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Fried Chicken - blood coming to the surface

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I like fried chicken, and cook it for the family every now and then. Someone on another forum I frequent asked a question about the blood coming to the surface of the fried chicken and making a dark spot on the chicken. I hadn't ever really thought about it myself. That does happen when I fry chicken at home, but it doesn't bother me it is cooked and as long as there is no blood down around the bone, indicating I've gotten it cooked all the way through. She said her children were squimish and wouldn't eat it. Just out of curiosity, why does home fried chicken do this? I'm assuming it has to do with the heat of the oil and the time it takes to cook it on a home stove as compared to commercial fryers, where it can cook faster and has a more constant temperature. Can anyone enlighten me?
Cheers,
texasflute
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Cheers,
texasflute
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post #2 of 10
Hi Texasflute,

Your instincts are partially right: oil temperature vs time is a factor but there are others:

Amount of frying oil versus the amount of pieces
Piece sizes
Commercial batters are composed with additives that seal the meat better and/or have different layers.
supermarket chickens often have bloody joints, bruises or leaky bones because they are handled roughly before and during slaughter. Most commercial establishments have standards that reject those type of birds.
Commercial meats are usually brine (salted) injected which coagulates the blood in the meat.
(probably other factors as well)

Is better looking always better?

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #3 of 10
And chicken isn't as well bled as it used to be. My opinion, but I see more blood in mass produced chicken than in boutique types of chicken (kosher, free-range and so on.)

Phil
post #4 of 10

Brine the bird

I have also found that brining your birds will help to reduce the excess blood in the bird. The process of brining, which brings water out of the bird initially (before the water flows back in) will also take some of the blood with it. This is evidenced simply by the fact that the brining liquid usually has blood in it when the brining is done.

And if you are not technically deep frying the chicken, as many home chefs don't do, but rather pan frying it in a dutch oven half-filled with hot oil that you turn halfway through, this could lead to blood spots as well. The slower cooking of the top half of the bird allows the blood to settle out and congeal, revealing balck spots. I have had this problem with this cooking style, but it has not been a problem for me when I have deep fried the chicken.

And while I am sure there are a million recipes out there, I figure why not share mine here?...

Brine:
3 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cloves garlic (chopped coarsely)
1 Tbsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage

1 chicken cut up into 8 pieces, or about 8 thighs and/or drumsticks

Coating:
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1. Combine all the brine ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl, add the chicken pieces and allow chicken to soak in the brine for 3 hours in the fridge.


2. Take the chicken out of the brine, shake off excess brine (especially large pieces of garlic that may be sticking) and place on a rack on top of a sheet in the fridge, uncovered, for 2 more hours. (Don’t rinse or rub off the brine, you want that flavor to stick around.)

3. To coat, combine the egg, buttermilk and baking powder in one bowl, whisk well. Combine the flour, Old Bay and thyme in a large flat plate. Dredge the chicken in the liquid, coat with the flour and fry in a 350 degree deep fryer until done - about 3-5 minutes. (You can also fry it in a Dutch oven with about an inch or two of fat in there - you'll just have to flip the chicken to cook both sides, and I would recommend a higher cooking temperature with this method - like 375 degrees.)
Deglazed
My Continuing Journey Into the Kitchen...
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Deglazed
My Continuing Journey Into the Kitchen...
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post #5 of 10
You can also soak the chicken parts in ice water.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks! As I said, the darks spots on the outside of the chicken don't bother me, but I thought I'd pose the question since someone else had asked me. I knew you wonderful cooks would know the answer! I've had more than one person tell me that supermarket chickens aren't bled as well as they used to be.
Cheers,
texasflute
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Cheers,
texasflute
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post #7 of 10
Ditto all the above.

Have you tried poaching the chicken joints first to actually do most of the cooking, then drying, coating and then frying them? I've done it this way and find it more tender in the end result. No blood spots either. And you get rid of some of the fat from the chook - not that its a big help when deep frying hehe :)
 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 #8 of 10
In my own experience it seems to happen when you pan fry
chicken. I would guess that the as the chicken spends more
time in the pan, the blood within the marrow of the bones heats
up and is forced out through the cooked flesh to the surface, discoloring
the crust or outside. You can't beat fried chicken cooked in an iron
skillet though. It happen sometimes when I place the chicken in the
pan and cover with a lid, of course you remove the lid when you flip the
chicken to keep it crispy. It also seems to happen when you use a pressure
cooker to cook fried chicken. I have never minded it personally, but, can
see how it would bother kids who were pickier than they were hungry.
If my kids don't want to eat, they can wait until the next meal. Now that
they have figured that out, they are not near as picky.....
post #9 of 10
I share that philosophy...
Luc H
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Luc & even Stephen,

I will totally agree with you on the picky kids bit......mine (who are now teenagers) have learned to eat what is prepared or do without, and those boys will now even eat spinach before they will "do without". We eat LOTS of raw spinach at our house.....:lol:.
Cheers,
texasflute
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Cheers,
texasflute
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