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Breading techniques

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello.

I've recently been experimenting with different ways to bread chicken, shrimp, pork, turkey, beef, etc. in order to get the best flavor, crispiness and of course, for the breading to stay on the meat.

How does everyone else here do breading? What types of egg wash do you use, do you use flour, bread crumbs, both? Or is there something else I don't even know about?
post #2 of 21

F.e.b.

It is called F.E.B. as in Flour, Eggwash, Bread Crumbs.

Set up three bowls one with some seasoned flour.
One with eggs whisked
One with breadcrumbs, dried or fresh, (I like Panko the ultra white Japanese crumbs)

The first step is to dip (item)into flour just lightly until it is dusted.
Then dip it into the egg wash
Then flop each side in the crumbs.
Fry or roast as usual.

The flour soaks up the meats moisture and gives the eggs something to stick to.
The eggs provide a clingy moisture of some thickness so that breadcrumbs will stick.

Good luck.
Shannon
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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post #3 of 21
You can also bread it in other things...maybe some crumbled fried plantains, crumbled tortilla chips, etc etc.
post #4 of 21
The key to the technique that Breton Beats describes (also called panné or breading à l'anglais) is to make sure that everything is completely covered, no bare spots anywhere. After you coat the food with flour, pat off the excess. Then quickly but completely coat it in eggs. Let the excess drip off, then coat completely in crumbs.

You can season the flour. You can whisk the eggs (but not so much that they get foamy) with a little water, or milk, or oil, or use egg substitute. To be honest, I haven't found much difference among any of those. Chad's suggestions are good alternatives; I also like to use medium-ground nuts mixed with bread crumbs. Never tried it myself, but has anyone used crushed potato chips? :lips: You might also try dry potato flakes for instant mashed potatoes (I'm going to try that soon).

And if it's something I'm baking, as opposed to frying, I sometimes do this: instead of dipping in flour and egg, I spread the surface with mayonnaise, then coat it with crumbs. I just spread on the mayo with a pastry brush or small offset spatula. Of course, I don't dip the brush/spatula in the mayo jar in between pieces, but take some mayo out just to use for this. If any is left, I discard it. (Much safer that way!). I learned this truc from my mother-in-law, Rose. Just did it with slices of zucchini, and it worked perfectly! The extra oil pretty much melts away in the baking.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #5 of 21
I'm curious about the instant potato flakes. How does it turn out and does Sysco sell something like that?
post #6 of 21
Another tip I would add to the great info above would be that after you've completed breading, place the food in the fridge for 30 mins to an hour to help set the crumbs. I have much better results doing this - tend to lose too much of the coating doing it immediately.

For extra flavour in the breadcrumbs (where it suits the food) I like to add finely grated parmesan cheese, or extra spices such as paprika, ground dry oregano, lemon pepper etc. Whatever suits your fancy (and the food!).

To replace the breadcrumbs, you can use crushed corn flakes (breakfast cereal), uncooked polenta or semolina (combined with half quantity breadcrumbs) for something sifferent. Haven't tried potato crisps or instant potato flakes yet.

When doing a baked breaded crust onto oven-baked foods, ditch the flour, and use either mayonaisse or, especially for rack of lamb (once you've seared it off in the pan), a nice coating of mustard then put a herbed crust on. Sticks pretty well.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 21
I've used potato flakes on fried chicken. I crush them a little bit so they stick better. They make a nice crust, something different. My all time favorite breading medium though is crushed saltine crackers. I just think they're the best. I've also used cushed seasoned croutons for schnitzel with very good results. You can use about anything as long as it's dry and will stick. I usually cut eggs with water or milk. Pure eggs tend to make too thick of a crust, I think. DC Sunshine has good advice about letting the food stand a bit. I could never make fried chicken like my mother could. All she did is roll it in flour and fry it, and it was the best. One time I read a recipe that said to coat the cood and then let it stand about half an hour before frying. I did that and never had any more trouble. The fact that my mother never did that still baffles me, but whatever works I gues. Save a little of your breading mixture though in case the food develops wet spots while standing.
post #8 of 21
Good tip about saving some bread mix - hadn't thought of that, and by letting the food rest you do sometimes get those sticky spots. Dunno how your mum managed that Greyeaglem, some people just have the knack. Was she using lard/dripping do you think to fry in may have made the difference? I know I get best results making fries with lard - they just get more crunch than with veg oil
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Lots of great info. Thanks everyone!!!

(shameless plug time....)

My latest creation using the F.E.B. technique is on display in the recipe forum, for Southwestern chicken Parm. Check it out, if you want.
post #10 of 21
The most important thing is to press the breadcrumbs onto the piece of meat. Use a little pressure, that'll make it stick better than any breading concoction you come up with.
post #11 of 21
For shrimp, I use crushed saltines since I can't get Cracker Meal in my area. It's basically the same thing! I just run them through the food processor until they're really fine. I completely peel and devein both top and bottom of my shrimp, then dip in cracker crumbs, egg and milk, then back in cracker crumbs. Let them sit a bit while the oil heats up and deep fry. They turn out awesome!

I've also used that technique on fish in the past. I'm sure it would work on chicken as well but I have really tried to cut back on frying as I'm cutting down on my fat intake.
post #12 of 21
I think you'd find them listed at sysco as potato pearls. It works fine as a quick and easy potato crust. I prefer using blanched hash browns for that if I'm going to take a shortcut.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #13 of 21
I'm curious how you accomplish this feat? My hands get gooey from the flour and egg wash, so by the time I'm dragging them through the bread crumbs, if I tried to push on them, the crumb coating tends to stick to my hand and come off.

doc
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have actually thrown a handful of bread crumb on top of the meat and pressed it in that way, and then shake off the excess.
post #15 of 21
Just use the dry hand. One hand to dip the stuff in the eggwash and fish it out, drop it into the flour. Fish it out of the flour with the other hand and drop it into the breadcrumbs. Shake shake shake the pan until fully covered, press. Flip, press.
post #16 of 21

breading techniques

I had the pleasure of working in Europe and things there are a bit different. First off, my chef would have thrown out any product made if I pressed the crumbs into the product. Pressing is not a proper technique. My first suggestion is to try using a seasoned corn starch instead of flour. Second, incorporate some milk in the eggwash. Third, gently pat the product when it is in the crumbs, don't press down just lightly pat the crumbs on. Allow the product to stand (refrigerated) for approximately 30 minutes before cooking. I have used everything from bread crumbs to cracker crumbs to pureed oatmeal to finish coat my product. Experiment a little, don't get stuck in the bread crumb only rut.
post #17 of 21
Just as an add-on; any sticky semi-liquid can serve in lieu of the egg wash. Mayo and mustard have been mentioned. Others include chili sauce; salad dressings; barbecue sauce; even some syrups.

Example: Brush a chicken breast with pomegranate molasses, press into ground macadamia nuts, and bake. Ummmmmmmm!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #18 of 21
And how could I have forgotten: matzo meal for the crumbs! A bit on the bland side, so it takes to the additions mentioned upthread.

What about issues with the crumb coating burning? I rarely deep-fry, just pan-fry, sauté, or bake. I often find that I will have to finish the dish in the oven lest the crumbs burn in the pan.

greyeaglem: Did your mother dip the chicken in buttermilk before coating it with flour? A lot of the classic recipes say to do that. I've done something similar, soaking the chicken in rice milk or soy milk, and it does help keep a good coat of flour on. Plus I put a LOT of seasoning in the soaking medium as well as in the flour. It also works pretty well to brine the chicken pieces and put them directly from the brine into the flour, to get a good layer of flour.

For the new cooks, we should probably mention that after you finish dipping and coating and patching and cooking, and don't need the flour, eggs, or crumbs any more, throw the leftover out. It may seem like a waste, but it's not safe to keep them around, since they have juices from the raw food in them.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #19 of 21
Suzanne, I'm sure you meant to say, "don't save it", rather than "throw the leftover out."

Most of the time, if there's any leftover, I combine it all, add a little more liquid if necessary, and make hush-puppy variations, either deep frying or pan frying as the case may be.

But, yeah, your point needs stressing. It may look like it's only breadcrumbs (or whatever). But it's not. And saving it could be dangerous.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #20 of 21
Ah ha! Ambidexterous!~

doc
post #21 of 21
Anybody here use ground rice for a coating? I've read that ground arborio makes a great coating but this is one of those vexing methods that I've tried and tried and never liked the results. Either the rice tastes "raw" or bloats up unattractively when it hits the oil. Any thoughts?
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