Well, I'm going to give fried chicken another try over the Christmas holiday. I tried it for the first time over Thanksgiving, and it tasted...burnt. Take a look at the attached pic to see what I mean. There's some blackened spots for sure...and not the good "Paul Prudhomme" kind of blackened either :)
Anyway, it occurred to me that perhaps my bargain store brand (Stop and Shop) peanut oil may be the culprit. Is it possible that cheaper peanut oil can break down faster and contribute a burnt flavor to fried foods? Or did I fry the chicken for too long? OR was the oil too hot? OR was the flour dredge to blame, since that causes a very fast breakdown of oil?
Speaking of oil temp, the recipe calls for the oil to be heated to 425 (near the smoke point), but only to compensate for the huge temperature drop when the chicken is added. The rest of the frying is done in 300 degree oil.
I'd be willing to a) buy higher quality peanut oil or b) buy avocado oil for its higher smoke point if I can rule out this variable for the burnt chicken.
Thanks in advance!