Fried Chicken Help Please!
I made fried chicken for the first time last night, using Paula Deen's recipe (from her website, the Grandma Paul version). The oil was hot enough, the chicken pieces not too big, and I cooked them for the time listed on the recipe, removing them from the oil when they were brown and crispy.
When my husband and I cut into the pieces, some of the bigger ones were underdone/pink at the bone. Yuck!
How can you tell when fried chicken is cooked all the way through? None of the recipes I consulted could tell me.
I don't know if there is a special trick to tell. What I usually do is take out a piece from the oil and cut into the meatiest part, checking to see that it is cooked through.
A couple tips:
1. Make sure chicken is at room temperature before frying, it cooks more thoroughly that way.
2. If the outside of the chicken cooks before the inside, place the chicken on a rack on a pan in a hot oven (400 degrees) for several minutes, until cooked through. In addition to cooking the chicken, it also repels grease from it as well.
As the other posters have said, there is no way to tell just by looking at the chicken to tell if it's fully cooked. The only way to tell is cutting the chicken open or preferably use a thermometer.
I'm not familiar with Paula Deen's recipe, but if it calls for deep frying, the way to tell if it's done or not is simple: if it floats, it's done.
Keep trying the recipe. I don’t know any magic ways to tell you it is done. But, keep practicing and you will learn to read the signs; the way it smells, the way it sounds, the amount of time it takes, the way it looks. If you remember about how long you cooked it the first time then extend the time on your next try. Soon, you’ll get it so it will come out the way you like it.
I’m not a fan of cutting it open as soon as it comes out of the oil. It needs time to rest so the juices distribute evenly through the muscle. The cooking oil and heat are pushing in and the water is pushing out trying to escape. The meat gets tight and needs to relax. But, I know sometimes you just have to do it.