Tips for Delicious Fried Chicken
Fried chicken isn’t necessarily the most nutritious food choice around, but it sure is delicious. Most fried chicken is made the same way- it’s soaked in seasoned buttermilk, dipped in flour, then deep-fried. I’ve experimented with a few different techniques and recipes, and have found that exceptional deep fried chicken has the following components in common:
Make sure you have fresh, meaty bird. If you come across an anemic or discolored looking chicken, leave it alone. It’s not necessary to buy a whole chicken- most grocery stores have chicken pieces; simply pick what you like.
It’s essential that the chicken (with the exception of the frying oil) is at room temperature. If you put multiple pieces of cold chicken in a deep-fryer at once, it will cool the oil down, and the end product will be rubbery.
Most good fried chicken is made with cultured buttermilk; it adds texture, and depth of flavor. Look for whole buttermilk for the best tasting friend chicken. Make sure your buttermilk is at room temperature before using it.
This is a very important part of making delicious fried chicken. Your flour mixture should always have the following ingredients:
Kosher or Sea Salt
Dried Spices, try: paprika, garlic powder, onion salt, cayenne, oregano, sage, chili powder, basil, coriander, and black pepper. I also put a teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda in my flour mixture- it adds more crunch. Taste your flour mixture for seasoning before using it.
There are many different opinions about what type of oil to use for the best tasting fried chicken. In my opinion, canola oil works well; it’s inexpensive, and has a neutral flavor. Remember, the chicken is the star of this party, NOT the flavor of the oil.
All of your ingredients (besides the frying oil) should be at room temperature. The dried spices and herbs shouldn’t be stale, or out of date. Your cooking oil will need to be at 350 degrees to cook the chicken properly. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer to measure the oil temperature, buy one- you’ll be surprised how often you use it.
Practice Makes Perfect
Try different combinations of spices with your fried chicken and keep notes. Eventually, you’ll come up with a recipe that tastes good to you.
Chef Chuck Kerber