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Reader Comments:


It may not mean much, coming from me, a nobody, who only could catch your show occasionally but I am an avid fan of most cooking shows, especially Julia Child, who I grew up watching. It is heartbreaking to see this insane backlash from the group after group, sponsors, celebrities, like they have never done a toward thing in their lives. You're right hypocrites have no boundaries. I never got a chance because Ronald Reagan said "Welfare Queens" and that label stuck, like the proverbial "tar baby" to most black, and poor people. That was wrong, it was hurtful and it gave racists a green light to marginalize Black folk. As far as I know, you have never said anything as harmful as that--and that came from the mouth of a President of all the people but the Conservatives love him anyway. I don't, I don't love Ronald Reagan but I do like you and your way of cooking. My daddy is from Jackson, Mississippi and my mama is from Broken Bow, Oklahoma. She grew up on a cattle farm. I know the South and my parents gave me the very unique gift of knowing how to throw down with the Southern way to feed folk. You know what I'm talking about. So, you hold your head high darlin' and forget what you see and hear. Just continue to be your sweet Southern self. God knows your heart. Happy hambone! wink

By Janice Brown on June 26, 2013


Hi Alice, Here is the recipe for Paula's 1-2-3-4 Cake: Here is the recipe for Jamie's Coconut Cake:

By Jonathan Able on August 17, 2011


I cant find a plain banana nut bread recipe can you send me one. Thank You lori p.s. I have a month off and i am trying some of the cake mixes.

By lori on August 05, 2011


My recipe for fried chicken is my mother's. Her Southern Fried Chicken is; a cut-up frier covered in flour, fried until golden brown and then baked in the oven for an hour. This is the way I make it except, when I put it in the oven, I put enough water on the cookie sheet to cover the bottom. My chicken comes out with a crisy skin and the chicken is moist a juicy. My kids say that it is finger licken good. After I pour off the chicken fat off the pan, the drippings make the best gravy.

By Shirley Brown on August 03, 2011


I like to use pork rinds crushed fine,to make super crunchy fried or baked chicken

By VickieLHamilton on August 03, 2011


Paula, I can't waite to try your Southern Fried Chicken. It sounds yummy. Do you have a recipe for Home Made Butterscotch Pie? My sisters mother-in-law had one but she wouldn't give it out and she is no longer with us. So I'm hoping you have something similar. They owned their own restaurant. When ever I get a chance I watch your show. I also have your movie Elizabethtown. Great movie. Thank you, Sally Gray

By Sally Gray on August 02, 2011


have you ever had flaked hominy? do you know where I can buy it? I have looked everywhere and can't find it. Help!!

By vera on August 02, 2011


>"LOVE" ♥ ,(& patience)THATS THE SECRET INGRIEDIENT! winkIm truly a southern girl!,,haha just misplaced! My Gramma made the best fried chicken!She just took her time!Used flour,salt,pepper,and crisco!Yummy!

By Laura on August 02, 2011


is coconut cake a box cake what is basic 1-2-3 i'm looking for a recipe from scratch for coconut cake

By alice bedford on August 02, 2011


Paula, Homemade chicken strips are so much better than store bought frozen ones. Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts in strips. I mix eggs in sour cream. I place salted chicken strips in this mixture and refrigerate several hours until ready to fry. I mix a small amount of baking powder, b. soda and salt in my flour and always use good quality oil. Place flour mixture in gal. size Ziploc and add chicken, drained of excess sour cream mixture . Shake until thoroughly coated. Fry until golden. My grandkids love my chicken strips and think they are the best ever.

By Judy Brooks on August 02, 2011


Hey Y'all, Paula's got very good chicken, and mine is even better, and in 40 years of frying chicken since the age of 13, my chicken has never let me down. The pot, the oil and the flour mix makes all the difference. Paula Deen is very special, but she can't even touch this! I'm challenging Paula to a Southern Fried Chicken contest right here, right now! Back in the old south many people, including my own family, couldn't afford vegetable oil and had to use lard to fry everything. I hail from old Virgina stock and here's my recipe for Southern Fried Chicken. Try my chicken for 'Sunday Dinner' and then try Paula's, and I bet you'll like mine better. Try my recipe below and you'll see why. Chef David's Southern Fried Chicken: 1 Whole fryer chicken cut up and leave the skin on! 2 quarts vegetable oil 1 lb. of pure lard 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 cups of rice flour 1 TBSP of table salt (optional) 1 Tspn of cayenne pepper 4 cloves of garlic You'll need an old fashioned 7 quart cast iron dutch oven with cast iron lid for frying - even heat is the secret here! Clean your chicken and set aside damp stacked on a platter at room temperature. Heat your oil and lard in dutch oven to 350 degrees, keeping your flame medium high. Once oil has reached full heat, then place 4 whole cloves of garlic in the oil to lightly brown. Remove all of the garlic once it gets a medium orange color, and discard, or lightly sprinkle with salt and snack on it like I do. The garlic has just flavored your oil, so your chicken reaps all the benefits. Now, do not dry your chicken once cleaned - this is very important for coating purposes. In a large paper bag combine all remaining ingredients first, then place chicken parts in bag and shake, rattle and fry. Cook chicken in covered dutch oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, then remove cover to continue browning for additional 5 to 7 minutes. Then remove chicken using long tongs (do not use a fork to remove the chicken, or else you'll break the crispy seal) and drain on paper towel and serve hot with your favorite eats. I serve mine with a cabbage-brussel sprout cole slaw with apricot vinegrette, baked spiced yam slices, and old fashioned lemonade. Paula Deen, eat your heart out honey! This chicken is lip smacking greatness. Ain't nothing crispier on the planet - and it stays crispy once cold in the frig the next day. Git it y'all. I'd love to compete with Paula on her show with my recipe. If you want to see this happen, then try my recipe and let Paula Deen know you want to see this in action! Paula, I'm comin' for ya.

By David Newman on August 02, 2011


Oh, how I love chicken. My grandma was the best little old country cook, and my mama was a gourmet. Talk about a lucky girl! Just one question...When you're ready to replace your old oil with fresh, what do you do with the old oil? Thanks, Steffy BTW, it is now our family tradition on holiday mornings to have your over night prailene french toast. Heaven every time!

By Stephanie Bennett on August 02, 2011


Paula: None of the TV chefs ever talks about how to handle used oil. How long can oil be reused? Do I have to keep oils used for potatoes separate from oil used for chicken? What is the proper method for disposing of used oil? We don't have a Fry Daddy, so proper handling is a problem. When we moved to Georgia from Wisconsin, I was bummed that I wouldn't get Friday night fish frys anymore. The trade off was Southern Fried Chicken, but all the restaurants make tenders! Disappointing until I went to Lady and Sons. Best I ever ate! Thanks for the recipe.

By Phil Schoeller on August 02, 2011


Paula, I just recently was diagnosied with gluten intolerance do you have any recepies for gluten intolerance? Anything would be of help. I cant eat anything! lol

By julie on August 02, 2011


Paula, I've found to dip the chicken in cold whole milk, then into bisquik mix. It makes the best crunchy chicken! Cindy

By Cindy Berry on August 02, 2011


I love my fried chicken. My secret is to fry it in Crisco till it's browned and then finish it in the oven. It crisps up beautifully and the extra grease cooks out making it much healthier.

By Diana Mitchell on August 02, 2011


Our favorite is sweet tea with rosemary brined, fried chicken. I also drop rosemary down in the oil before frying and it makes a fabulous gravy, which we like over biscuits, fried potatoes or even spicy fries. It's the best chicken I have ever had. The kids don't want chicken any other way.

By Amy Gaultney on August 02, 2011


You know Paula we do take our chicken recipes seriously.. I can't imagine putting cream of anything in chicken and dumplins... The broth will thicken from the dumplins... I realize no 2 people cook alike but sounded like chicken pot pie not chicken and dumplins...

By Gail Everhart McGee on August 02, 2011

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Paula's Upcoming Schedule

  • September 20: Booksigning in Waco, TX

    Join Paula at DuBois Furniture in Waco, TX for a book signing and meet and greet from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.

  • September 24: Paula Deen Live! in Charlotte

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, NC and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Tickets available from Blumenthal Performing Arts Center here!

    Starts at 5:30 PM. Light hors d’oeuvres and beer & wine will be served, including a meet and greet with Paula Deen! 

    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • October 24: Deen Family Book Signing

    Join the Deen Family for a Book Signing at The Lady & Sons from 10 am to 12 pm.
    The event is free; 350 wristbands to be distributed starting at 9 am.

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