Clay's Famous Fried Chicken

Clay Triplette

JBF Staff, House Steward

One of his signature recipes, Clay's Southern-style fried chicken was a Beard favorite. "Mr. Beard only ate the legs and thighs," Clay told us, because to him they were the most delicious. "He'd say that he would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!" Clay doesn't add salt to his fried chicken recipe because he says, "My mother always said to let people add the salt themselves."


  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably homemade
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 parts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons Crisco


Mix bread crumbs and flour in a plastic bag, making sure they are well incorporated. Set aside. Thoroughly wash the chicken parts; do not dry. Put chicken parts one piece at a time in the plastic bag and shake until coated with the crumb mixture.

In a deep skillet, melt the butter and Crisco over high heat. Add the chicken parts, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the parts over and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn again, lower heat, and cover skillet. Cover for about 20 minutes until the chicken is a deep golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and drain on paper towels.


4 servings