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FeChef

Why does breading always fall off my chicken!

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I think they are saying that if the coating is dry it could literally fall off - just pop right off because it has not adhered properly

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I guess I'm not clear on when the coating falls off. In the frying process or later?

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I think they are saying that if the coating is dry it could literally fall off - just pop right off because it has not adhered properly

From everything i have read or watched on tv, says to pat dry and dust in flour. Then to dip into a eggwash, butter milk, or batter. Then dredge into seasoned flour, or bread crumb. Then allow to set in fridge for 15-20 minutes. Then fry, or bake.

Ive not read anything that implies a coating being dry would cause it to fall off.

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If you read Dakki's post above, he says "rest until it wets through" not "rest until it dries off." Your own words are "rest until it sets," not "rest until it dries." It is in essence making a little batter that goes crisp when it is fried (batters are wet, not dry). The process of frying cooks the wet batter (dries and crisps it) and, potentially, makes it adhere to the thing that it is coating.

I'm not sure what's so difficult about that as a concept.

Your method obviously doesn't work. Repeating it in the hope that the outcome will change is not likely to be productive. Why ask others if you are going to discount reasonable suggestions out of hand?


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Not discounting reasonable suggestions. Im discounting vague sentences like "I think it's the drying that's causing your problem."

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From everything i have read or watched on tv, says to pat dry and dust in flour. Then to dip into a eggwash, butter milk, or batter. Then dredge into seasoned flour, or bread crumb. Then allow to set in fridge for 15-20 minutes. Then fry, or bake.

Ive not read anything that implies a coating being dry would cause it to fall off.

Not saying there are no such recipes, but I'm pretty sure they're the exception. My mother never did the resting step, nor do I. Our breading never falls off. A quick google search turns up recipes by Alton Brown, Paula Deen, Serious Eats, All Recipes and Martha Stewart, none of which include a rest. As nickrey suggests, why not give not-resting a try? Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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FeChef - I'm consistently guilty of being terse, but vague ? Let me write it again more clearly:

- you have a problem

- what I think is:

- it's the drying that's causing it

Don't dry the chicken. If you think the brine will make it too salty, rinse it off. But don't dry the chicken.

Your breading is falling off, right ? Not your seasoned flour. If the seasoned flour fell off by itself, you'd have egg-coated chicken. Whether you're breading with flour, crumb, crushed cornflake or broken spaghetti, you need to get the egg layer to stick to the chicken. You do that with flour. How you get the flour to stick to the chicken, is you make sure the chicken's wet. Use milk if it makes you feel better. They say "pat dry". How dry do they mean ? They say "light dusting". How light is light ?

Dredge your wet chicken in as much flour as will stick to it. That's my advice.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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This is an Alton Brown quote from the transcript "Fry Hard II: The Chicken" about frying chicken. Pan frying chicken allows the breading to stay on better than deep frying.

Now notice the fat only comes halfway up the sides of the food. Herein lies the essence of pan frying. There are two special things going on here. First, well, you know when you deep-fat fry, the heat attacks the food on all sides and it tends to create a very hard shell by crust which traps in moisture and that means that it doesn't adhere well. So as soon as you take a bite the whole thing comes off in your hand. Pan frying give moisture a way out, at least during the first phase of cooking. And that's going to help the crust to really hold on to the food which means you'll get some crust in every bite.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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PS: With Alton Brown's recipe from the above show, he soaks the chicken overnight in buttermilk, drains the chicken then dredges it in seasoned flour. No other breading in used. It could be that flour alone forms a tighter covering than bread crumbs and does not allow the steam to escape as well as coarser coatings.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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FeChef - I'm consistently guilty of being terse, but vague ? Let me write it again more clearly:

- you have a problem

- what I think is:

- it's the drying that's causing it

Don't dry the chicken. If you think the brine will make it too salty, rinse it off. But don't dry the chicken.

Your breading is falling off, right ? Not your seasoned flour. If the seasoned flour fell off by itself, you'd have egg-coated chicken. Whether you're breading with flour, crumb, crushed cornflake or broken spaghetti, you need to get the egg layer to stick to the chicken. You do that with flour. How you get the flour to stick to the chicken, is you make sure the chicken's wet. Use milk if it makes you feel better. They say "pat dry". How dry do they mean ? They say "light dusting". How light is light ?

Dredge your wet chicken in as much flour as will stick to it. That's my advice.

Ok this is better. When i said pat dry i mean drying the chicken with a paper towel. When i said light dusting i mean dredging the chicken (dry) in flour and shaking off any excess flour. I was told to do this before dipping in egg wash so the egg wash doesnt just roll off the chicken. I am certain that i have tried just going straight from rinsing brine off to the first flour dusting with same results of breading always falling off when taking out of fryer. I mean not all of it falls off but you can see it wants to just fall right off with little effort.

I suppose i posted this thread expecting to hear about some commercial product that helps bind seasoned flour or breadcrumbs to the point you cant even pull it off without some chicken comming off the bone with it.

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This is an Alton Brown quote from the transcript "Fry Hard II: The Chicken" about frying chicken. Pan frying chicken allows the breading to stay on better than deep frying.

Now notice the fat only comes halfway up the sides of the food. Herein lies the essence of pan frying. There are two special things going on here. First, well, you know when you deep-fat fry, the heat attacks the food on all sides and it tends to create a very hard shell by crust which traps in moisture and that means that it doesn't adhere well. So as soon as you take a bite the whole thing comes off in your hand. Pan frying give moisture a way out, at least during the first phase of cooking. And that's going to help the crust to really hold on to the food which means you'll get some crust in every bite.

This is interesting and VERY helpful. Thank you.

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Not to say that I am better than Alton Brown. I can't seem to make sense of his theory. Perhaps I am stupid.

1. When hot oil hits wet food, the surface water vaporizes from boiling, which keeps the water layer below from boiling.

2. Whether hot oil is halfway or deep fry total immersion, the dough/breading is never hermetically sealing the meat, steam will always find a way out.

I don't think KFC pan fries their chickens. They don't seem to have problems of the coating falling off.

Perhaps the problem has to do with the following?

1. When you fry chicken with skin on, fat from the skin will make adhesion tricky.

2. Store bought salt water injected chickens give out to much water the moment they are heated.

I will have to try AB's method the next time I feel like having fried chicken, just to see.

dcarch

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When hot oil hits breaded chicken, the surface is not wet. I am the one who used the word steam. Alton said the moisture is sealed in and the adhesion was the problem with that, no mention of steam. If I recall correctly, KFC pressure cooks their chicken (or originally did) then applies the coating and fries it just to set the crust, not to cook the chicken. I don't know if they have a flour-only breading or not. That was the basis of FeChef's question.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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Regarding KFC, or any commercially breaded chicken there must be something beyond any household binder like egg or milk. Ive had breaded chicken where you can tug on a large area of breading and he chicken meat just shreds off along with the breading. And when i say tugging, i mean really pulling on it. Theres no way normal flour or breadcrumbs and a simple egg wash is going to bind that well to the meat or the skin.

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You could try dredging in Trisol.

Or double cook the chicken. Steam it first so the outside gets very moist, cool, then dredge in flour then cook.

There's a whole cook-off thread on fried chicken on eGullet. Many very experienced deep fryers contributed to that thread. Without seeing what you do it is impossible to work out what you are doing wrong. There have already been some great suggestions here. Buy some chicken, try them out, and let us know what worked for you.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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When hot oil hits breaded chicken, the surface is not wet. I am the one who used the word steam. Alton said the moisture is sealed in and the adhesion was the problem with that, no mention of steam. ------

By wet, I meant water in the food composition. All food has water, including bread crumbs, flour, etc.

In the air, water can be either steam (water droplets just below 212F) or moisture. Moisture is humidity and invisible and can be at any temperature, depending on pressure. Moisture becomes steam below dew point. You can see you breath in cold air. Therefore Alton Brown was probably talking about hot moist air, what we commonly call steam when water is boiling.

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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... chicken meat just shreds off along with the breading. And when i say tugging, i mean really pulling on it. Theres no way normal flour or breadcrumbs and a simple egg wash is going to bind that well to the meat or the skin.

Sounds more like karaage: a wet marinade followed by a flour (or flour & cornflour) dredge. It gets especially bulletproof when they fry the hell out of it and it'd dry and overcooked.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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... chicken meat just shreds off along with the breading. And when i say tugging, i mean really pulling on it. Theres no way normal flour or breadcrumbs and a simple egg wash is going to bind that well to the meat or the skin.

Sounds more like karaage: a wet marinade followed by a flour (or flour & cornflour) dredge. It gets especially bulletproof when they fry the hell out of it and it'd dry and overcooked.

At this point, If overcooking the hell out the chicken makes the breading stick so well, its atleast a step in the right direction.

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Perhaps I should elaborate on Trisol. When combined with flour in dredging products for deep frying, it gives a crispness that lasts. My understanding is that it does this by acting more like a sugar than a flour. When deep fried it gives a subtle form of caramelisation. If you extrapolate this to dredging for your form of "breading", it is much more likely to adhere to the chicken, thus forming the bond you are looking for without overcooking.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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When hot oil hits breaded chicken, the surface is not wet. I am the one who used the word steam. Alton said the moisture is sealed in and the adhesion was the problem with that, no mention of steam. ------

By wet, I meant water in the food composition. All food has water, including bread crumbs, flour, etc.

dcarch

Now you are talking about molecular H2O. There is a difference between that and wet.

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You could try dredging in Trisol.

Or double cook the chicken. Steam it first so the outside gets very moist, cool, then dredge in flour then cook.

There's a whole cook-off thread on fried chicken on eGullet. Many very experienced deep fryers contributed to that thread. Without seeing what you do it is impossible to work out what you are doing wrong. There have already been some great suggestions here. Buy some chicken, try them out, and let us know what worked for you.

I second checking out the fried chicken cook-off thread. There are many pictures there from many attempts. Some even are oven baking. Maybe one of them resembles what happens with your efforts...

My life has been much happier for finding ChefCrash's recipe in there. It has become my go-to method for all kinds of deep fried goodness.

Good luck!

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I finally found the problem. Chicken needed to go straight from brine into buttermilk then let drip on cooling rack. Then one single coat in breading. Then the most important step was to let the breading set at "room temp" for 30 minutes or longer. So the main problem i was having is my chicken was too cold.

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Not to mention that putting it in a fridge is going to dry out the coating. That's what fridges do.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Not to mention that putting it in a fridge is going to dry out the coating. That's what fridges do.

Im not saying you're wrong, but in all my readings and watching tv/video recipes , I have never heard what you speak of. I actually remember watching a episode of good eats where alton puts the coated chicken back into the fridge to let the breading set before adding another coating. And that was my problem the whole time.

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Floured chicken is not breaded! It is FLOURED. Only bread crumbs make breading, hence the name. Geez this is confusing!


*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

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