3 Ways to Make Great Fried Chicken
Almost everyone loves fried chicken. It is one of those foods that you can order from almost any restaurant from all corners of the globe. But instead of queuing for a platter or a bucket of crispy fried chicken, you will do yourself a favor by making it yourself. Contrary to what many people believe, making a delicious and mouth-watering fried chicken is easy. Here are 3 different ways you can make fried chicken to serve to your family.
In this article, we will start with the more traditional deep-fried method. For those who are wary of using too much fat in their chicken, we’ll also tackle pan frying. And for individuals who hate the idea of cooking their food in vats of oil, then we have something special – oven-fried chicken.
Deep-frying chicken requires time to cook. Longer cooking times can have an effect on the heat-holding capabilities of the oil. In other words, it is important to choose an oil that can tolerate high heat for extended periods of time. The good news about home-made fried chicken is that you get to decide which of the many types of cooking oil you want to use. The best cooking oils for deep-frying chicken are those with high smoke points. You can choose vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, peanut oil, or lard, among others. You also get to choose how much oil to use.
Bone-in chicken with its skin on is the best when it comes to deep frying. The crispness of the skin can add to the overall flavor of the food. However, if you are on a mission to cut back on fat, then you can always go for skinless chicken parts. Also, if you are like other folks who do not like chewing down on a chicken bone, then using boneless chicken makes perfect sense.
In some parts of the world, they do not add breading to their chicken. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper is all they need. But then, this will not give the fried chicken the crispy crunch we all love to hear every time we take a bite. To add crispiness to the deep-fried chicken, most home cooks use Panko breadcrumbs, although there are plenty of other choices. Corn chips, potato chips, and corn flakes are some of the more popular alternatives. Seasoned flour offers the simplest way to add crunch to your fried chicken.
The deep-fried chicken recipe we’ll share with you draws its inspiration from the Original Style fried chicken from KFC. The best part of this recipe is that you get to decide which ingredients to modify to suit your taste or your particular health needs.
- 1 whole chicken, cut up into serving sizes
- 1 egg white
- 2 quarts of cooking oil
- 1 and ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- For the spice mix:
- 2 teaspoons of onion salt
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- ½ teaspoon of dried marjoram
- ½ teaspoon of celery salt
- ½ teaspoon of dried basil
- ½ teaspoon of dried sage
- ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon of ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
Deep-Frying the Chicken
- Preheat the deep-fryer to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Get a small mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients for the spice mix. Combine well until you get a uniform color.
- Add to the spice mix the salt, brown sugar, and flour. Mix well.
- Place the egg white in a shallow bowl. Dip one piece of chicken and coat it well with the egg white. Transfer the egg-white-coated chicken piece in the flour and spice mixture. Turn it several times to ensure coverage. Shake the piece of chicken to remove the excess flour mixture. This will also help determine if the flour has already “stuck” to the chicken. Place the floured chicken piece on a rack. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the chicken pieces.
- Give the chicken pieces about 3 to 5 minutes to rest. This will help dry the crust a little bit before you put them in the fryer. This also helps minimize having flour separate from the chicken as soon as it hits the hot oil.
- Fry the chicken. It is best to deep-fry the chicken in batches. Group chicken slices that take a shorter amount of time to cook. For example, wings and breasts will need about 12 to 14 minutes in the deep fryer. For chicken legs and thighs, you are looking at a cooking time of about 16 to 18 minutes. If you are not sure whether your chicken pieces are already cooked or not yet, use a meat thermometer. Insert it in the thickest section of the chicken. It should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the deep-fried chicken on paper towels to help drain excess oil. Serve hot.
Some people skip the last part because doing so can turn the crispiness of the crust into something soggy. A better approach will be to place the chicken on a wire rack. This will have the same effect of draining excess oil. The best part of this approach is that it will never ruin your deep-fried chicken masterpiece.
There are several modifications you can observe in this recipe. For instance, some home cooks prefer marinating the chicken pieces in buttermilk brine. This helps improve the juiciness of the chicken when cooked. To make it, mix smoked paprika, ¼ cup sugar, and ¼ cup kosher salt in 1 cup of water. To this, add 4 cups of buttermilk and mix well. Before going on with the deep-fried chicken recipe, soak the chicken pieces first in the buttermilk brine solution for at least 8 hours.
They don’t call it “fried chicken” if it does not involve the cooking process of frying. Whenever people talk about “frying”, they always visualize oil or fat. For health-conscious folks and individuals with heart conditions, the term “fat” is a red flag. While it is understandable that some individuals may not like the idea of adding more cholesterol in their blood, there is a way you can still enjoy fried chicken with less of the fat. We are not promising zero-fat, but you can rest assured that this recipe is something that you’ll crave for.
- 30 ounces of chicken tenders
- ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup of cornstarch
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seed
- 2 cups of vegetable oil
For the sauce:
- ½ cup of sweet and spicy barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Pan-Frying the Chicken
- Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small mixing bowl. Divide the sauce in two and place the half in a small bowl as a dipping sauce later on.
- Get a cookie sheet and line this with paper towels.
- Measure ¼ cup of flour and pour this in a medium-sized bowl. Set this aside.
- Get a small mixing bowl, beat the egg and add the soy sauce.
- Get a large mixing bowl and mix ½ cup of flour, salt, garlic powder, cornstarch, and ginger. Mix well.
- Dump the chicken tenders in the flour. Toss the chicken pieces to coat them well with the flour. Shake the chicken pieces to remove excess flour.
- Add the floured chicken slices to the egg-soy sauce mixture. Toss to coat the chicken slices well.
- Dump the chicken slices into the flour mixture. Toss well. Let the chicken slices rest for about 2 to 3 minutes before you start pan frying.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium to high heat. Make sure that the oil will be hot before you start frying the chicken tenders.
- Before you start pan frying the chicken, reduce the heat to medium. Divide the chicken into two batches and cook each batch for about 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices. Turn the chicken only once.
- Transfer the chicken tenders onto the cookie sheet.
- Get a basting brush and apply the sauce. Finish off by sprinkling sesame seeds. Serve the chicken tenders with the dipping sauce.
This is a Korean-style fried chicken. It goes well with your kimchi-topped rice or as a delectable appetizer. If you don’t like having sauce on your fingers, you can skip this part altogether. You can also use whole chicken breasts with the bone and skin removed. Depending on the thickness of the slices, you will have to cook them longer, though.
For obvious reasons, pan frying is not the best for health-conscious folks. While it is true that the cooking process entails less cooking oil than deep-frying, it still uses oil. On the other hand, the use of skinless chicken tenders does reduce the amount of fat you consume with each bit.
However, if you want to enjoy delicious crispy chicken sans the guilt of adding more fat in your diet, then you’ve got to bake it. It may not sound “fried chicken” at all but the results will impress you. The secret here is the addition of buttermilk which can enhance the flavor profile of the chicken and its juiciness. Going for bone-in chicken also helps add to the intense flavor of the dish. The use of crushed cereals also gives this recipe the crunch that we all love in an authentic fried chicken.
- 4 pieces of chicken drumsticks, skin removed
- 4 pieces of chicken thighs, skin removed
- 2 cups of buttermilk
- 2 cups of corn flakes turned into crumbs
- 3 tablespoons of Tabasco or any other hot sauce
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons of fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
Oven-Frying the Chicken
- Get a large mixing bowl and combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry.
- Get a large baking dish and arrange the pieces of chicken. Pour the buttermilk-garlic mixture over the chicken slices and cover.
- Place the chicken in the fridge for about half an hour.
- When ready to cook, heat up your oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. An alternative would be aluminum foil. This has the advantage of reflecting heat back to the chicken.
- Get a shallow dish and place the cornflake crumbs. Season with ground black pepper and salt. Mix well.
- Get a piece of chicken from the buttermilk mixture and put it in the cornflake crumbs. Coat the chicken piece well. Place the chicken piece on the foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the chicken pieces. Arrange them on the baking sheet.
- Melt the butter and drizzle this over the pieces of chicken.
- Place the chicken slices in the oven and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until you see the outside turning golden and crispy.
The crunch of this oven-fried chicken is almost the same as having it deep-fried. The best part of it is that you are not putting that much fat into your body. For starters, you are using skinless chicken parts. There is no oil to cook the chicken with, too. Drumsticks and thighs are also the most flavorful, so you still get to enjoy all the classic goodness of chicken. If you want to make the chicken more succulent, try marinating the pieces in buttermilk overnight. That should give you a kind of fried chicken you can be proud of.
Making scrumptious fried chicken is easy. It doesn’t matter if you are going to fry it deep, in the pan, or in the oven. What matters is that you are able to guarantee juicy meat beneath a crunchy crust to have your family begging for more.
- 10 Tricks to Perfecting Ultra-Crispy Chicken – The Kitchn
- 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Fried Chicken – How Stuff Works
- How To Make Fried Chicken The Best It Can Be, According To Southern Chefs – Huff Post