Did you know September is National Chicken Month? While we do love our Chicken Shawarma and Grilled Chicken sandwich, we can’t deny the deliciousness of fried chicken. The best fried chicken offers great flavor along with a crispy, crunchy exterior that houses juicy, moist meat. Before you fry some chicken at home, review these common fried chicken mistakes.
Mistake: Only Using Drumsticks.
Sure, the fried drumstick is a staple, but you can fry the whole bird. Separate the thighs from the drumsticks, and slice large chicken breasts into pieces (they will cook faster).
Mistake: Frying Fridge-Cold Chicken
If you want to do it right, let your chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before frying. If you fry it straight from the fridge, the temperature of your oil will drop and the chicken will not cook evenly.
Mistake: Skipping The Brine
No one likes dry chicken and starting with brine will keep your chicken moist. If you opt to skip the brine, a four hour (or up to 24 hour) dip in seasoned buttermilk is recommended. You can use buttermilk in the breading process as well, but if you have the time, it doesn’t hurt the end product.
Mistake: Skipping The Breading
The breading is what makes each bite crispy and crunchy and keeps the moisture in. Want to successfully bread your chicken? Start with brine (semi-optional), flour, beaten egg and/or buttermilk, and more flour. Using flour before and after the liquid dip gives the egg/buttermilk something to cling on to. And during the last flour step, don’t shake off excess flour to create a better crust. Adding a little cornmeal to the flour in the last step adds more texture and crunch.
Bonus tip: Season every step of the way since you won’t be sprinkling the exposed meat directly with salt and pepper. For example, you can add a little cayenne to the flour or hot sauce to the egg/buttermilk if you like.
Mistake: Wasting Money On A Deep Fryer
To be honest, all you really need is a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven.
Mistake: Using Oil With A Low Smoke Point
EVOO is tasty, but is not what you should use for fried chicken. Due to its low smoke point, you’ll be left with bitter-tasting chicken. Instead, choose neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point, like canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. And a thermometer is crucial to track and maintain the oil temperature (keep it at 350 degrees).
Mistake: Eyeballing The Temperature
Aside from using a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature, you need a meat thermometer to ensure the meat’s internal temperature is 165 degrees. You don’t want to risk having an evenly browned piece of chicken that’s raw on the inside. Remember that white meat cooks faster than dark meat. And don’t crowd the pan – this will lower the oil’s temperature, increase cooking time, and make the breading greasy.
Mistake: Letting The Chicken Cool On Paper Towels
While paper towels soak up excess fat, they also make your fried chicken soggy due to the steam. Drain your fried chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet. This will enable your pieces to cool, crisp, and dry off all at once. Be sure to allow it enough time to cool to avoid searing-hot meat.
In case you missed it, we’ll be extending our store hours! Starting October 1, 2019, we will be open Monday-Fridays 8:00am-7:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:00pm. We’ll be unveiling our dinner menu soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, stop by for a yummy breakfast or lunch made fresh to order!