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Aug 26, 2013 02:00 PM

Fried chicken in Crisco

I told my husband to buy the smallest container of Crisco but he bought the largest one. Now I am looking for a way to use it. Fried chicken sounds good. Does it yield better result than using canola oil?

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    1. Monica, my neighbor (who fries chicken every week) will not use anything *but* Crisco for frying chicken. She says it makes for the crispiest chicken.

      Her chicken is damn good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        What's your neighbor's secret of great tasting chicken other than using Crisco?

        1. re: Monica

          Monica, I just got around to asking her last night. I'm sorry for the late reply. She says she puts the chicken in whole mix and beaten egg (mixed) instead of buttermilk before the flour mixture. She was coy about the rest. :-)

      2. Work it into a dry yellow or white cake mix and it makes an excellent cobbler toping. You can definatly tell the difference when a breaded item is fried in a solid shortening compared to oil. Much better.

        1. Sadly, yes it does yield a better result.

          IIRC, when Alton Brown did the "Fry Hard II" episode on Good Eats, he recommended using vegetable shortening. I've tried it. He's right, those refined, hydrogenated fats make excellent fried chicken.

          9 Replies
            1. re: jmckee

              Sadly probably because those hydrogenated fats are so nasty for your body. Lard is actually healthier than Crisco...but it is definitely true that Crisco yields the best results in some foods ...results that can't be topped by using other forms of fat.

              I'm of the belief that there's nothing wrong with using Crisco for some things, occasionally. It's just not something to use every day.

                1. re: The Professor

                  *shrug* I don't fry chicken every day. Maybe twice a year. And if the frying medium is hot enough, and you don't crowd the chicken, very little of it is absorbed.

                  1. re: jmckee

                    If done right, almost none is absorbed. It's all about the temperature.
                    And Crisco really is the best fat in which to fry chicken.

                    1. re: The Professor

                      Not really true, unfortunately.

                      The flabby, greasy texture you get from batter that's under-fried is not actually more oil on the chicken, but water that hasn't evaporated. Ironically, well-crisped crusts absorb more oil but feel less greasy.

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        I think there are more factors, such as whether the oil was hot enough when the food was put in to immediately begin the evaporation process of the moisture in/on the food, and also whether the food was removed from the oil at the right time (just as the water supply in/on the food becomes depleted).

                        Basically, the way I understand it is that the oil/moisture door only swings one way at a time, and if the moisture is exiting, the oil can't enter.

                        Someone more knowledgeable than me should chime in so that I don't keep talking. ;-/

                        1. re: sandylc

                          For the most part, you're right. My point was that limp greasy-seeming fried food typically retains less oil than crispy fried food, and also that higher oil temperature will get you more oil absorbed into food, not less.

                          Depending on what you're frying, oil does not have to be hot when food is added. Nor does it have to be at full temperature throughout the cooking process (people mess this up with chicken all the time, cranking the heat when the chicken is added even though you get better results by letting the heat recover slowly). The amount of oil absorbed depends on how violently you cook off excess moisture (i.e. the temperature of the oil), the kind of batter or coating you use. To a lesser extent, it also matters how long you let the food cook in oil after the excess moisture has been evaporated, but oil is absorbed into the crust more or less immediately as water is evaporated.

                          For a more detailed description of how oil is absorbed in frying, check out this link:

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            Thank you for this information Cowboyardee. Specifically, "well-crisped crusts absorb more oil but feel less greasy" and the cookingscienceguy link.

                            Although I confess, in this context, ignorance was bliss

            2. Baked goods - let me know if you want recipes for any of these

              Blonde Brownies - uses 2/3 C.

              Ethel's Sugar cookies (for cutouts) - uses 3/4 C. - variations - chocolate pinwheels, jam-filled "traffic lights"

              Danish Pastry Apple Bars - uses 1 C

              9 Replies
              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                I actually bought it to make 'crusty cream cheese frosting' for my carrot cake which makes a pretty and neat looking cake.
                Dnish pastry apple bars sound good. Please do share your recipe, thanks!

                1. re: Monica

                  Danish Pastry Apple Bars (recipe from a co-worker 1976)

                  400 degrees, 60 minutes, Frost while warm

                  2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
                  1 tsp. salt
                  1 Cup lard or shortening
                  1 egg yolk, plus enough milk to make 2/3 C with egg yolk

                  1 Cup crushed corn flakes

                  8 - 10 medium apples pared, cored and thinly sliced
                  1 cup sugar
                  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

                  1 egg white


                  1 Tblspoon water
                  1 Cup powdered sugar
                  1/2 tsp. vanilla

                  Cut shortening into flour and salt. Add milk and egg yolk mixture, blend with fork. Roll half of the dough to fill jelly-roll pan (10 1/2 x 15 1/2 rimmed cookie sheet). Crust will be very thin. Sprinkle this bottom crust with crushed corn flakes.
                  Peel & slice apples and place over crust and flakes.
                  Sprinkle with sugar & cinnamon.
                  Roll out other half of dough (will be very thin) and place on top.
                  Pinch edges to seal top and bottom crusts.
                  Beat egg white stiff and brush over crust.

                  Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 60 minutes or until done.
                  While bars are still warm, pour frosting mixture over warm crust

                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                      Thank you, I will try this. I think I am going to use 1/2 cup of Crisco and 1/2 cup of butter for that butter flavor.

                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                    MidwesternerTT, I would love to have your sugar cookies recipe. My granddaughter asked me for a good sugar cookie recipe, and I had to tell her I did not have one. So, I would love to share yours with her.

                    1. re: Wtg2Retire

                      Wtg2Retire - Here's a two-fer -- My own favorite one, "Rich Sugar Cookies" that I've made since I was 10 and by choice became the family's cookie-baker. And also the one mentioned that uses Crisco and is perfect for cutout cookies.

                      Rich Sugar Cookies
                      375 degrees 10-14 minutes
                      Makes about 4 dozen
                      1 Cup sugar
                      1 Cup margarine or butter, softened
                      1 egg
                      1 teaspoon vanilla
                      2 ½ Cup flour
                      ½ teaspoon soda
                      ¼ teaspoon salt

                      Sugar (about ¼ c in a small dish) to dip cookie stamp/glass in.
                      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

                      Cream margarine & sugar. Add egg & vanilla. Add flour, soda & salt. Mix well. Form into 1 inch balls Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with star-pattern glass dipped in sugar (or a cookie stamp, or fork). Dough also can be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. Bake 10-14 minutes until barely tan on edges - watch closely those last few minutes, since cookies can go from done to overdone in 1 minute. Cool on wire racks

                      Ethels Sugar Cookies for Cutouts - No Dairy

                      Great flavor and texture for a cutout sugar cookie

                      Makes about 4 dozen. Wait to preheat oven - dough must chill 1 hour.
                      400 degrees, 6 - 8 minutes

                      3/4 C. shortening - or combo w/ part butter (Butter Flavor Crisco recommended)
                      1 C. sugar
                      2 eggs
                      1/2 tsp. vanilla (for variation can also use lemon flavoring)
                      2 1/2 C. Gold Medal flour (recipe was on their bag...)
                      1 tsp. baking powder
                      1 tsp. salt

                      Mix well shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring. Blend flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in. Chill at least 1 hour.

                      Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick on floured board. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6 - 8 minutes.

                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                        Thank you so very much, Midwesterner. With cookie season coming up, these will be very handy to have on hand.

                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                          My mom's "secret" was always to use half butter and half crisco in the toll house cookies- it makes them taller/thicker and they don't spread as much when baking

                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                            Midwesterner: can your 1st cookie recipe be used in a cookie press/spritzer? I'm to receive my new Oxo cookie press today, and I've read that not all sugar cookie recipes will work for spritzing.