Miss Ivie is one of my favorite fictional characters I’ve created in my years of writing short stories. She’s smart, determined, kind, and makes the best fried chicken ever. If you want to find out more about Miss Ivie, check out my story, “The Bonus Merchant.”
Here’s Miss Ivie’s famous fried chicken recipe, which I made for lunch today at the request of my hungry husband:
Salt the chicken liberally on both sides and place into a large bowl. I used thin, boneless chicken breasts today, but you can use any kind of chicken you prefer. Cover with buttermilk. Stir to coat all chicken with the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer you soak it, the better!
Mix together 1/3 cup of self rising cornmeal with 1 cup self rising flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon paprika in a flat dish. (In the story, Miss Ivie used a brown paper bag, which I have seen older ladies do before, but since I don’t have brown paper bags readily available at my house, I use a pie plate for this. You could use a Ziploc bag, but I find that to be messier and it gets the chicken kind of goopy. I’d rather dredge each piece by hand.)
Fill your deep fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 350 degrees (Miss Ivie would have cooked hers in a skillet, but I love my deep fryer). Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and dredge in the flour mixture. Place chicken in the fryer. Fry for three minutes, then turn the chicken and fry for three to four more minutes, until the crust is brown and crispy (longer if you are cooking a larger piece of chicken or cooking chicken on the bone).
I don’t measure anything to make my cornbread, so I can’t give you an exact recipe, but I made my normal cornbread (yellow cornmeal, an egg, buttermilk) and added whole kernel corn and a heaping tablespoon of diced jalapeños with a little of the juice from the jar. Make sure to melt some butter in your skillet before adding the batter and cook at 450 for about 35 minutes, until it is golden brown.
Now, go wash your hands (Miss Ivie will check to make sure they’re clean!) and enjoy the best fried chicken you ever put in your mouth!