My very first fried chicken

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    So I decided to try my hand at fried chicken!!

    I flavored the flour with smoked paprika, a bit of cumin, onion, garlic and oregano. 

    I made two baths: 1) Eggwash & 2) Seasoned flour, and double-breaded.

    Result: you could tell that was my first time!!!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif

    The breading didn't stick to the chicken skin (I am supposed to keep the skin there, right?) and instead formed an omelette-like enveloppe for my chicken. Almost like chicken en papillote - ok now I'm exaggerating. But still, breading detached from chicken skin. 

    The breading also over-Maillard-reacted in certain spots, and ended up on the dark side of GBD. 

    So my first guess is that my oil temp wasn't right, which isn't really surprising since I don't have a thermometer and am not good at judging the temp of my oil. 

    As for the breading detaching... I have to work on that. I guess I'll try without eggwash next time, just a simple bath of seasoned flour? 
     
  2. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    I'm not an expert at fried chicken but did you dredge the chicken first before you eggwashed it, then bread it again? Because that could be the reason why some of your breading didn't stick. it's good to dry chicken completely with paper towels, then dredge it in the (plain) flour, then eggwash, then the other seasoned flour you made for the chix.

    I'm wondering if the oil wasn't hot enough when you dropped the chicken? and when you realized this, did you crank up the heat causing it to over-brown?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  3. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    I'm not sure if this is thee best recipe for fried chicken, but it gives you a guideline on the basic process of making fried chicken. It's a bit on the old school style. Crisco and scrubbing the kitchen sink. lol I haven't had crisco in my house since the 80's.

    http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-fingerlicking-fried-chi-79965
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    I dried the chicken thoroughly, then seasoned flour, eggwash, more seasoned flour. 

    I don't remember what I did with the oil heat, but I did try to adjust the heat as it was cooking. First piece got too dark too quick, so I turned down, added more pieces, they wouldn't go brown at all, raised the heat, etc.... a mess. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif  Do you guys do that kind of stuff without thermometer (I'd rather not learn to depend on one)? 
     
  5. cacioepepe

    cacioepepe

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    My suggestion for a first timer is to keep it simple. Take your cut chicken pieces and lightly spice them with whatever you like.  Its best if you can do this a few hours ahead of time.  Let your chicken come to temp an hour before you plan on cooking.  Roll in seasoned flour (i personally like rice flour, plus it saves you from finding something else for those glutards) and fry for 8-10 minutes depending on the size.  You wont get an overly crunchy, bready skin, but its an easy delicious start.  I've slowly gone away from overly breaded chicken that uses egg and breading procedures.

    I would say if you want to move forward from there.  Start with a simple yogurt or buttermilk marinade instead of using just spices like i mentioned above. Take the chicken out the buttermilk and let drain slightly and come to temp.  Roll in seasoned flour and fry.  You'll get more crispy bits and edges because of the sticky nature of the marinade.  And as always, let that meat rest for 5 minutes or so.

    And yes, proper temperature is crucial.  Buy a thermometer and get that oil as close to 350 - 360 as you can...and make sure you have a big enough pot :)  Good luck on your next batch!
     
  6. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    It's different with every stove, and also with different foods you're frying. It's worth getting a thermometer just to be on the safe side. I've been cooking for many years and sometimes i still check my oil with a thermometer if i really have no time to screw things up. There's nothing wrong with depending on a therm if you have it there.

    When I don't use a thermometer, I typically hover my hand a few inches over the hot oil to determine how hot it is, and i'm able to pretty much tell if the oil is right or not. If i'm not certain of the oil temp, i won't drop the batch. I always test it by dropping a small sample piece, in this case, chicken breading to see how it reacts to the oil and go from there. Once you get the right temp, and your frying is going well, jot down where exactly the dial your range is on, and you can adjust it from there in the future when you fry other items.

    http://johndlee.hubpages.com/hub/De...eck-the-Oil-Temperature-Without-a-Thermometer
     
  7. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    yes! like cacio said, big enough pot, you don't want to steam your chicken. Even if that means only frying three pieces at a time.
     
  8. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Hm, I don't "deep fry" chicken, I do it in a cast iron skillet/fry pan/chicken fryer. Oil only deep enough to come just over halfway on the chicken.

    Buttermilk marinade (preferably overnight), drained, dredged in seasoned flour, dipped in seasoned egg wash, then dredged again in seasoned flour, placed on rack and chilled for, um 30 minutes, then into the chicken fryer.
     
     
  9. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Go to an asian market and get a package of egg roll wrappers. keep them in the fridge.  When frying pull out a wrapper, cut it into smaller squares and drop one in the oil.  It should bubble and brown nicely.  If a square sits there not doing much at first, oil is too cold.  If it bubbles too  vigourosly and browns unevenly, too hot.  And unlike a thermometer, you can eat the test subjects!

    But a frying thermometer is nice to use.

    mjb.
     
  10. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    for many, many years I didn't own a thermometer, I just heated the oil and stuck the handle of a wooden spoon in, if I got little bubbles straight away, then it was hot enough...

    as to fried chicken I used America's Test Kitchen recipe for battered fried chicken, perfection!

    Batter-Fried Chicken


    From Cook's Country

    August/September 2009

    [​IMG]

    Why this recipe works:
    As far as technique went for our Batter-Fried Chicken recipe, deep-frying easily beat out shallow-frying. With shallow-frying, the batter always burned on the bottom. To ensure a crisp crust, we replaced the milk in our initial batters with plain old water. It turned out that when wet batter hit the hot frying oil, the moisture in the batter vaporized, leaving behind the solids that adhered to the chicken. With milk, the sugars in the milk solids browned too fast and produced a soft crust.

    Using equal parts cornstarch and flour in the batter ensured a crisp crust on the chicken. And baking powder added lift and lightness without doughiness. We flavored our batter with black pepper, paprika, and cayenne for simple but unambiguous flavor.

    Serves 4 to 6

    Halve breasts crosswise and separate leg quarters into thighs and drumsticks.

    Ingredients:

    BRINE
    • 1 quart   cold water
    • 1/4 cup   salt
    • 1/4 cup   sugar
    • 4 pounds   bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (see note)
    BATTER
    • 1 cup   all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup   cornstarch
    • 5 teaspoons   pepper
    • 1 teaspoon   paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon   cayenne pepper
    • 2 teaspoons   baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon   salt
    • 1 3/4 cups   cold water
    • 3 quarts   peanut or vegetable oil
    Instructions:

    • 1. MAKE BRINE Whisk water, salt, and sugar in large bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

    • 2. MAKE BATTER Whisk flour, cornstarch, pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water in large bowl until smooth. Refrigerate batter while chicken is brining.

    • 3. FRY CHICKEN Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from refrigerator, pour off brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Rewhisk batter. Transfer half of chicken to batter. One piece at a time, remove chicken from batter (allowing excess to drip back into bowl) and transfer to oil. Fry chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, until deep golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (175 degrees for dark meat), 12 to 15 minutes. Drain chicken on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Serve.

    Best Batter-Fried Chicken

    • [​IMG]
      1. A crisp crust starts by whisking together a thin batter made from water, flour, baking powder, spices, and cornstarch.
    • [​IMG]
      2. After you've dipped the chicken in the batter, let the excess drip off (back into the bowl) to avoid a doughy coating.
    • [​IMG]
      3. To prevent the chicken pieces from sticking together in the oil, don't crowd the pot. Fry the chicken in two batches.

      (sorry, I did do I copy&paste from their website, but it seems that when I try to add links, the site wants everyone to join first!)
     
  11. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    I'm old school, and agree with Pete's method. That's basically how I was taught by my Texas born & raised mother.

    A thermometer is a must have unless you have been frying chicken for 30 years.
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Why chilled prior to frying?
     
  13. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    A single breading is a little easier to handle than double dipping.

    It's alright to use an egg wash, buttermilk, milk, water or even beer -- if you happen to have one handy.  Just don't double-dip -- at least not yet. 

    Your breading detached probably because you didn't give it a chance to rest.

    It helps to use a fairly soft flour for the coating.  If you're using AP flour, cut it in half with cake flour; or cut it with some corn starch.  About four parts flour to one part corn starch.  You'll find that you get a better texture if you use a little baking soda in the flour as well. 

    Your oil was too hot. 

    The right kind of thermometer is a candy/frying thermometer.  They're cheap.  Quit being charming and helpless, just buy one. 

    In addition to the won-ton method, you can check for the right temperature by using a piece of bread.  It's how they do it in Europe. The oil should bubble around the bread as soon as the bread is in the pan, the bread should begin to brown immediately, you should be able to fry it without burning it for at least a little while.  If the oil does not bubble, it is too cool.  If it makes big bubbles and burns the bread within fifteen seconds, it is too hot.  

    Adding the chicken to the pan will decrease the oil temperature.  Be aware that the temp will come back up and might scorch the bottom.  Don't wander off.  Maintain your focus and check the chicken frequently.   

    If you put the chicken in the pan and the bubbles come out fast and strong, indicating the oil is too hot, it's not too late to lower the flame a little.  You can also raise the flame if the oil is a little too cold, but starting in a too-cold pan will make the chicken greasy. 

    The right temperature range for frying chicken is 325F to 375F.  You want to watch out for 375F, it will cook the skin and coating before the center of the chicken is fully cooked.  Which brings us to a sort of sneaky and fail-safe method...  Begin by frying in hot oil (around 375F) until the chicken is the right color, then place in a slow oven to finish cooking.  The downside is that finishing the chicken in the oven will steal some of the crispness. 

    I sometimes use a reverse process.  That is, I start the chicken in a smoker, and after it's absorbed some smoke at around 225F, I remove it from the fryer, dip it in seasoned flour and finish in the fryer. 

    There's another thread going on concerning "Southern Fried Chicken."  You may want to take a look at that too.

    BDL
     
  14. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    So the breading/coating as an opportunity to rest and stick to the chicken, actually, for me, this works for any breaded frying, just better results for me.
     
  15. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I’m with you Pete, I let my proteins that I’ve breaded rest in the cold box on a rack over a sheet pan prior to shallow frying to GBD

     
  16. someday

    someday

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    Agreed, you need to bread the chicken then let is rest for at least 30 minutes
     
  17. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I agree with letting the battered chicken rest before frying.  I don't use egg, I just go straight from the buttermilk soak into the seasoned flour and then onto a rack to dry completely.  
     
  18. french fries

    french fries

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    Alright great thanks for all the advice, guys, duly noted. Letting the battered chicken rest seems to be one of the most obvious things I neglected to do.

    I think I will try again very soon, hopefully with better results. I also want to try the soaking in buttermilk, that sounds great. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  19. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    Soaking it in buttermilk keeps the chicken very moist. I use this method when I make chicken tenders and it does make a considerable difference.
     
  20. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    You could soak it in yogurt too.  Whatever you soak it in don't make it too long because the meat starts to fall apart after a while.  I like to season the buttermilk with lots of spices.