Fried Chicken Fun And Delicious
Fried chicken is one of my ultimate comfort foods, it is so crunchy and delicious, and everyone loves it. I have experienced lots of different methods to making fried chicken. My mom used to make fried chicken by tossing the chicken into flour and spice mixture and that was it. She would then toss the chicken in a skillet with a stick of melted butter. Mom’s fried chicken was nothing fancy but it sure was incredibly good. Several years ago, after getting laid off from a corporate job, I set out on a mission. I wanted to have some fun and learn how to make fried chicken. I tried making it like my mom did, but I could never get it to taste just right. Since my mom is no longer with us, I started investigating other methods for making fried chicken.
Fried Chicken Styles
The two main styles that I have learned for making fried chicken vary from a buttermilk soak to an egg wash method. Each method coats the chicken with a liquid and then gets tossed directly into a flour/spice mixture. Once the chicken is properly coated it then goes into the frying pan. Both methods are delicious, but I admit, I usually use the egg dipped method. The only valid reason for this is that I never seem to have buttermilk on hand when I make chicken. The method in this recipe is the egg wash method. The buttermilk method will be for another day.
I use two effective methods of cooking fried chicken. One method is to completely submerge the chicken in 350-degree oil, which is shown here, the other is to put just enough oil in the pan that it covers the chicken about half way up. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cover the pan for 15 minutes (15 minutes for bone-in chicken). At this point, turn the heat down just a little so the chicken doesn’t burn. After the first 15 minutes, turn the chicken and leave it uncovered for another 15 minutes. This really cooks the chicken to perfection and makes it very crispy. The other benefit of this cooking method is that it uses a lot less oil.
With the egg dipped method there are a few things to keep in mind. First is to mix the eggs well like scrambled eggs. Next, dip the chicken in the flour mixture first (the flour helps the egg stick to the chicken), then coat the chicken with the egg. Finally, coat the chicken in the flour mixture again and set aside to rest a few minutes.
With the buttermilk method, just make sure you soak the chicken for at least 4 hours. This method takes the chicken directly from the buttermilk to your flour mixture. You can also add a few spices to the buttermilk if you choose. I’ve put in a little hot sauce to the buttermilk to give it a kick. Be careful, as it is easy to overdo it with spices, so I like to keep all the spices in the flour and taste it as I mix it to make sure there is not too much of anything, especially salt.
The flour mixture can be spiced with anything you like. Honestly, you can get away with just plain old salt and pepper in your flour. I like to use a few more spices such as paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a little Cayenne pepper as well. Some say the first flour dip before you dip the chicken in the egg does not need a lot of spices. I disagree and believe that you need to keep the spices next to the meat so that they can soak into the meat while it is cooking. It is also good to let the dipped chicken rest a few minutes before adding it to the hot oil. This helps to make the crust stick a little better and the flavors meld nicer.
Types of Oil For Fried Chicken
You should always use at least enough oil to cover at least half the chicken. I prefer to immerse the chicken fully in the oil as I think it cooks more evenly. I also like to use coconut oil because it is a bit healthier and has a high smoke point. Peanut oil works really well too, however, use caution with peanut oil and make sure you are not serving your chicken to someone with a peanut allergy. Canola oil works well too. Just avoid any oil that has a low smoke point such as olive oil.
Frying Chicken Outdoors
If you plan to do this outside, get a good stove that can get the oil temperature up to about 350° F. If you cook it over a fire make sure you have enough fuel to keep that temperature up. Charcoal burns long and hot and is a good fuel for working over a campfire.
See full recipe below. Happy Cooking!