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Apr 16, 2005 01:27 AM

fried chicken

  • c

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!

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  1. 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!


    1. I believe KFC uses corn flake crumbs (you can buy or crush up yourself). I also know a restaurant where they use sugar coated corn flake crumbs, as they have a "honey" kind of theme for their menu.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. t

            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

            Seasoned flour:

            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.

            7 Replies
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              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.

              1. re: Leper

                And...fry dark meat with dark meat, legs and thighs, and white with white. They need different cooking times and you don't want to over cook the white meat andd dry it out.

                1. re: Leper

                  Agreed, a heavy pan makes all the difference. I use a big old cast iron one that weighs a ton, but does the job.

                2. re: TrishUntrapped

                  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.

                  1. re: Clams247

                    Whups, sorry. I was addressing Trish.

                    1. re: Clams247

                      No prob, heretic. ;-)

                      And yes, my basic recipe is good. Some folks even jazz the buttermilk up with a shot of tabasco. Guess there's all kinds of heretics running around out there.

                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                        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.