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Fried Chicken--Cook-Off 5

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#541 Ufimizm

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 01:36 PM

Has anybody ever experimented with using both brining and marinading (with buttermilk) for their chicken?

I imagine it would have to be done in two separate steps, as salt does not dissolve well in cold liquids and I don't think it's a good idea to heat up buttermilk. Perhaps pickling salt would do the job, but I don't have any of that.

Does anybody think that the additional moisture uptake makes a difference?

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Your bump to the thread inspired me to cook 7lbs of legs this weekend. I always associated fried Chicken with nicer weather, but it tastes just as good when it is 10 below outside.

I only soak in buttermilk. I think doing the brining is another step that would add too much misture to the chiken. I salt and pepper the chicken all over and then take a good sized onion, some cloves of fresh garlic and some hot sauce (I used Franks this time) throw it in a blender with some buttermilk and let it grind the veggies to nothing. I soak ovenight, run through some seasoned flour and shallow fry in lard and Crisco. It always comes wonderful.

#542 Peter the eater

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 05:52 PM

Wow, 19 pages of fried chicken! I make it maybe 5 times a year, like this:

1. poach a whole chicken
2. let it cool, then break it down into manageable chunks.
3. dip chunks in a sticky liquid like buttermilk or egg/water. Yogurt works, too.
4. coat wet chunks in the dry batter. This time it was flour, cornmeal, graham cracker crumbs, crushed granola, herbs de provence and garlic salt.
5. shallow fry in canola.

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I used to shallow fry first, then bake until cooked through. I switched to the pre-poach technique because you get a terrific chicken stock from the poaching liquid and it makes for moist lower-fat chicken. If this were a bigger bird, I would've broken it down before the poach.
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#543 Pam R

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:41 PM

Chicken went into flour/water batter on the left, then into plain flour on the right.

I just tried this. Using the flour/water mix then dipping it into plain flour makes the crunchiest fried chicken I've ever had. It's also the best make-ahead fried chicken because it keeps the crunch even after it's been in the fridge for a day. Thanks for showing us this. It's great.

#544 ChefCrash

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:30 AM

Chicken went into flour/water batter on the left, then into plain flour on the right.

I just tried this. Using the flour/water mix then dipping it into plain flour makes the crunchiest fried chicken I've ever had. It's also the best make-ahead fried chicken because it keeps the crunch even after it's been in the fridge for a day. Thanks for showing us this. It's great.

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Glad it worked for you. Did you season the chicken, the wet slurry or the flour?

#545 Pam R

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:42 AM

The first time I made it I just seasoned the flour, but it needed more. I use kosher chicken, so it's already salted but the bulk of the coating comes from the slurry, I think, so the next batch I seasoned the slurry and the flour.

#546 &roid

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:53 PM

Right, not sure how "July 4th" fried chicken is but woke up this morning and decided to do a meal from your side of the atlantic tonight.

I read through most of this thread and went shopping. decided to do the recipe from martha stewart but had to cheat a bit and only had the chicken in the buttermilk for about 2 hours (I'm so bad at planning ahead with food!).

I used 50:50 vegetable shortening (Trex) and Beef dripping and intended it to be a semi-shallow fry approach but really it was deep-frying. I cooked it at about 350F for 10 minutes or so which left the dark meat amazingly juicy and tender, white meat was a bit far gone for me after about 8 minutes in the second batch. The coating was amazingly crisp, a bit overly dark for me and could have been better seasoned, also it had a bit of a taste of burnt flour about it - does this all sound like I should try a lower temperature next time?

#547 nickrey

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 03:16 PM

Right, not sure how "July 4th" fried chicken is but woke up this morning and decided to do a meal from your side of the atlantic tonight. 

I read through most of this thread and went shopping.  decided to do the recipe from martha stewart but had to cheat a bit and only had the chicken in the buttermilk for about 2 hours (I'm so bad at planning ahead with food!).

I used 50:50 vegetable shortening (Trex) and Beef dripping and intended it to be a semi-shallow fry approach but really it was deep-frying. I cooked it at about 350F for 10 minutes or so which left the dark meat amazingly juicy and tender, white meat was a bit far gone for me after about 8 minutes in the second batch.  The coating was amazingly crisp, a bit overly dark for me and could have been better seasoned, also it had a bit of a taste of burnt flour about it - does this all sound like I should try a lower temperature next time?

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Because of cooking differences across various parts of chickens, frying a bird all the way through until cooked is often going to result in the inconsistencies that you reported.

It was this issue amongst others such as speed that led Harland Sanders to come up with his patented technique of deep frying the bird in a industrial form of pressure cooker. As they say in the specials "don't try this as home" so we really need an alternative that creates a similarly moist but well crunched result.

I'm with Peter the Eater on this one and use an Asian technique of double cooking the chicken. First gently poach the chicken until it is cooked: you can use aromatics at this stage to flavour the flesh. Cut the bird into serving pieces and then dredge these in flour, then egg, then seasoned breadcrumbs (I use the Japanese Panko crumbs). Put these ingredients on separate plates and work consistently across in this order (this reduces the chance of the dry ingredients turning to a soggy mess). You then deep fry (at the temperature you used) to add texture and colour to the surface rather than to cook the bird through. Remove the pieces when they are coloured to your liking, drain and blot on kitchen paper and serve.

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#548 Lindsey

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 09:43 AM

I have to confess that I have never been able to get fried chicken right. Can it be done in an oven and, if so, how? Any pointers would be gratefully received, also what spices do you recommend?

#549 anthonylee86

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:21 PM

I have read this thread now over the past four days and tonight after work I finally decided to make my fried chicken. Last night I put it in a soak of acidulated milk, salt, and Frank's Red Hot. I left it in my fridge for about 24 hours. I got home and started cooking about 10:00 pm.

I made homemade biscuits, mashed potatoes and cream gravy to go with it.

Photos to come soon as I just joined eGullet and this is my first post. Now I have to figure out Image gullet.

#550 anthonylee86

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:09 AM

I figured out Image Gullet an as promised here are all the mouth watering photos.

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Here is the chicken dredged for the first time and awaiting second dredge.

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Here is the chicken as it fried.

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Here is the finished fried chicken (Ignore the chef's treat please, Hey don't blame me, it was midnight and I hadn't ate since about 3:00pm.)

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Here is the milk gravy I made. I used the extra flour from the dredge and added plenty of recently discovered Sriachi sauce I had never tried before eGullet so it really was orange, not a camera problem, also the smoked paprika and chile powder from the dredge helped out in the color issue.

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Here are the biscuits I made from scratch.

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Finally, here is the finished plate. I will admit to using instant mashed potatoes, but only because I have no potatoes on hand and really was focused more on the chicken, gravy, and biscuits.

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Also, since I am posting all this gorgeous chicken I will post my pic of the jerk chicken I made several days ago and packed for lunch today.

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Finally, since I was in the kitchen sweating anyway and decided to marinade some teriyaki chicken yesterday, I also cooked that too. Here is a pic of it halfway through.

Edited by anthonylee86, 17 August 2009 - 12:24 AM.


#551 nickrey

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:16 PM

I recently bought an Australian foodie magazine called Gourmet Traveller that had a feature on Korean food which contained a recipe for Korean Fried Chicken.

As usual, I didn't follow the recipe exactly and created instead a beer tempura batter (115g plain flour, 2tbsp potato starch, lightly beaten egg white, 170ml cold beer). Beat egg white, mix in dry ingredients, add beer, stir with a chopstick.

The chicken is battered, deep fried, drained on kitchen paper and cooled and then deep fried again to give a lovely golden colour. I only used legs.

The sauce uses Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste), soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, grated ginger, chopped garlic, caster sugar and sesame oil. All I can say is WOW, this is one of the best fried chicken sauces I have ever tasted.

The cooked chicken is dredged through the sauce before serving.

The recipe can be found at this link.

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#552 Chris Amirault

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:50 AM

That sounds fantastic, Nick.

I have a question for the buttermilk brine crowd. What proportions do you use for your buttermilk and salt? And for how long do you soak/brine it?
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#553 mmille24

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 01:28 PM

Used soybean oil. Buttermilk overnight along with spices. Was very tasty and moist.

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#554 Emily_R

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 01:34 PM

We made Popeye's Chicken.

Chicken marinating in lots of Cajun spices.
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Chicken went into flour/water batter on the left, then into plain flour on the right.
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The result
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ChefCrash -- this is exactly the texture I'd like to create -- could you give me a sense for what consistency the flour/water batter was? And did you just go straight from that in to the flour? Or was there multiple dipping process?

Thanks!
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#555 Dakki

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 01:38 PM

That does look nice. I wish I'd checked this thread out before I fried a dozen thighs this morning.

(No pics, they're ugly)
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#556 ChefCrash

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 10:07 PM

That does look nice. I wish I'd checked this thread out before I fried a dozen thighs this morning.

(No pics, they're ugly)


Thanks Dakki, I think your food images have improved greatly. I've been watching the shutter bug thread.

Hi Emily, the slurry should have the consistency of crepe batter or thin pancake batter.
The chicken is dipped in the mix and rolled in the flour gingerly to coat and straight in to the oil. If your first batch doesn't look right, adjust the batter either way (add flour or water). Let me know how it works:)

That was almost three years ago when I was obsessing over Popeyes chicken. That was easy compared with trying to make fried chix like KFC's.

After watching Bobby Flay's fried chicken Throw Down episode (in which he failed miserably), I've been making his challenger's recipe.
The guy emphasized that his chicken was simply washed and seasoned with lots of salt, pepper, a secret seasoning and left to marinate for a short while. He then rolled the chicken in plain flour and into the hot oil it went.

Now this is what I've always done sort of. Except my chicken always lost all of it's breading (flour) in the oil. To remedy that I resorted to coating the chix with flour as before and then leaving them sit around for a while before frying. That wasn't the answer either. The flour stuck to the chicken but fried into a hard, tooth breaking shell. I got a chance to watch the episode again.

Turns out the emphasis was on thoroughly mixing the chicken pieces in lots of flour for a long time.

So, season chicken with lots of salt and anything else you want, the only liquid is residual water from washing. I used salt pepper and lawry's (this is not about seasoning) and leave them alone at room temperature for ~ an hour.
chix marinating.jpg


Added about three cups of flour in a 15" bowl, I used both hand to thoroughly roll five pieces of chicken for a minute and left them in the bowl.
chix-in-flour.jpg


While the oil heated to 380*F, I mixed the chicken one more time.
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I place the 5 pieces in the oil, and while they are frying I coat the next 5 the same way.
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I don't try to chase the oil temperature. Find one stove setting that lets you drop a certain number of chicken pieces into a given volume of oil in a certain pot at ~ 380*F after which the oil will drop to about 315*F and then reach about 360*F in about 22 minutes, just enough time to fry chicken. Simple;)
fried-chicken.jpg

Edited by ChefCrash, 19 September 2010 - 10:22 PM.


#557 nickrey

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 06:05 AM

Rather than just talk about the dish as I did above, it's time for some photos.

Here is the fried chicken.

fried chicken.jpg

Sauced with the Korean BBQ Sauce.

sauced.jpg

On the plate with rice, pickled Daikon, and store-bought Kimchi

final dish.jpg

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Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
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#558 Marlene

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:35 PM

After watching Bobby Flay's fried chicken Throw Down episode (in which he failed miserably), I've been making his challenger's recipe.
The guy emphasized that his chicken was simply washed and seasoned with lots of salt, pepper, a secret seasoning and left to marinate for a short while. He then rolled the chicken in plain flour and into the hot oil it went.

Now this is what I've always done sort of. Except my chicken always lost all of it's breading (flour) in the oil. To remedy that I resorted to coating the chix with flour as before and then leaving them sit around for a while before frying. That wasn't the answer either. The flour stuck to the chicken but fried into a hard, tooth breaking shell. I got a chance to watch the episode again.

Turns out the emphasis was on thoroughly mixing the chicken pieces in lots of flour for a long time.

So, season chicken with lots of salt and anything else you want, the only liquid is residual water from washing. I used salt pepper and lawry's (this is not about seasoning) and leave them alone at room temperature for ~ an hour.


I tried this tonight.



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I got mixed results. About half the flour simply fell off the chicken, so that wasn't good. But the crust that remained was awesome. Thin and crispy and really really good. Now I just have to figure out how to get the flour to stick!

Edited by Marlene, 20 September 2010 - 04:36 PM.

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#559 chef koo

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 01:41 AM

I made fried chicken today and it was good except that the skin was too dark. Now I don't mean the crust. The crust was perfect. It was the actual skin of the chicken. It was so dark. I soaked it in buttermilk and dredged it and deep fried it. I've made it before perfectly, but the last few times I've done it, I've gotten the same result. Anyone have any ideas? I don't think it's the recipe because I literally have used the same recipe, every single time. It mihgt be though, you never know.

I saw this thread but I think it's more an issue of the crust itself. http://forums.egulle..._1
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#560 Doodad

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 05:10 AM

Sat in the buttermilk too long and partially cooked? All I can think of since you have used the same recipe in the past.

#561 Dakki

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 01:03 PM

Got two bags of thighs (8 or 9 pieces) defrosting under running cold water as I type this.

I'm cloning ChefCrash's recipe today, pics (maybe) and notes later.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#562 Dakki

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 06:19 PM

Here we go.

Thighs had a piece of the ribcage attached, which I removed.

Weapon of choice was a cheap but sharp 5" boning knife. Whole thigh on the right, trimmed on left. Surplus bits went into a freezer bag for stock.

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I didn't have any cajun seasoning or the ingredients listed by ChefCrash so I used generous quantities of powdered chile cascabel, black pepper, dry oregano and kosher salt. The chicken was allowed to rest for about 1 1/2 hrs coated in seasonings.

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Oil was half a bottle of fresh canola, a generous shot of previously-used oil (also canola) and a chunk of vegetable shortening. In another departure from the original recipe I used a cast iron skillet in place of a pot. Heated slow to try to equalize heat distribution.

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Thin flour and water batter. Too thin?

Also, you can see a lot of the spices ended up in the batter.

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Flouring the meat.

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Floured chicken, ready to fry. This doesn't look as well-floured as the ones in ChefCrash's pics. Again, batter too thin?

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Oil is about 375 F, let's get started! Chicken was fried three pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding.

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My stove would be even filthier if it wasn't for this thing.

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Flipped every 7 minutes for a total cooking time of 28 minutes. Not scientific but it works for me.

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And the final result.

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The chicken wasn't as spicy as I thought it would be (spice the dry flour next time?) but the crust's texture was great, very crunchy and much thicker than I'm used to (I usually do dry flour and spices only). The meat itself was quite moist and tender.

Overall impressions: The thin-batter-and-flour method is a definite keeper but I'm going to go for a thicker batter and spices in the dry flour next time. The first part was definitely a cock-up and the second is just my personal preference for strongly-spiced chicken.



Photos are unretouched. Sorry about the bad quality.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#563 YourCommunityFoodChef

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:15 PM

I'm frying chicken (own recipe) this weekend for my very first Dinner Club. The theme is Southern Comfort. I always used a high point cooking oil. Mainly canola...but, I was always intrigued by peanut only. I hear it adds more flavor to whatever you're frying and reaches a higher cooking point than canola. Just wondering this this is a good approach. I'll post up results after this weekend on my blog. Just one tip I came across....if your cooking different peices of chicken all at once, try cooking the white meat together and the dark meat together. The white/black cooks at different speeds, and you will not have to guess when each peice is done. This may take some experimenting with time, but the average time for cooking the perfect fried chicken peices is between 22 to 26 minutes.
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#564 jsmeeker

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

After watching the most recent episode of Top Chef, I am thinking about one of my favorite foods again. Fried Chicken. The show featured some bad stuff.. Tom got mad at so many contestants botching what he felt was a simple challenge. Along the way, I saw and read stuff about fried chicken methods.

In his blog entry on the show, Tom suggested a few things. One was to remove the skin. I find this to be odd. The other suggestion is to fry twice. This is something I wonder about. But he didn't go into details. Nothing about temps or times. Nothing about wether it was a deep fry or a shallow pan fry.

Need to re-read through this thread to see what others may have done. Anyone else taking another look at this delicious food?

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#565 huiray

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

Regarding double-frying - have a look at my post listing some articles about KFC (no, not that one; this is Korean Fried Chicken), as one type of fried chicken where this is done, with some descriptions of the process:
http://egullet.org/p1907075
(NB: KFC leaves the skin ON) (Heh, for that matter Colonel Sanders does too, doesn't he?)

Many of the responders on Colicchio's blog took him to task for declaring that it was not possible to get crispy fried chicken with the skin on and pointed out that his statement was simply false.

Edited by huiray, 27 January 2013 - 01:34 PM.


#566 Brown Hornet

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

Yup, after the last Top Chef I was inspired to fry up a big batch last night. Overnight soak in seasoned buttermilk, dredged in seasoned flour, pan fried in 1" of 340-350 peanut oil about 10 minutes per side.

Overall results were very good but far from perfect -- the skin/crust was very overcooked but the meat was well-seasoned, flavorful and moist without being greasy. At the risk of greasy chicken, I would knock the oil temp down to 320-330 next time. This was my first time frying chicken in peanut oil, so maybe that was part of the issue as well. At least in my experience, frying chicken is where Crisco shortening really shines.

Still, even average homemade fried chicken beats the pants off of most of the fried chicken being sold in stores or restaurants.

I have some coconut oil at home and am curious about frying chicken in it -- anyone try it?

#567 NEPolarbear

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 07:59 PM

Just found this thread!!!!!

 

A question at the end which many of you may pour hot grease on  me.

 

Been cooking fried chicken for years.

Mostly use CI skillets for shallow frying, but have used CI dutch ovens for deep frying.

My record for cooking was about 130 pieces for a crowd at my house.....2 skillets at a time.

 

I breakdown whole chickens into eight pieces and generally follow most of the previous processes.

 

Friends and family love the chicken and get many requests for it.

 

Question is on what fat to use for frying.

Have used Crisco, peanut oil, bacon fat, and vegetable oil in the past.

 

But what I have been using is a combination of butter and peanut oil.

 

Am I crazy??????



#568 Dave the Cook

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 11:36 PM

Obviously, you're not crazy if your friends and family love your fried chicken! Isn't it kind of an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" situation?

 

But I have a couple of questions: are you using straight butter or clarified butter? If you're using straight butter, what temperature are you frying at? Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock (in The Gift of Southern Cooking) prescribe a combination of lard and butter (flavored with a little country ham, but that's a separate issue), at a temp of 335°F. Much higher than that, and you risk burning the milk solids in unclarified butter.


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#569 NEPolarbear

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:11 AM

Using straight butter.....LandOLakes salted.

Start off using about 3 sticks and roughly a 1/2 cup of peanut oil.

 

Temperature of the oil before chicken is placed is at least 350, then frying is watched carefully.

Use a instant read thermometer to check the chicken.

Will add oil and butter as necessary and regulate the gas to ensure no burning.

 

Understand the difference between the butters. but never planned well enough in advance to make it.

During the course of a fried chicken party, I will have used about 8-10 lb. of butter and peanut oil.

 

In making clarified butter, can I make it in big batches using my CI dutch ovens?

Sizes range from 7.5 - 13.5 qt.

 

Or smaller batches in by 4 qt sauce pan?

 

Thanks.



#570 Special K

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:16 AM

In the topic "Best Fried Chicken," which was redirected here, Scolobey asked if anyone had tried pre-cooking the chicken before frying. I think his plan was to poach them and then fry them.

 

Today in thekitchn.com I ran across this tip: season, brine, marinate or whatever and bake the chicken first, cool, then proceed with the breading and frying. Seems like much less stress. I'm going to try it tonight.

 

Sorry, can't seem to post the link.

 

Kay







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