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Never made Fried Chicken - where do I start?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

OK believe it or not, I've never made fried chicken. I've had it at KFC a decade or two ago, that's about as far as my experience with fried chicken goes. 

 

But now I'm ready to try to make it myself! Now sure I could just google it and try it, but I thought I'd ask here first: where would you recommend I start? Anyone has a good recipe, tips, technique, secrets to share?

 

I own a fairly large (about 12") carbon steel pan, is that a good pan to fry chicken in? I don't have any cast iron. 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 14

It's not strange at all, home cooks can't do it all so don't feel bad.  Fried chicken can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.  You can brine it, you can pan fry it, you can bread it, you can deep fry it, you can make it spicy or herb crusted.  So what are you looking for in your fried chicken?  Usually I soak my chicken in buttermilk that's been seasoned with ceyenne pepper, tobasco and salt.  A few hours is more than enough.

 

I don't like heavy breading.  I shake off the excess buttermilk and then dredge the pieces in seasoned flour (salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme) and then place them on a cookie rack to dry completely.  Heat up peanut oil in a large creuset or pot.  The oil should come almost half way up.  Put a piece of potato in the pot, once the potato is golden brown the oil is ready.  Put the chicken in one piece at a time and don't crowd the pot.  Cook the chicken about 10-12 minutes and let it rest on another cookie rack while you fry the rest.

"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 #3 of 14

My favorite way is the simplest.  Salt, pepper, flour, fry at 350F.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. Wow I had no idea it could be that simple. I thought there was going to be a batter to be made, something with corn flakes or something... that's from memory of what I tasted at KFC, mind you. Like I said, it's not a dish I'm familiar with at all. 

 

 

What am I looking for? Hmm, hard to say since I'm not familiar with the dish, I guess I've heard enough talk about the wonderfully crispy coating/skin (you do leave the skin on - yes?), and wonderfully moist meat inside, and that's what I'm looking for? We've been eating a lot of poached chicken lately at my house, and while I love it, I'm looking to go to the other extreme to mix things up a bit. 

 

Kouk', marinating in buttermilk/cayenne sounds wonderful. It actually reminds me of something I've done before, small pieces of deboned, skinned thighs marinated in buttermilk/cayenne, then breaded in breacrumbs/powdered bacon, shallow fried. I think I'll try your recipe! Kuan, your recipe sounds easy enough. smile.gif Maybe I should do half the chicken marinated in buttermilk, the other kuan-style, so I can compare! Blind taste test! I love it. 

 

 

post #5 of 14

The problem with fried chicken is that it can be quite bland.  Part of what makes restaurant fried chicken so good is that it marinates for a long time and then gets fried in a pressure fryer, not available in a home kitchen.  Somehow that process allowed the season to penetrate all the way down the meat to the bone.  That's what I try to do by marinating in seasoned buttermilk.  It works ok, but I'm looking for an even better way, I shall try a spicy brine next time.  Once I even tried poaching the chicken in milk before I fried it - don't do that lol.

 

Like I said, you can make it as easy or as complex as you want.  You can do a batter if you like although I don't like heavily battered chicken, I prefer to dredge lightly and let the skin crisp up and that's plenty crispy for me.  For even crispier skin you can combine flour with cornmeal, that's common in the south. 

 

Don't over think it.  Just dredge it in some flour, fry it in good oil at the appropriate temperature and you're good to go.

"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 #6 of 14

Don't over think it.

 

French Fries, that's probably the best advice you can get.

 

There are only two differences between pan frying bonesless breasts and making fried chicken:

 

1. You are using whole, bone-in chicken pieces.

2. You are deep frying.

 

That's it. All of the variations and changes that apply to pan frying also apply to fried chicken. So you can make it as simple or as complex as you desire. Thus, if your preference is for a flour-only, lightly spiced breading, that'll work for fried. On the other hand, a heavily spiced batter will also work.

 

Just make sure you use a frying chicken. One reason fried chicken isn't common in France is that their chickens are older, and not suitable for deep frying. Older birds tend to toughen up when fried.

 

Your 12" carbon frypan will be perfect.

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 #7 of 14

KK, keep the buttermilk and season it up the way you would a brine. That's what Cook's Illustrated does.

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 #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Excellent, thanks for all the advice and concepts, everybody. I shall give it a try and return here with the results. 

post #9 of 14

Don't forget the 11 herbs and spices (kidding).

 

I'm not a big fan of the buttermilk preparation.  The steps to results ratio just isn't there for me.  I do seasoned flour with probably double the black pepper you'd normally use, egg wash, bread crumbs, and deep fry.  Fried chicken loves black pepper.

post #10 of 14

Dredge in flour, dip seasoned chicken in home made buttermilk and egg, bread with  1/2 Panko and 1/2 cracker crumbs, Shallow or deep fry your preference. Take out let drain on rack  keep warm till service.

1/2

Home made buttermilk  1 pint whole milk + 1 cap white vineagar   leave out at least 2 1/2 hours at room temp( at least 77 degrees) then refrierate till needed.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 14

Why does it need to be homemade buttermilk?

"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 #12 of 14

So I don't have to buy a quart and have the rest sitting in my fridge. I always have regular milk which I can use to drink and make many other things. I wont drink buttermilk and it has loimited use thats why.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #13 of 14

Shallow fry the chicken in Crisco shortening.  Or your favorite liquid vegetable oil.

 

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 #14 of 14

For Fried Chicken theres only a few good things you need in my opinion..

 

1) A deep fryer set at 350 degrees (The pan method of frying works as well but I dont like it cause it can leave inconsistencies if you dont know when to turn your chicken or if you dont have enough oil in the pan)

 

2) A good Bone-In 8 piece chicken Product... Make sure its Fresh.. I normally use an 8 piece chicken thats been injected with chicken broth to keep it very juicy and moist as hell.. The other way is to Brine your chicken to keep it juicy and moist as hell (The Brine method is much more flavorful but it can be to salty or to overpowering for some people depending on your brine... but it also depends where you live I assume especially if people arent used to eating a brined fried yardbird)

 

3) The Breading... My favorite mix is very simple.. Straight AP Flour and Seasoning Salt

 

4) Knowing how to store it before frying it and breading it... ALWAYS Keep the fresh brined/injected chicken Iced down! this doesnt mean submerge it in icewater im just talking about straight ice cubes on top of the chicken after its been injected or pulled out of the brine.. were keeping it as cold as possible unless your serving it right away...

 

5) Secondly.. How to Bread the Chicken.. For a light breading use the straight seasoned flour.. Pack that flour into the meat.. pack it in there and make love to it.. you want that breading in every nook and cranny.. ----- For a thicker crispier breading.. Dredge in plain AP Flour, Then Buttermilk, Then your Seasoned Flour...

 

6) Last... Know how to Temp Your Chicken... Generally for a regular sized bone in chicken breast weight about 9 - 11 ounces will take around 17-18 minutes in a fryer.. the wings and drummies around around 9 - 12 minutes... thighs around 14 - 16 minutes depending on size.... Fried chicken you should never geuss on though.. always use your probe and temp it out at 160 degrees.. BUT! Dont cut into it right away... we need to let it rest for 5 minutes.. allowing for carryover to bring it up to 165 making it perfect...

 

Follow these steps and youll be eating chicken that tastes better than the colonels and his stupid 18 secret spices or however many he has...

 

-Chef Red

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