has anyone perfected a recipe for it, i try to make it but the coating on the chicken seems to be really dense and not as flaky and crisp as say kfc or popeys. also i cant get down what seasonings i should use and how i should dip it, ect. please help!
One trick I learned is after breading let the chicken rest in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. I usually do about a half hour, it dries and sets the coating. I havent done chicken pieces in awhile, been using cutlet using Panko crumbs, very crispy. I also find that doing the flour-egg-Panko routine works better. I do this for everytning I fry.
This is my Dad's fried chicken recipe. His family is from Norfolk, VA, and I think it's a familial or regional variation. Might not be exactly what you're looking for, but it sure does taste good.
Get a 3-4 pound chicken and cut into ten pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 second joints, 2 breast halves, 2 back halves, and 2 wings). Rinse the pieces and dry them very well with paper towels.
Rinse 1 package of salt pork and chop into small dice. Place a small amount of oil into a large cast iron skillet, add the salt pork, and render the fat over a low flame. Remove the cracklings from the skillet and hide them from your significant other.
Add enough canola oil to come up about 1/2 inch in the skillet.
Mix about a cup of flour with some salt, pepper, paprika, maybe a little poultry seasoning, and whatever else you want in a paper or plastic bag. It doesn't really matter since you won't be able to taste it once the chicken is done anyway. Just go lightly with the salt because of all the salt pork.
Drop the chicken pieces into the bag one or two at a time and shake until they are covered. Shake off the excess flour mixture and lay them aside until all the chicken is coated.
Heat the oil in the skillet until a piece of bread fries nice and brown in 60 seconds, bubbles come up quickly when you stick the handle of a wooden spoon to the bottom of the pan, or 360 degrees if you live in Georgia and have a frying thermometer.
Place chicken pieces in skillet bone side down, breast pieces last, and fry until nicely golden on the bottom. Don't crowd the pieces and don't mess with them for quite a while. They need a good 8-10 minutes to get brown on the bottom.
Turn and fry for a few minutes on the other side.
Cover and let cook for 8-10 minutes.
Uncover the pan, turn over the chicken, and cook until steam stops coming up from the top of the chicken.
Turn over again and wait until the steam stops. (This crisps up the outside of the chicken.)
Remove chicken from the pan and lay on paper towels.
Eat, preferably at a sunny picnic the next day.
Below is how I do my fried chicken all the time. I'm intrigued by Kim Shook's recipe and will definitely try it soon.
I cut up a whole chicken (2-3 1/2 lbs), wash it thoroughly, then dry the pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add 2 unbeaten egg whites, (DO NOT include yolks or chicken will not turn out crispy) hand mix it into the chicken. In a separate bowl, mix together 1-1/2 c flour, a scant tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. paprika. Put the flour mix into a very large plastic bag and drop the chicken pieces in it and shake to coat.
Heat up enough oil (approximately 1 inch up the sides) in heavy fry pan in medium-high flame. Fry the chicken in batches. I never really time the length it stays in the oil. Usually eyeball it until it is golden brown. They always turn out crispy on the outside and nice and juicy inside.
Something really, really important that many people overlook is the size of the chicken. Those huge pieces of chicken that come in the all breast, leg or thigh packages are just too big to cook through without burning a bit on the outside. Buy a little whole chicken, no more than 3 lbs. and cut it up yourself. Here is a link to my favorite (so far) recipe for fried chicken:
re: kim shook
re: Carb Lover
I thought it was odd, too. But I went ahead and used it. I really, truly is the best chicken I have ever made! It doesn't even taste particularly lemony. Everything just kind of melds together in an incredibly flavorful, succulent mix. Also, keep in mind that lemon zest would probably taste a bit burned in the high heat of frying, especially if you shallow fry rather than deep fry.
I've tried many, many recipes. And although I can make a really good batch deep fried, I can also make a good pan-fried version as long as I am attentive not to burn it.
A couple of tips. Use small chicken parts. Smaller pieces cook better. I'm a fan of the buttermilk soak method, I think it draws stuff out, making the chicken extra juicy. Use a heat thermometer!! Improper oil temp can kill your dish.
Buttermilk pan-fried chicken
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon dried granulated garlic
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
To fry in:
2 cups vegetable shortening (crisco)
1. Place chicken in in ziplock back and cover with buttermilk. Refrigerate 8-10 hours or overnight.
2. Combine seasoned flour ingredients in a pie dish or other dish with sides.
3. Heat shortening in deep sided, heavy pan over medium heat to a temp between 325 and 340 degrees.
4. Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk (shake off excess milk), reserving the milk. Roll chicken in seasoned flour, dip second time in buttermilk (shake off excess milk), roll again in flour. Set aside.
5. When oil is at correct temp, lower pieces in with tongs. Make sure oil does not overheat. Cover and pan fry for 8-10 minutes. Lift off cover, turn chicken with tongs, and continue to fry uncovered for 25 minutes longer or until cooked.
Drain chicken on paper towel. Can keep in a warm overn for 10 minutes or so until ready to serve.
Trish, Excellent recipe. The only advice I would add is that you cannot make good fried chicken in a cheap skillet. Good heavy cast iron was always my first choice until I purchased a very expensive Kitchenaid frying pan. This unit fries chicken to a golden brown with no black spots. You just don't get those results from a $12.00 pan from Target. Viking and AlClad make similar quality pans. Worth the investment.
Chickenboy, I think your recipe is indeed nearly perfect.
I have one suggestion that might sound like heresy. In fact, it might BE heresy -- but here goes:
Add a couple generous tablespoons of MSG to the buttermilk before you soak the chicken.
I know, I know! I would never add MSG to my fried clams. I feel awful introducing the idea to your fried chicken project. I'm sorry!
But give it a shot.
See, I strongly suspect there is MSG involved in Kentucky Fried Chicken fried chicken.
Oh, I know they deny it -- but they also deny the "KF" in "KFC" stands for "Kentucky fried"!!!
A friend from Kentucky turned me onto the whole idea of soaking chicken in buttermilk before frying, and the results are glorious. I salute you.
Are you deep frying (that is, with all surfaces of the chicken beneath the surface of the oil)? If so, that doesn't work as well, despite what is otherwise the necessary virtue of high oil temperature, because the moisture from inside the chicken doesn't have an uncooked surface from which to release steam: this tends to destabilize the coating compared to frying in oil that doesn't cover all the surfaces.
There are 1000s of great fried chicken recipes on the 'Net. The dense batter you describe sounds like your chicken absorbed too much oil. If you fry chicken properly, it should absorb almost NO oil at all.
Use an oil with a very high smoking point. Make sure the oil is at least 350F or higher before you begin. Don't cook too many pieces at once as overcrowding steams the chicken instead of frying it. (It also lowers the temperture of the oil.) If frying multiple batches, be patient and let the oil get back up to at least 350F.
And people, PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE: I don't care how often you've done this or how great a cook you are, do not fry anything in your home without a good working fire extinguisher capable of handling grease fires. Twenty bucks at any hardware store and way more important then anything else in your kitchen.
I wouldn't say that I've perfected my recipe, but I've tried a number of recipes and found the linked recipe the winner so far! It's from Martha Stewart's website but comes from Chris Kimball who's the editor of Cook's Illustrated.
Chicken was juicy, well seasoned, and most importantly, had an ultra-crispy, greaseless crust. I remember it being a tad salty, so you might want to consider reducing the salt or at least make sure you wash off the brine really well. Other than that, I say follow the recipe to a T. Each little step gets you closer to the perfect fried chicken. (I admit that I used canola oil for frying, but would use his suggested peanut next time.) Good luck!