or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Fried Chicken Woes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fried Chicken Woes - Page 2

post #31 of 57

In terms of the coating, that's personal preference.  I tend to favor "wet" batter over the dredging method. 

 

However, no matter how spectacular the coating is, good fried chicken lives and breathes in the prep.

 

Here are some good tips to ensure good fried chicken every time.

 

1) Never use olive oil as the fat;

2) Never fry or batter chicken that is cold or straight from the fridge;

3) Brine the chicken first?  Really?  Why?  Totally unnecessary for fried chicken.  I have no idea why so many folks have glommed onto this myth for fried chicken.  Roasting a chicken?  Yes.  Brine, brine, brine!  Fried chicken?  Nein! Nein! Nein! 

4) Remove the skin.  The skin can pull away during frying and take that delicious batter with it!  Not to mention expose the meat directly to the hot oil and cook it unevenly.   Also, the fat in the skin will be hotter than the chicken meat and could contribute to turning your batter dark while frying.  Additionally, the skin will insulate the chicken meat from the cooking effects of the oil so you will likely end up with unevenly cooked meat, especially at the bone. 

5) Make one or two very small incisions in the meat with a skewer or a small knife all the way to the bone.  The incision will allow the meat to cook evenly and be the same on the outside as it as at the bone.  NOTE:  I was very skeptical about this at first because I thought it would dry out the chicken.  Not so.  It cuts the cooking time almost in half which means the chicken really doesn't have time to dry out. 

6) When making a batter, make sure the liquid (buttermilk, milk, beer etc) is room temperature.  I like to warm the liquid slightly before adding it to my dry ingredients. 

7) Depending on the size of the pan or fryer, fry only a few pieces at a time to avoid the batter sticking the chicken together. 

8) If frying over a stove, never let the chicken rest on the bottom of the pot while frying.  It will cook the chicken unevenly.  Remember, the oil at the bottom of the pot is hotter than the oil at the top because its closer to the burner.  If you are using an electric deep fryer, the same principle applies to the filament.  So, make sure you occasionally move the chicken around while its cooking - gently and carefully!   NOTE: this does not apply to commercial deep fryers that use larger reservoirs of fat. 

 

-V

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
post #32 of 57

In response to aggravated customers who don't like the bloodline in the chicken thigh, I started popping the thigh bone out of the socket and then pushing it back in place.

This seemed to alleviate the issue, must have allowed the oil to infiltrate a bit.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #33 of 57

I'm confused why anyone would fry a leg quarter in the first place.  A leg and thigh are two pieces of chicken, a leg quarter is one.  I usually see 10 pieces from a chicken.  Leg, thigh, wing and breast cut in two.

post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike9 View Post
 

I'm confused why anyone would fry a leg quarter in the first place.  A leg and thigh are two pieces of chicken, a leg quarter is one.  I usually see 10 pieces from a chicken.  Leg, thigh, wing and breast cut in two.


Fingers.....don't forget chicken fingers.  lol

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
 


Fingers.....don't forget chicken fingers.  lol

 

Yup - I forgot about those.

post #36 of 57

@Virgil

Sometimes "we" define ourselves by our style of cooking certain dishes.

One of those is certainly fried chicken...another is cornbread but let's not go there in this thread, K?

My recipes and techniques are passed down thru multiple generations and certain things are written in stone with no hope of deviation....ever.

How about I don't say anything about you committing sacrilege (pulling off skin and poking holes in the meat) and you take back your comment re overnite wet brining.

1 for 2 and we are even.

:)

 

mimi

post #37 of 57
Skin is the best part!
post #38 of 57

My most recent Fried Chicken woe : 

 

Bubble burst, landed a nice quarter sized blob of 350 degree oil right on my finger. 

 

I had crispy skin. 


Edited by jake t buds - 2/17/16 at 12:04pm
post #39 of 57
Love a crispy bite through skin. Anyone tried a pickle juice brine?
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post

@Virgil

Sometimes "we" define ourselves by our style of cooking certain dishes.
One of those is certainly fried chicken...another is cornbread but let's not go there in this thread, K?
My recipes and techniques are passed down thru multiple generations and certain things are written in stone with no hope of deviation....ever.
How about I don't say anything about you committing sacrilege (pulling off skin and poking holes in the meat) and you take back your comment re overnite wet brining.
1 for 2 and we are even.
smile.gif

mimi

If anyone dares to serve me a piece of fried chicken without he skin I would demand my money back and maybe even sue them. Hahaha!!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #41 of 57

I wouldn't dare removing the skin from my chicken before prepping it for frying. It's... the best part!!!

post #42 of 57
My local market has a hot deli and makes some of the best fried chicken. It's brined, and dredged in a highly seasoned flour then pressure fried in Wesson oil, resulting in moist, flavorful chicken with crispy skin/crust with just a bit of heat from cayenne.
They do small batches so it's always hot and fresh.
post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike9 View Post
 

I'm confused why anyone would fry a leg quarter in the first place.  A leg and thigh are two pieces of chicken, a leg quarter is one.  I usually see 10 pieces from a chicken.  Leg, thigh, wing and breast cut in two.

I reread the thread and missed the leg quarter post.

Did it get deleted?

Also, 2 legs, 2 thighs, two wings and a breast split in 2 is 8 pieces.

Were you counting the split back as 2 pieces to make 10?

Not causing a ruckus, just trying to clarify your post.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

@Virgil

Sometimes "we" define ourselves by our style of cooking certain dishes.

One of those is certainly fried chicken...another is cornbread but let's not go there in this thread, K?

My recipes and techniques are passed down thru multiple generations and certain things are written in stone with no hope of deviation....ever.

How about I don't say anything about you committing sacrilege (pulling off skin and poking holes in the meat) and you take back your comment re overnite wet brining.

1 for 2 and we are even.

:)

 

mimi

Should I give back my awards for my fried chicken?  I think I can still find them......somewhere.  ;)

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
post #45 of 57

I had it confused with the thread by the person who resurrected this thread - http://www.cheftalk.com/t/88609/fried-chicken-par-frying-service-and-blood-vein-issues  Then again yes I cut the breasts in two so by adding the tenders a chicken will yield 10 pieces of somewhat similar size.

post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike9 View Post
 

I had it confused with the thread by the person who resurrected this thread - http://www.cheftalk.com/t/88609/fried-chicken-par-frying-service-and-blood-vein-issues  Then again yes I cut the breasts in two so by adding the tenders a chicken will yield 10 pieces of somewhat similar size.

ahh, I get it.

Thanks

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post

Should I give back my awards for my fried chicken?  I think I can still find them......somewhere.  wink.gif
It would be the right thing to do. I doubt a skinless chicken would win an award unless the prize was specifically for skinless chicken.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #48 of 57
Quote:
 

4) Remove the skin.  The skin can pull away during frying and take that delicious batter with it!  Not to mention expose the meat directly to the hot oil and cook it unevenly.   Also, the fat in the skin will be hotter than the chicken meat and could contribute to turning your batter dark while frying.  Additionally, the skin will insulate the chicken meat from the cooking effects of the oil so you will likely end up with unevenly cooked meat, especially at the bone. 

 

So if the skin pulls away from the meat it will cook unevenly, but if it stays attached the meat will cook unevenly.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #49 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

@Virgil

Sometimes "we" define ourselves by our style of cooking certain dishes.

One of those is certainly fried chicken...another is cornbread but let's not go there in this thread, K?

My recipes and techniques are passed down thru multiple generations and certain things are written in stone with no hope of deviation....ever.

How about I don't say anything about you committing sacrilege (pulling off skin and poking holes in the meat) and you take back your comment re overnite wet brining.

1 for 2 and we are even.

:)

 

mimi

Should I give back my awards for my fried chicken?  I think I can still find them......somewhere.  ;)

 

I was just trying to maybe plant the seed that if you would just overnite brine your chicken pieces (however many you get from a whole fryer..be it 8 or 10 or a bucket full of strips) you would not need to mutilate her to win a prize.

Not trying to set up a throw down or nuthin'.

 

mimi

post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

Not trying to set up a throw down or nuthin'.

 

mimi

:lol: :lol:

post #51 of 57

@ flipflopgirl and koukouvagia:

 

We all have different approaches to many of the same things, I suppose.  Unless I misunderstood ChefTalk's mission statement, this is the place to come to share ideas, experiences and perhaps, discover a new thing or two. 

 

That being said, one of the things that I learned in over 3 decades of working with food is never criticize another cook's methods unless and until you try it yourself.  And then, don't criticize another cook's methods, unless, if course, that cook works for you.  Once I learned this painfully simply rule, my experience in the kitchen became much more pleasant and more importantly, more productive.  That is when I really started to learn something about food.   

 

To that end, I will explain the method to my madness for fried chicken that seems to be the subject of so much controversy.

 

-Yes, the skin provides a slight insulating factor in terms of heat transferal from the oil to the meat near the bone.  More importantly, however, since when does a breast, thigh or leg have skin that completely covers 100% the meat?  Correct answer? NEVER.  Result: uneven cook and coating that has pulled away from the meat and floats around in the oil making tasty little bites.  Has either of you ever bit into a piece of fried chicken and burnt your mouth on that pocket of hot oil or juice that is hiding between the meat and skin? Unless you serve your fried chicken cold or have never eaten fried chicken before, the answer is YES. 

 

-Making a small incision or poking small holes with skewers makes possible a uniform cook to the bone and throughout even the thickest chicken parts.  Also, the likelihood of burnt coating and less than cooked meat is practically nil.   No one wants to bite into a thigh or leg and see that disgusting burgundy color near the bone with bluish purple veins.  Period.  While we in the food world understand and accept that as a natural part of fried chicken, paying customers typically do not share that advanced understanding.  A small incision no bigger than the end of a small,  sharp pairing knife or well placed punctures made by a kabob skewer are virtually unnoticeable and allow the hot oil to cook the meat near the bone at the same pace it cooks the meat on the outside.  Result?  No burgundy colored bones or bluish purple veins and a cook time that is dramatically reduced - rather important, especially if friend chicken is run as your special and you want to turn over tables faster.  

 

-Brining the chicken before hand?  I've done it.  I agree with its benefits when roasting a chicken.  But, I fail to see its advantages in fried chicken.  Biology 101:  water in solution (like salt water) tends to flow from areas of higher saturation to areas of less saturation across semipermeable membranes.  When chicken parts are brined, the natural moisture within the chicken will pass from the chicken to the brine and be replaced by salt water in an attempt to reach equilibrium.  So, brining actually replaces natural juices with salt and water.  Isn't salt already an ingredient in the batter?  Most recipes that I have seen for fried chicken batter call for generous amounts of salt.  If so, why add more?  Salt in the meat masks the flavors of the herbs and seasoning in the batter.  Salt is intended to enhance flavor, not be the flavor.  What's the point of adding flavorful seasoning like smoked paprika etc if it is diminished by a disproportionate level of salt??  I don't want the natural moisture in my chicken to be replaced by salt water and then, have the meat be reconstituted by hot oil.  If I thought that was a stunning idea, I would forget fried chicken altogether and indulge in a bucket of the Colonel's finest. 

 

You see, its not the likelihood of whether or not either or you have some information or knowledge that I don't already know that's important.  What is important is the respect of giving you both the benefit of the doubt that you may know something I don't and be afforded the opportunity to express yourselves in that regard.   To put it in flipflopgirl's eloquent vernacular, "Im not trying to start a throw down or nuthin" either.  But, then again, it was not me who crossed the Rubicon here.  

 

I would, however, like to understand both of your reasoning, which you both have yet to explain despite each of your unsolicited and prickly criticisms.  Again, I freely admit the possibility you may provide some insight that I am not yet aware of. 


So, I am very curious to hear both of your reasonings why you believe your methods, which neither of you have actually mentioned anywhere in this thread,  are so worthy and mine are not.  I trust you both will be just as quick and eager to qualify your respective positions as you were to criticize mine, right? 

 

The floor is all yours. 

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
post #52 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post

@ flipflopgirl and koukouvagia:

We all have different approaches to many of the same things, I suppose.  Unless I misunderstood ChefTalk's mission statement, this is the place to come to share ideas, experiences and perhaps, discover a new thing or two. 

That being said, one of the things that I learned in over 3 decades of working with food is never criticize another cook's methods unless and until you try it yourself.  And then, don't criticize another cook's methods, unless, if course, that cook works for you.  Once I learned this painfully simply rule, my experience in the kitchen became much more pleasant and more importantly, more productive.  That is when I really started to learn something about food.   

To that end, I will explain the method to my madness for fried chicken that seems to be the subject of so much controversy.

-Yes, the skin provides a slight insulating factor in terms of heat transferal from the oil to the meat near the bone.  More importantly, however, since when does a breast, thigh or leg have skin that completely covers 100% the meat?  Correct answer? NEVER.  Result: uneven cook and coating that has pulled away from the meat and floats around in the oil making tasty little bites.  Has either of you ever bit into a piece of fried chicken and burnt your mouth on that pocket of hot oil or juice that is hiding between the meat and skin? Unless you serve your fried chicken cold or have never eaten fried chicken before, the answer is YES. 

-Making a small incision or poking small holes with skewers makes possible a uniform cook to the bone and throughout even the thickest chicken parts.  Also, the likelihood of burnt coating and less than cooked meat is practically nil.   No one wants to bite into a thigh or leg and see that disgusting burgundy color near the bone with bluish purple veins.  Period.  While we in the food world understand and accept that as a natural part of fried chicken, paying customers typically do not share that advanced understanding.  A small incision no bigger than the end of a small,  sharp pairing knife or well placed punctures made by a kabob skewer are virtually unnoticeable and allow the hot oil to cook the meat near the bone at the same pace it cooks the meat on the outside.  Result?  No burgundy colored bones or bluish purple veins and a cook time that is dramatically reduced - rather important, especially if friend chicken is run as your special and you want to turn over tables faster.  

-Brining the chicken before hand?  I've done it.  I agree with its benefits when roasting a chicken.  But, I fail to see its advantages in fried chicken.  Biology 101:  water in solution (like salt water) tends to flow from areas of higher saturation to areas of less saturation across semipermeable membranes.  When chicken parts are brined, the natural moisture within the chicken will pass from the chicken to the brine and be replaced by salt water in an attempt to reach equilibrium.  So, brining actually replaces natural juices with salt and water.  Isn't salt already an ingredient in the batter?  Most recipes that I have seen for fried chicken batter call for generous amounts of salt.  If so, why add more?  Salt in the meat masks the flavors of the herbs and seasoning in the batter.  Salt is intended to enhance flavor, not be the flavor.  What's the point of adding flavorful seasoning like smoked paprika etc if it is diminished by a disproportionate level of salt??  I don't want the natural moisture in my chicken to be replaced by salt water and then, have the meat be reconstituted by hot oil.  If I thought that was a stunning idea, I would forget fried chicken altogether and indulge in a bucket of the Colonel's finest. 

You see, its not the likelihood of whether or not either or you have some information or knowledge that I don't already know that's important.  What is important is the respect of giving you both the benefit of the doubt that you may know something I don't and be afforded the opportunity to express yourselves in that regard.   To put it in flipflopgirl's eloquent vernacular, "Im not trying to start a throw down or nuthin" either.  But, then again, it was not me who crossed the Rubicon here.  

I would, however, like to understand both of your reasoning, which you both have yet to explain despite each of your unsolicited and prickly criticisms.  Again, I freely admit the possibility you may provide some insight that I am not yet aware of. 


So, I am very curious to hear both of your reasonings why you believe your methods, which neither of you have actually mentioned anywhere in this thread,  are so worthy and mine are not.  I trust you both will be just as quick and eager to qualify your respective positions as you were to criticize mine, right? 

The floor is all yours. 
Hi Virgil welcome to the forum and thanks for explaining your reasoning ! The banter is friendly I assure you. I read your post carefully and I still dislike fried chicken without its skin. Why? Cause it's the best part in my opinion. And yes I have bitten into that hot hot juice between the skin and meat and honest to goodness that's my favorite part! The heart wants what it wants.

There are little parts of the chicken that are not covered by skin and those parts dry out a little but I sacrifice those bits wholeheartedly to preserve the succulent skin.

If you've been in the biz for so long I'd be shocked if I was the first and only person you came across who love chicken skin more than they love chicken meat.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #53 of 57

@ Virgil.

 

Interesting on the salt water replacing the natural juices.  I've read in a number of places that the osmosis theory isn't what is really happening. According to this theory, brining actually denatures (I might be using denature incorrectly here) the proteins which helps reduce the amount of contraction in the heated muscle. Since the muscle contracts less, it expels less water from the chicken.

 

This might be what you meant and I may have interpreted it wrong.

 

Quote: (Serious Eats) -- you can find similar descriptions in Fine Cooking, stellaculinary.com, etc.
To understand what's really happening, you have to look at the structure of turkey muscles. Muscles are made up of long, bundled fibers, each one housed in a tough protein sheath. As the turkey heats, the proteins that make up this sheath will contract. Just like a squeezing a tube of toothpaste, this causes juices to be forced out of the bird. Heat them to much above 150°F or so, and you end up with dry, stringy meat. 
 
Salt helps mitigate this shrinkage by dissolving some of the muscle proteins (mainly myosin). The muscle fibers loosen up, allowing them to absorb more moisture, and more importantly, they don't contract as much when they cook, making sure that more of that moisture stays in-place as the turkey cooks.

 

With that said, it seems reasonable to not brine; particularly if you are a pro and you cook a lot of fried chicken.  While your chicken might be less moist than it could be, it could taste more like chicken than if it was brined.   I tend to brine when frying because as an amateur, it provides me a safety margin against overcooking.  Typically, I use a well seasoned (salted) buttermilk brine and finish it in a moderate oven.  For me, this technique provides good repeatable results even when I can't find an appropriately sized (smallish) chicken at the market.

 

For me, this is a very interesting thread.  Since cooking for me is a hobby and I've got a lot to learn, I find it fascinating to see how many ways there are to skin (or not skin) a fried chicken.

 

H.


Edited by hgilson - 2/18/16 at 7:49pm
post #54 of 57

X 2 koukou's post.

 

No one is doubting your blue ribbon recipe.

YOU are the one who poked the bear by ranting re NEVER EVER brine.

Just wanted you to know there are other techniques out there and not just yours.

I prefer to have savory meat over super seasoned crust.

This is solved by brining.

IMO of course.

 

mimi


Edited by flipflopgirl - 2/19/16 at 7:35am
post #55 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

There are a lot of good suggestions on this thread for cooking fried chicken in some other way than the one you've chosen. I've tried dozens of great ways, including all of the ones on this thread. That doesn't mean your way isn't just as good. Also, recipes don't come with shackles. If you find one way you like, you're not restricted to it for the rest of your life. If you want to perfect this one, then try something else; or if you simply want to move on -- you have my blessing, that's for sure.

Brining is a way of getting the meat to hold extra moisture. It is especially useful when frying at lower temperatures in that it gives you some leeway in that it allows you to cook the flesh more well done without drying it too much. Even then, poultry breast is has a very narrow range of done/juicy. Understand that I'm not suggesting that the way to fix your problem is through brining, but it may be of interest to you since it's such a natural variation you can do by simply oversalting the first buttermilk marinade. Of course you'll have to control salt by making a few changes. ^ou can't use the brined buttermilk between dredges. You'll have to use fresh buttermilk (or some other liquid) without any salt; and you'll want to reduce the salt in every other part of the recipe as well.
 

 

Finally took time to read thru this 7 year old thread and came across this post.

It says everything I was trying to get across.

Sort of a never say never sort of comment.

 

mimi

post #56 of 57

There are reasons to brine and not

 

Pros - bigger temperature window for juicy meat

Cons - 1) Flavor: Some like it some don't. It can taste like a brined bird.  This is totally subjective.  I see the argument come up every thanksgiving turkey thread 2) Extra moisture content under your batter

 

You can make adjustments to account for all of the above.  Brining is just one more tool to use or not use at the cooks discretion.   Maybe it is a philosophical difference here, but I see a recipe as a teaching tool, not doctrine.

 

"I cannot teach anybody anything.  I can only make them think." -Socrates

post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post

"I cannot teach anybody anything.  I can only make them think." -Socrates

Socrates was a smart guy, but sometimes you can't make them think, either. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Fried Chicken Woes