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Chris Amirault

Fried Chicken--Cook-Off 5

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Chris, I kept it at 350 (F). I've finally figured out when just how to adjust my burners and to cover the pan for a couple of minutes after I've added chicken to almost totally eliminate the temp dropping. This chicken was a bit larger than I normally like to fry, so I did my new trick.

Pull the chicken when the color is right. Put on a paper bag-lined baking sheet and into a 200 degree oven until dinner time. Makes sure the chicken is done throughout and it isn't too dark. I really hate undercooked dark meat.

I've been treating fried chicken as "fast food" -- meaning it's something that I can fix, it can have a bit of stand time in the oven, so on a night like tonight when Paul and Diana had to be out of the house by 6:40 pm, dinner can be on the table mui pronto.

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i found that letting the chicken sit in the fridge after powdered with the spice flour mixture, really helps with the texture.

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I'm revisiting old friends this week in terms of dinner, and tonight it was time to try my new deep saute pan for fried chicken.

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Tomorrow, I think I'll wander over to the Pizza cookoff. :biggrin:

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Ah, great minds think alike. My chicken is enjoying it's buttermilk spa as we speak. Report tomorrow.

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I didn't take pics of the sides sorry, but baked beans and mashed potatoes here.

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Sides? I'm going for potato salad, and some sort of green thing. Salad? Green beans?

To me, fried chicken screams potato salad. Must have been all of those summers on a Nebraska farm. The big difference is that my grandmother and I would have gone to Dorothea's farm and killed the chicken ourselves. Oh, and the buttermilk would have been from another near by farm (my grandparents did pigs).

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My fried chicken was divine. I had intended potato salad as a side. But, I didn't have any mayo, nor did I have any potatoes ( :shock: ) and since the kids' buses were due to arrive, I decided that potato salad wasn't going to happen. But, I had happened by my local Thai market earlier in the day and had some Chinese broccoli, so resorted to a standard in my family -- the Chinese Greens, Thai Style, from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet (this is a go to recipe). This, along with a spinach salad with croutons from a stale loaf of Acme sourdough and grape tomatoes with a vinegarette) was dinner. The salad did not make it into this pathetic photo:

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My plates are not pink. The chicken looked much better than it does here. Don't worry, I've pulled out my camera manual (I have a Power Shot G1).

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Fried chicken along with homemade potato salad, collard greens and whiting is my annual birthday dinner - courtesy of my dear Mom who lovingly cooks it for me every year (I'm a big 35 year old baby). :)

I love fried chicken when it's cooked right - caramel brown, juicy (not greasy), with a crisp crust (not soggy) and seasoned just right.

I don't fry chicken as well as my mom, but I've picked up a few tips along the way. I only fry wings, since I don't like fried thighs and drumsticks. And fried breasts are too daunting. :lol:

I just made some fried chicken and waffles w/butter and maple syrup for dinner tonight. Yum!

Anyway, I used a non-stick skillet even though I do have a cast iron skillet. I'm a bit fearful of using the cast iron one since the last one I had rusted. And I'm too lazy to drag it out from the bottom cabinet.

I clean my chicken wings with water and vinegar, making sure to remove any feathers and blood spots. I burn the hairs off each piece as well.

I only use two things to season chicken for fried chicken: Lawry's seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper from a pepper mill. I don't soak or brine the meat either. I once tried soaking the chicken for several hours in buttermilk and using Crisco for the frying grease. I've also tried using beaten egg prior to dipping it in flour. Both of those methods didn't work for me tastewise.

It's better if the chicken is cleaned and seasoned a few hours in advance, to let the flavors sink in. But if time doesn't permit, that's okay too - just season the chicken well. Once I season, I fold the wing up until it's nicely tucked into a neat little triangle - I find that it cooks more evenly that way.

I then put flour into a ziploc bag along with some more Lawry's seasoned salt and ground black pepper. I put the wings into the bag and shake the bag until each piece is thorougly coated.

I fill the skillet with about an inch of canola oil and heat it under a medium flame. I don't use a thermometer but I know it's ready for the chicken when I toss a drop of water onto the hot oil and the oil bubbles up and has a "hollow sound."

I then add the chicken to the skillet, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. I use a mesh cover to allow air to circulate (prevents chicken from getting soggy) but to prevent hot oil splatters. I turn the chicken about every 5 or 6 minutes, cooking for a total of 25-27 minutes or so.

Once I remove them from the pan, they should be nicely browned with no burned spots. If the chicken browns too fast, that means the flame is too high.

I drain the chicken on a plate covered with paper towels, let it cool for about 10 minutes and dig in!

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Since my husband likes chicken drumsticks, I tried frying them for the first time in my life.

They came out great! I even had a taste and it was yummy. I guess I'm ready to move on to frying other parts of the chicken besides the wing. :laugh:

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Ooh, interesting reading :).

I did fried chicken for what is probably the first time in my life. Mom is type II diabetic, so usually chicken skin went into the back of soup stock fixings in the freezer, and we ate boneless skinless chicken meat because the bones went into the stock fixings bag as well. I could debone chicken by age 12 :). Now Dad *did* explain to me how to make fried chicken just we never actually *did* it. Brine the chicken for ~24 hours, dry thoroughly, dip in seasoned flour (he voted for plain salt and pepper), fry immediately with a deep fryer.

When my boyfriend got a craving for fried chicken like his parents used to make, we combined Dad's directions with how the boyfriend's parents did it. His parents would not brine the chicken, and dredged it in seasoned flour of the same school as Dad's. Instead of deep frying it, they pan fried in butter.

So... we combined methods somewhat. From experience, butter is a bit awkward to fry in unless you clarify it or blend it with oil. We were lazy and blended with olive oil (said trick learned from my Dad). We pan fried it, because we both felt dubious that our thin walled stock pot could handle deep frying, and we know damn well that the cast iron fry pan holds heat well. We didn't brine the chicken (last minute idea, no time to brine properly), but did dry it thorougly before dredging in flour. Bill handled melting the butter (right temperature appeared to be when the butter foams) and we added a slug of oil. Then we added the floured chicken and let it cook until thoroughly browned.

I did fuss with the heat some, since we crowded the pan a trifle with 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks. We have a very old gas stove and while the heat control is good, our cast iron is new and on the thin side. Two pieces at a time would probably work better with our equipment.

End result was juicy, properly cooked chicken with a wonderful crust. Yum! The meat was slightly undersalted, so I think next time we do fried chicken we will brine it.

Emily

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for big pieces of chicken like breats and drum sticks, you have to pan fry them right? everytime i deep fry them, the insides are never fully cooked and the exterior is to well done. therefore, i cut them up in sections before frying.

in another thread labled popyes, i was told that the breasts and drum sticks are throw in with the wings. optimal frying temp is 350-375 right? if so, i dont see how fresh thick peices of chicken can cook whole without burning.

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I have a pressure cooker that is made to be able to pressure-fry in. I have made fried chicken in it a few times. My mom fell in love with the contraption, she and I would fire it up and fry up 5-6 lbs of buttermilk-soaked, seasoned flour dredged pieces. The funny thing is all the men-folk would leave the house because the hissing/puffing/sizzling sounds of the pressure cooker scared them. Ha! They would show back up as soon as the all the pieces were draining on brown paper and the cooker was cooling down.

The chicken out of the cooker is wonderful; crunchy, juicy, tender and usually gone far too quickly.

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I made chicken kara-age for supper tonight.

500 g chicken breast

Marinade liquid: Equal amounts (3 tbsp) of soy sauce, mirin, and sake

Dried garlic slices

Grated ginger

Coating: Equal amounts of weak (cake) flour (hakurikiko in Japanese) and potato starch

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What's special about this kara-age is that I tried the double frying technique for the first time. Its effect (crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside) was not very apparent, though, probably because the chicken was cut into small sizes.

I put the marinade liquid in a frying pan and boiled it for some time to turn it into a dipping sauce. I also used the yuzu koshou (tube in the photo).

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Hubby decided to make fried chicken tonight. Here's my hubby (Kentucky boy) and how he makes the family favorite - homemade ky fried chicken.

Soaking the chicken pieces in hot water.

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Dredging the pieces in flour mix.

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Letting the chicken pieces rest for awhile to let the coating get really sticky and gummy.

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Let it fry! Let it fry! Let it fry!

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Looking good.

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Our sides - french fries.

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You gotta love a man who cooks and cleans up after.

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The end product - FRIED CHICKEN!

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Preparations are underway for fried chicken in my kitchen! I just cut up a 2.6 pound bird, so I have two thighs, two drumsticks, two wings, four half-breasts, and a back to fry up. All the pieces are marinating in buttermilk with a very liberal amount of sriracha in the fridge. Frying will take place in my new 12" cast iron skillet tomorrow.

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Fried chicken has rapidly made its way into my regular repertoire.  Tonight for example, I'll be frying again.  I was in Bruno's picking up a bunch of peanut oil for tonight's endeavor and the lady at the cash and the lady behind me in line engaged in a discussion on the best oil for deep frying.  Both of them swear by EVOO for deep frying!

I've never heard anyone here talk about using EVOO for deep frying.  Expense aside, is it really a better oil for deep frying?  What say you?

Here in Greece, we always fry with EVOO, and it gives food an incredible flavour. I have never had a problem with the smoking point and I usually strain and re-use the oil about 3 times after doing fries Chicken and other meats about twice.

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What fat are you going to fry it in?

Pure Crisco (the zero-trans-fat kind), unless I find some bacon grease buried in the freezer.

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Preparations are underway for fried chicken in my kitchen! I just cut up a 2.6 pound bird, so I have two thighs, two drumsticks, two wings, four half-breasts, and a back to fry up. All the pieces are marinating in buttermilk with a very liberal amount of sriracha in the fridge. Frying will take place in my new 12" cast iron skillet tomorrow.

Hi Restorer

This photo is of fried chicken wings. Rinsed with water and shaken in seasoned flour. Deep fried in fresh Crisco shortening, in three batches, 10 wings at a time, same temperature for 9 minutes. As you can see, the color is uniform across all.

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This photo is of another session where I wanted to try buttermilk. Again, I started with fresh Crisco. The batch on the right was done the same as the ones above (rinsed in water and shaken in flour). The batch in the center was dipped in buttermilk then shaken in flour. Not only did they turn too dark fast, the shortening darkened in color as well. Although the last batch on the left was not dipped in buttermilk, it came out darker too but not as dark as the batch dipped in buttermilk. Needless to say, the shortening was shot and was thrown out.

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You may want to consider rinsing the buttermilk off one or two of your chicken pieces before you dredge in flour and fry them, and see if you get the same results.

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ChefCrash, what temperature did you fry at? Added later: Oh, I just noticed you deep fried. I'm not sure that data would apply to my formula (see below).

I've been reviewing this thread to find all the successful combinations of temperature and coating. What I'd like to do is determine a proper temperature range beforehand that will brown and crisp the coating in precisely the right amount of time to cook the chicken through. That will practically eliminate the variable of time - they'll be done when they look done.

I'm an engineer. I like to do this scientifically. So when I look at this, I see a possible formula. There will be a minimum frying temperature, below which the coating will turn out greasy. There is a maximum temperature, above which the coating will be unacceptably dark before the meat is cooked through. As far as I can surmise, the lower limit depends primarily on the moisture level of the coating. The upper limit depends on the size of the chicken pieces (how quickly they cook through) and the composition of the coating (how much sugar and protein are in it to encourage faster Maillard reactions).

The best examples of buttermilk-soaked, fried in Crisco chicken I've found here have brought the oil up to 350 to start, then let it drop with the addition of the chicken and maintained the frying temperature at 325. Brooks's chicken consistently comes out lighter in color than the buttermilk recipes, and he even fries it at a higher temperature (375 to start, maintained at 350) - obviously the buttermilk-based coatings have a higher tendency towards Maillard reactions, which makes sense with the sugar and protein from the buttermilk.

I think I'll try to keep my frying temperature just above 325, as my chicken pieces are nice and small.

Also, last night I got worried that I may have oversalted my buttermilk. So what did I do? I tasted the buttermilk mixture, after the chicken had been sitting in it for hours. Once I had my determination, though (yes, it was too salty - diluted with more buttermilk), I rinsed my mouth out with vodka and no ill effects yet. :rolleyes:

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i read this thread all in one go! the result:

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this was my first time frying, and i had a few mishaps (cutting the chicken!!, and with temperature of the oil, due to my crappy thermometer and a new--to me-- stove), which i hope to correct next time. anyway, martha's recipe calls for a brine/buttermilk soak combo; i skipped the brine and added the salt to the buttermilk/tabasco. the chicken was fried in crisco. :blink:

and it was very tasty indeed!!

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i read this thread all in one go!  the result:

gallery_26530_4448_49256.jpg

this was my first time frying, and i had a few mishaps (cutting the chicken!!, and with temperature of the oil, due to my crappy thermometer and a new--to me-- stove), which i hope to correct next time.  anyway, martha's recipe calls for a brine/buttermilk soak combo; i skipped the brine and added the salt to the buttermilk/tabasco.  the chicken was fried in crisco.  :blink:

and it was very tasty indeed!!

But there IS going to be a next time.... :biggrin: And it still looks pretty darn tasty!

How did you end up cutting the chicken?

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thanks, sony!

i cut it up as instructed by AB on the fried chicken episode of good eats: the wings came off first, then the legs, thighs, and breasts last. i don't know what if there is a proper name for this method. i had trouble because, well, i was flustered and AB went a little too fast for my liking. maybe it's just because i was nervous, but i thought he oversimplified; i distinctly remember him saying at one point, "once you get there you'll know what to do." i had to keep washing my hands, coming back to the DVD and rewinding before re-attempting. wash and rewind, wash and rewind. :laugh:

i did a sloppy job with the thigh part, so one of them was a bit mangled, but otherwise i'd say i did adequately... but like you said, there's always next time for more practice!

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