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I'm trying to mimic McDonald's Chicken Selects...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
So I spent several hours last night experimenting with different breading recipes and techniques to try and get something similar to the Chicken selects strips from McDonalds.



The breading at McDonald's is extremely thick and extremely crispy. There's no soft breading on the inside, it appears to be evenly cooked to a crisp all the way through. It's also characterized by real deep ridges in the breading. Just look at the picture above.

The recipe I finally landed on was something as follows:

3 eggs
3 tsp salt
3/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup corn starch
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup italian seasoning bread crumbs

I'd dip the chicken in the dry mixture, then in the egg mixture back and forth 3 times then end on the dry mixture. I deep fried the chicken until it was golden, then let it cool in the fridge. Then, fried them again until they were much darker.

It tasted good. Although anything deep fried with that much salt is bound to taste good.

The trouble is, it's really not the same. Texture wise I mean. The breading is not as thick, not as crispy and it seems no matter how long I fry it for, the breading beneath the surface remains somewhat soft.

So I'm wondering where I could go with this to get closer to what I'd find in McDonald's, or any fast food or prepackaged chicken fingers.

Any ideas?
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I'm a photographer, here's my website: petruzzo.com
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post #2 of 26
What is it you like about those chicken strips? You need to have access to preservatives, equipment to "chop and form", and more. Or you could try to make something better.
post #3 of 26

Preserve it in refrigerator

I agree with Oregon you have to preserve your food at cool temperature.
post #4 of 26
What has this world come to? Is the american palet so destroyed that we're trying to mimic fast food? I'm not saying I don't like McDonalds because I do unfortunately. But I don't WANT to like McDonalds!!!

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

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

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post #5 of 26
Maybe it's about the outside, not the inside.
post #6 of 26
Buy some Chicken tenders, soak in Buttermilk and roll in Western chicken breading. Fry until tender, crisp and juicy. Why copy McWhatever when you could make McYourown.......I have been making these for years in my Cafe and they sell like hotcakes...............Bill
post #7 of 26
Look, rather than insult the OP...

Why do you want to do this? I mean, is it basically just an experiment to see what it takes, or is there something you really love about these things, or what? If you just want exactly the same thing, they're not that expensive, so I can't believe it's only that. What's the object of the mimicry? Maybe if we knew that more clearly, we'd be more able to come up with helpful suggestions that fit.
post #8 of 26
I think I may have some insight on this. When I was starting out at 13, I worked in A&W when they still served their fried chicken. What they would do is steam the chicken in the batter for a bit, then pressure fry it. That is how the chicken got so crispy! Unfortunatly, I am not sure that you can reproduce that at home.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #9 of 26
What is western chicken breading?
I have heard that KFC does the pressure cooking method on their
X tra krispy too but who owns an industrial one of those :(
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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post #10 of 26
Western Chicken breading is made by "Krusteaz" they also make other things like Pancake mix.....................Bill
post #11 of 26
First off let me start by saying that I havent eatin in a McD's in about 1 year, just dont like the way they do things.

1. They dont use pressed formed meat for the strips and select sandwiches they are whole muscle products.
2. The strips are pumped with a sodium/chicken broth solution so they taste good. Its like brining but pretty bad for you with lots of chemical tenderizers and sodium based chemicals.
3. The breading on the outside is actually not a traditional 3 step process but rather a very thick batter, flour based breader, and modified food starch type coating to give it the look, crunch and mouthfeel that it has. They are done and par cooked at the manufacturing level and individually flash frozen. One of the reasons they dont get soggy is the quick recovery of the fryers they use, its not steam or pressure( I used to do equipment R&D for a famous chicken frachise). If it goes into the oil when it is on the upswing of recovery it doesnt cool down very much when you put the frozen strips in so it can maintain a high temp with very little time needed to get back to temp.
4. There is very little seasoning in the breading system, when you cook seasonings naked in oil they almost always(about 75% of the time) loose ALL intensity and flavor so you put it into the protein where its protected and sealed in. Only a few spices can handle the conditions in a deep fryer.

What I would recommend is you inject your seasoning or brine into the chicken, make a VERY thick batter and coat your chicken while its dry. Go from the batter into the flour and then into a corn starch type coating. From there into the fryer. You must be quick about it, if you dillly dally around you will loose most of the batter and will have to start again.

Good luck.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #12 of 26
Note that seasoning the flour is also a sure way to ruin your oil. Part of the reason you see the loss of intensity in seasoning is that your salt breaks down in the oil, lowering its smoking point.

The injection of brine sounds like a good idea, or you could do the southern version of saoking your strips in buttermilk. I believe you would get almost the same effect with less headache.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #13 of 26
That doesn't sound right, but I'll start a separate thread to not hijack this one.

EDIT: Answers are coming in that welldonechef is correct. I look forward to more details.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 26
their Belgium waffle mix is extraordinary.
Let me say that I was given 4 restaurant owner magazines from a client one day.
I read them cover to cover.McD's is I e of the fast food chains that allies their birds to be plumped and are againt using chx that have been injected with antibiotics. Therefore my little ARE NOT allowed to eat anything chx from McD's period...
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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post #15 of 26
I'm kind of prejudiced against things McD since I've never been impressed in the past, except when I was starved. However, if they are doing something right that's great. I stand corrected on the "chopped and formed" bit.

I think that if you can duplicate what you like about these chicken strips, you can probably improve on them further :D But that's coming from a guy who likes food kind of spicy.
post #16 of 26
I dont think that there are any QSR's that DON'T pump their birds full of solution. Infact if you ever bought a frozen piece of chicken in the grocery store they are pumped at a rate of about 6% with solution.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #17 of 26
Did I word it wrong? Probably....anyway, the magazines said if you want antibiotic free poultry and ones that aren't steroid laden, McD's is a big offender.
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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post #18 of 26
>>>Did I word it wrong?

probably. chickens may get a feed with an antibiotic component. in the USA, steroid type compounds are prohibited. large commercial growers/processors (Purdue and the like) use specially bred chicks, feed and "routines" to achieve their desire goals.

and yes, there is concern that the proliferation of antibiotics throughout the food chain is 'creating' antibiotic 'superbugs.' if that is insufficient to scare you, check out the prescription drug concentrations flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.

I can save you the trouble of looking for easy answers; tain't none.

if the chicken farmer fails to follow the prescribed routines/discipline, Purdue (et.al.) will not buy his crop of chickens. I have family on the MD eatern shore. I know not everything about raising chickens, but I know some things about raising chickens.

now.... if you think you've had a bad day, ask yourself "Now what am I going to do with these 600,000 chickens Purdue won't buy?"

certainly anyone may object to the means&methods employed; but do not doubt that the 'biggies' in the chicken world do not rigorously observe/enforce 'standards' and are just out marketing chicken road kill.

the conspiracy buffs will tell you how entire world governemnts and science communities have been "bought off" to "approve" things. your personal mileage may vary.

chickens are not "injected" with antibiotics. as chicks they get "vaccines" typically by aerosol spray, to protect against specific diseases.

slaughtered "chicken" may be injected with flavor compounds. there are legal limits to those amounts, by percentage of weight, for bone in and boneless.

which says nothing about "is marinade/chemical X good for you?"
if MSG will cause your immediate death, MSG in an injected chicken marinade will do the same. regrets, the USA does not recognize MSG as a deadly toxin. your toxin mileage may vary.

but when you see statements that chicken is bulked up with ten percent water, don't believe it, just read the labels.
post #19 of 26
Ok Dill, forgive me.
I was only trying to give information that I found useful and helpful to people with little ones that wanted to be somewhat aware is all.
Sheesh
I think it's called a heads up.
Of all the fast foods chains, it was the one that had the worst [for you, healthwise] chicken products.
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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post #20 of 26
LuvPie -

apologies if my last came off on the harsh side. frankly, I completely agree with the thinking. I'd much rather buy hormone free, antibiotic free, <etc>free meats of any sort.

as an aside, I'd rather guess the tons of salt & sugar & fat in the McD's menu items is quite possibly a "more" risk issue than "trace antibiotics" - but long term health issues can be difficult to 'predict' or 'identify.' that said, "superbugs" are a serious medical concern even today. but what is lacking is "proof" that one avenue or another is directly/largely/entirely responsible for the creation of the superbugs. if reputable science were to "prove" that antibiotic chicken feed "causes" human flesh eating bacteria, for example, to thrive, that would be a milestone. but it hasn't. so we're forced to go with "the seemingly best alternatives" - like 'em or not.

there is an unavoidable practical side to "the food chain" - can you imagine the set-up needed to raise 600,000 free range chickens? consider: how to catch & cage 600,000 chickens running loose on acres..... if your drive through chicken producing areas, you'll see chicken house after chicken house. spreads with two, ten, twenty "chicken houses" - the production "demand" absolutely staggers the mind, you need a lot a zeros in that math.

the production demands meet the market needs - and keep in mind marketing is marketing but you probably expect to find something on the shelf in the supermarket when you go there - so "we" are the market demand.

hence the question comes: how to produce billions of tons of chickens/cows/pigs/<whatever> safely. if it is not produced and brought to market, somebody - more accurately a whole lotta' people - in the world are not going to eat tonight.

just as with humans, there is an infant mortality rate in chickens. it's a whole lot easier to target in chickens because every single day somebody has to go through the chicken house picking up dead chickens and putting them in the front end loader for carcus disposal.

the 'sceince' behind raising chickens, controlling their feed and enviornment, etc., is aimed at minimizing that mortality rate. were there a hospital that experienced 600,000 human births every three months, they would have similar issues. not pretty, just true.
post #21 of 26
Dillbert, to give you an idea about ramp up in just McD's alone, in order for them to do a single slice of tomato on 3 burgers when they started doing them again they had to contract 2 years in advance because they were going to need so many. Imagine how long in advance they would have to start to forecast and place orders if they shifted to a hormone/antibiotic free chicken, forget the free range aspect of it. Its insane!!!
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #22 of 26
Thanks Dill, in my line of work, I meet thousands of people from all walks of life. When someone strikes up a conversation, and it's food related, my ears perk. When this person is a famous chef, a world famous chef, I'm a little more than elated to be speaking to them. When he asks me if I want his magazines after our discussions, I gratefully accept. He is in the know, I am not.
I won't let my kids go to KFC, but probably that's just my reasoning.
...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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...All anyone ever does is complain....stop griping and start being thankful...be grateful...be appreciative...
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post #23 of 26
I wonder how many people would buy a free range chicken nugget happy meal for $7 for their kids. Everything is a great deal until we have to pay for it. I just started raising my own Black Angus cattle and a few Pigs. I also found some local chicken growers that do a good job. I don't know the reason why people are getting cancer at a younger age but I wouldn't think the way we process our live stock is helping this cause..............................Bill
post #24 of 26
>>>I won't let my kids go to KFC, but probably that's just my reasoning.

nothing wrong with that reasoning that I can see! the old adage all things in moderation certainly applies to foods. we never let our kids overdo fast foods either - and my definition of too much is like anything more than once or twice a month! lemme see,,,, my last trip to fast food was on a road trip,,, aaah beginning of May. not sure I could recount the visit prior....

curiously, now that they are all grown up and cooking on their own, I get regular phone calls "heh, I want to make . . ." so I suppose the forced exposure to real food actually stuck - difficult how to explain three kids that all like vegetables....<g>
post #25 of 26
indeed. the numbers exceed the mind's grasp. it's easy to target the fast food guys, but when you think about it, the same applies to the simple issue of supplying foodstuffs to all the supermarkets.

anthropologists have theories about the collapse of the Aztec empire being food related, then there's the French Revolution, triggered by crop failure, the Irish potato famine, on and on. we have a dense population that is very difficult, if not impossible, to sustain without highly efficient and cost effective farming/animal husbandry sciences.

there's been many errors - DDT, Alar - a whole long list. I would not even remotely suggest "and today we know everything" - but the human race just keeps putzing along.
post #26 of 26
interesting!
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