How To Make Frye Fried Chicken

This is the most delicious chicken you will ever eat. It’s what my grandmother, Mary Logue, made in her kitchen in Bartlesville, Okla., while I and my cousins ran wild in the  yard. We now call it Frye Fried Chicken because, well, my side of the family just appropriated it. Yes, we cook it with BACON GREASE.

Family portrait

Left to right, top row: Margaret Logue Frye, Bill Logue, C.J. Logue, Mary Logue, George Logue, Ginger Logue. Middle row: Bruce Frye, Stevie Logue, Kaye Logue Youker. Bottom row: Bobby Logue, Phil Youker, Jan Frye, Linda Frye, Patsy Logue, Ronnie Youker. Bartlesville, Okla., 1949.

You can skip the part where you have to go out to the back yard and get a chicken from the pen, wring its neck, gut it, steam it over a kettle and pull out its feathers. But it would be nice if you bought a whole, cleaned chicken from your local farmer.

My husband Steve with some Frye Fried Chicken

1 whole chicken (with skin & gizzard)
lemon cut in half
a skillet full of bacon grease (drippings)
2 cups of white flour in a stout paper bag
salt and pepper

Cut up the chicken into individual pieces. Rub them each with lemon. Salt and pepper them (lots). Put the skillet with the bacon grease on the stove over high heat. Put the chicken pieces in the bag with the flour and shake. Test the grease by flicking a little flour into it; if it sizzles and rises, it’s hot enough. Remove the pieces individually and give a little shake to take of the excess flour; put them in the skillet. Turn heat down to medium high. Cook chicken till golden brown, turning once. You can salt and pepper them again while they are in the pan if you want. When done, remove to drain on paper towels. Serve hot. Nice with some jalapenos on the side. This recipe serves 4 people who are afraid to eat fried chicken. If you are serving to the Frye family, it serves 1.

Tips: If you don’t have enough bacon grease, you can augment it with some Crisco. But really, don’t skip the bacon grease. You can leave out the salt, but … if you have to leave out the salt, maybe you’re too old to eat this chicken. White meat cooks faster than dark, so you can put it in the skillet a bit later. Don’t try to do this with skinless, boneless chicken, dummy.

Wooster the Rooster

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5 Responses to How To Make Frye Fried Chicken

  1. Jill Burnham July 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Thanks goodness I am genetically predisposed to be able to make this dish. Not a good as my mother, and not as good as my grandmother, but I will die trying and pass it along to my redheaded daughter.
    Thanks Mom.

  2. Dale Hoyt July 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    This is some wild shit you’re laying down here pretty lady. So decadent. But what do with all the bacon you have to cook to get the drippings! Oh yeah, eat it! The sad thing is that this would be illegal to sell in a restaurant in many states, New York being one of them. You KNOW I’ll try this as soon as I can get the ingredients and will compare it with my Mother’s Maryland Chicken(margarine AND oil was the big secret).

    Bacon is the ultimate tenderizer. There’s a place in Manhattan that serves Bacon Wrapped Matza Balls. Sounds delicious as it is culturally conflicting! ox Dale

  3. Jill Burnham July 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    So here is my take on great California tacos:
    skinless, boneless chicken meat (white or dark or both) or other meat
    chopped cilantro
    chopped onion (my first choice is white onion but any will do)
    grated cheese (I like sharp cheddar and Monterey jack)
    chopped tomato
    diced avocado
    salsa (I prefer Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica)
    Cholula Sauce (
    corn tortillas
    vegetable oil

    The only ingredients I think are absolutely ESSENTIAL to a great taco are the meat, cilantro, onions, corn tortillas and Cholula sauce. Everything else is really up for grabs.

    Chop and grate produce and cheese. Keep ingredients separate so each can build their own taco.

    Season meat generously with salt and pepper, and heat grill. My husband is the grilling genius (anyone of you who has tasted his cooking will agree with me on this) so I can’t give you technique here, just don’t overcook it. If I had to do this without a grilling partner, I would probably cook the meat first and keep it in a VERY LOW oven to heat while frying tortillas.

    While meat is grilling, pour veggie oil into a small skillet (a cast iron skillet slightly larger than a corn tortilla works best) until it is about 1/2 full or less. Heat on HIGH until the oil ripples. Fry tortillas by laying one in the pan for about 30 seconds, until it just begins to stiffen. Turn the tortilla over and fold it in half, keeping the shape of a taco shell by holding one end up slightly with tongs. After about 15 to 30 secs. flip it and cook the other side. Don’t cook it too long or it will become so crispy you will break it when trying to stuff it. Drain on a paper towel covered plate and continue frying until you have all the shells you need. The oil needs to be as hot as you can get it for this to work well.

    I like to put everything in the center lof the table and let each build their own. Meat on the bottom, and for me, cheese next. Then on and on. Gotta have that Cholula sauce. It really is the best chile sauce out there. Not to terribly hot (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but enough hot/vinegar balance that everyone in my family, including my 7 & 8 year olds, are satisfied.

    *** this is a great way to use left over meat and hamburger, but if cooking on a stovetop, I use a generous amount of chili powder to season the meat.

    We had tacos tonight and I would post a pic but can’t figure out how to add one in a comment.

    • Jill Burnham July 7, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

      That would be chili sauce, not Chile sauce. Cholula is from Mexico.

  4. Linda Frye Burnham July 8, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    “just don’t overcook it”!

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