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Debate: Fried Chicken vs. Chicken Fried Chicken

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
OK....debate time! I thought this was discussed before, but I couldn't find it using the search feature on cheftalk. So here goes: What is your definition of fried chicken?

Let me explain: I was once told by an experienced chef that fried chicken MUST be coated in a breading (e.g. bread crumbs, panko, crackers, etc.) to be considered "fried chicken."

I pointed out that I had always made my fried chicken with a flour dredge, egg dipped, then flour coated. She said that what I was making was not fried chicken. So I asked, well then what would it be called? She responded, that it would be called "Chicken Fried Chicken."

This answer would have sounded ludicrous to me if I hadn't seen "Chicken Fried Chicken" on restaurant menus previously (although I cannot recall how those dishes were prepared.) At the time, I just thought that these restaurants were being cute with their entree names. But with this explanation from my chef, I started to see "Chicken Fried Chicken" as a legitimate food item. However, I am still unconvinced.

Generally, if a person makes chicken fried steak or other chicken fried item, the steak is dredged, egg dipped, then flour coated (or some other variation where flour is the coating, not bread crumbs.) But its name "CHICKEN FRIED steak" leads to the conclusion that when chicken is fried, it is fried in this manner. Right?

My opinion is that it is a technicality...kinda like "Turkey Wraps" are really turkey burritos. Or how a Chevy Blazer is really a GMC Jimmy. Or maybe more accurately, a TransAm is a Camero...different enough to be noticeable, but generally the same thing.

Yet, my chef was so certain of her position that it has lingered in my mind ever since. So what are your thoughts? Does fried chicken HAVE TO BE breaded to truly be fried chicken? Is "chicken frying" an item really a sham since fried chicken is NOT flour coated but bread coated? Would "fried steak" be more accurate....or would it then need to be coated in bread crumbs to be "fried steak?" :crazy:

This really is a semantics discussion, and of really little value....but I thought it would be interesting to see other people's takes on the subject. In our family, however, we prefer the flour coating to the bread crumbs....but after working with this chef, I will admit that bread crumbed chicken has become equally represented at our dinner table.
post #2 of 13
When you get right down to the basics, any chicken that is fried is fried chicken, coated or not.
But I think the majority of people would expect their fried chicken to be coated, whether in seasoned flour, double-dipped in flour, egg & flour, corn flakes, etc.
I've never heard of chicken-fried chicken, and suspect this is something my drunk grandmother might tell me, but no one else.
Chicken-fried steak is just what you'd expect, steak fried like chicken.
Chicken-fried chicken would then be chicken fried like.....chicken?
Ludicrous.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #3 of 13
I have seen "chicken fried chicken" used to connote boneless chicken that is fried, making it similar to chicken fried steak.
post #4 of 13
I'm with Jim on this one... if it's coated with flour, double dipped with egg and flour or something else then cooked in a deep fryer.. it's fried chicken to me.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #5 of 13
I agree, the very term chicken fried chicken is ludicrous.

But I've got a deeper issue. How did your chef define "breading?" From what you've said, only bread crumbs or Panko count. So what happens if I use crushed corn flakes? Or ground pistachios? Or any of a hundred other ingredients?

According to her, my results would not be fried chicken.

And, to get even more precise, why is a flour coating not a breading? It's certainly the basis of Southern style fried chicken.
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 #6 of 13
Here in Porterville, "chicken fried chicken" refers to a breast of chicken that has been put through the Jaccard to flatten it similar to a "chicken fried steak", it usually comes out dinner plate size. It is then prepped and cooked like a chicken fried steak.
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
@KYHeirloom I totally agree and that is why this issue got stuck in my head so badly (and for sooooo long....festering like a gangrenous wound...I gotz issues :crazy:)

We did discuss the issue a bit more than I shared in my post, but the results were the same....there needs to be a breading for it to be called fried chicken. I would venture to say that in her opinion, cornflakes are an acceptable breading but nuts would not be. Why? I don't know....it was just my impression. Maybe in her opinion, using a pre-cooked breading/crumbs is appropriate and "traditional", while using nuts as a breading is a new-fangled, new age kind of breading? It wouldn't explain the prejudice against flour, but still. Its all speculation, and I am trying my best to do be fair to her position....but my radar focused on the fact that in her opinion, "a fried piece of chicken" is not "fried chicken" simply because flour was used.

I even asked the question in different ways to make sure she wasn't distinguishing between some classical fried chicken recipe, and today's numerous versions. But nope...she held firm.

I still appreciate the chef and the things I learned. But it is one of those things that make you go "hmmmmm....."
post #8 of 13
I once had a chef, a Scottsdale Culinary graduate, tell me that Half & Half was just water and milk.
So take what your Chef is saying with a grain of salt.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #9 of 13
So what's the difference among fried chicken, southern fried chicken and authentic southern fried chicken? What should we call the, uh, stuff at KFC?

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #10 of 13
Anything cooked in hot oil is considered to be fried. As opposed to boiling, steaming, roasting, braising or gilling. Whether it's breaded or not and with what determines what type of fried chicken it is. Battered, breaded or plain. Beyond that, it can be defined as pan fried, deep fried or broasted (pressure fried). It's all fried.
post #11 of 13
If it is deep fat fried it is fried chicken, crumbs of any kind or batter or flour.
If it's done in shallow fat in a pan it is normally referred to as country style fried chicken.
Down here, when I moved South I got an education. I have seen it done all kinds of ways and their way is the only way(according to them) I have seen it served with Red Eye Gravy and Grits Au Gratin.
Truly a gourmet delight????
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #12 of 13
lmao

this is cook humor foreal!
post #13 of 13

Ludicrous???????? not in West Texas

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