I was chatting to someone about my fried chicken when he revealed he was a former KFC employee. This is what he said:
KFC was cooked in a pressure cooker (1bar afaik) of Vegetable Oil. 180C (I believe) for 15 minutes - the last minute is when you release pressure from the vessel. Draining for 30 seconds, transferring to a tray, then kept in a moist/humidified warmer at 80C for a further 5 minutes. It is important that the Oil is clean, and upto temperature.
When cooked without Pressure, KFC is crispy (like zingers, crispy strips) - the pressure provides the loose - but sealed skin texture/surface. Note that the cooking time and temp are based on 6 head of chicken (i.e 54 pieces) at once.
Aha! So that's the secret!
Well, I have a valve regulated pressure cooker, but I am VERY wary of deep frying anything in it under pressure. Water will boil at 121C at 2 bar of pressure, and the water temp will not rise any more because of the pressure regulation - it will vent steam. Oil will not behave in the same way - I suspect that the oil temperature will keep rising. The steam from the chicken will build up 1 bar of pressure and then vent, but I know that 1 bar of pressure will not correspond to the oil temperature, which I have no way of measuring.
I suspect that the temperature will run away and some kind of disaster will await me when I release the pressure and open the lid. Perhaps water condensate will drip back into the oil and make it splatter everywhere. Or worse, the damn thing might catch fire in a spectacular way.
Is there a SAFE way to deep fry in a pressure cooker? Or is it truly the bomb?