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Really really crispy fried chicken coating?

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I'm preparing fried chicken for twelve next week. Yes I've googled but I'd appreciate any of your suggestions. I may have read something about adding baking soda to flour and dredging the chicken. I'm getting about thirty fresh free range chicken drumsticks. I am going to poach them skins on until cooked then let them cool on paper towels. It's then I need to either dredge them or dip them.....or both then into the deep fryer. Thanks for any advice.
BTW, my guests all work in businesses were they can eat really beautifully cooked food any time. For instance one of my daughters works in management for Fairmont Hotels. Those sort of people. So I can't just throw any swill at them. LOL

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  1. if you're feeding f & b pros, do you have the capacity to fry 30 drumsticks at one time? are you sufficiently skilled at frying that the oil will remain at a steady temp, so everything is cooked evenly? free-range birds tend to be much leaner than supermarket birds. they are harder to fry well, ime.

    i'm not certain about the poaching method you describe. if the meat is cooked, how will it not be over-cooked after the fry? i've had best results with air-drying the birds, first overnight in the fridge (or even longer, time and space permitting), then air-drying at room-temp for at least an hour, then frying and finishing in the oven.

    eta: my last fried chicken dinners were thomas keller's ad hoc recipe and my guests all proclaimed it best fried chicken in the history of the universe, lol. however, it was always less than 6 people for dinner. perhaps your kitchen/stove capacity greatly exceeds mine?

    2 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      I have probably deep fried ten thousand chickens so far. I've poached as many and 'parted' them then cooled the pieces then coated them with pretty with anything you could think of. I don't plan on serving 'hot' fried chicken. I'll do batches of about ten drumsticks at a time in a fryer then onto paper towels then into a warm oven. Yes I'm aware of the differences between 'store bought' and 'free range. My question is what have CHers here dredged/dipped chicken in to make a super crispy coating. After the drumsticks have been poached then cooled putting them into a deep fryer is basically only going to take a minute or so to get the coating a golden brown. Deep frying for that long won't make any difference to the internal temp of the drum sticks. I'm not 'cooking' the chicken b/c I did that already during the poaching step. Thanks for the input.

      1. re: Puffin3

        ok, so sorry. i wasn't casting aspersions on your abilities, simply asking since many home-cooks don't do lots of deep-frying.

        my experience has been that it's a dry skin, more than the coating itself, which leads to a super crispy exterior. am wondering how that might work with poached skin?

    2. My mom used to make a very crispy coating with corn flakes. Once she ran out and used Wheaties: they tasted better and were crunchier. I'm sorry, but I never fry chicken with a coating so I don't have a recipe.

      1. Try mixing cornstarch with your flour

        1. Panko!!

          I usually dredge the pieces into flour -> egg -> (flour -> egg ->) panko. Unbelievably crispy and crunchy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cutipie721

            +1 on your flour-egg-panko method. Or instead of panko, coarse bread crumbs (I make mine using stale bread).

            Also, I find that using cornstarch instead of flour makes for a sturdier crust, which I like.

            Just in the past few days, I made a series of dinners of fried pork chops, fried fish and then fried cod liver, with this cornstarch-egg-bread crumb method, and it was very crispy (and remaining that way even when cooled down), every single time.