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Fried Chicken--Cook-Off 5


Chris Amirault
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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.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

We made Popeye's Chicken.

Chicken marinating in lots of Cajun spices.

gallery_39290_5897_3296.jpg

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

gallery_39290_5897_16558.jpg

The result

gallery_39290_5897_50167.jpg

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!

Emily

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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.

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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.

Pots-on-stoves.jpg

I place the 5 pieces in the oil, and while they are frying I coat the next 5 the same way.

fried-chix.jpg

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 (log)
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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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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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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.

gallery_1_223_18200.jpg

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 (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

bork bork bork

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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.

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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.

IMG_2196.jpg

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.

IMG_2201.jpg

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.

IMG_2211.jpg

Thin flour and water batter. Too thin?

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

IMG_2217.jpg

Flouring the meat.

IMG_2213.jpg

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

IMG_2224.jpg

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

IMG_2225.jpg

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

IMG_2228.jpg

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

IMG_2234.jpg

And the final result.

IMG_2238.jpg

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.

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  • 2 years later...

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.

'My Blog': food4thoughts-chi.blogspot.com

Follow Me on 'My Blog' and on Twitter: @yourcfchef

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  • 2 months later...

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?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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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 (log)
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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?

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  • 1 year later...

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??????

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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.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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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.

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  • 1 month later...

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.

 

Kay

Edited by Smithy
Added missing link; removed apology for missing link (log)
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  • 5 years later...

I'm late to the party but hey cook-offs are forever. 

 

I've made fried chicken many times at home & have always

not enjoyed the dance between a nice crust and getting the chicken properly done 

without cremating the crust.

 

I thought what the hell why not sous vide the bone in chix prior & then coat/fry as per usual-

in theory then at least then the chicken should be nicely cooked through and would only

be concerned with when the crust was a ice colour.

 

I took 4 bone in skin on thighs, cleaned them up a bit (any excess skin/fat into the freezer for future schmaltz rendering).

Seasoned generously with kosher salt, black pepper + chopped garlic & thyme (froze because I was prepping about 10 lbs of thighs).

...I've found there's no harm and maybe a benefit to freezing meat destined for sous vide seasoned however is appropriate.

 

The above is fairly generic for roast chicken but a fairly slight departure for fried chicken as most like it in the US.

 

I digress - the thighs went into  the water bath from frozen for 3 hours @ 165 F (most people say for thighs 1-4 hours @ 165 is good which = 2-5 hours from frozen.

 

I pulled the chix, discarded any liquid, scraped off some of the loose garlic & herbs, not all though. no need to pat dry as moisture would help the next step.

 

Dredged in flour/old bay/half sharp paprika/pepper mixture - to taste really but aggressive seasoning isn't awry here. 

The initial flour coating was allowed to set up a bit in  the fridge then egg coating followed by a second dredge in the flour mixture and

again letting things firm up for 1/2 hour or so in the fridge. 

 

Shallow fried on the oil about 3/4" deep starting at whatever temperature a (dry) chopstick or wooden spoon bubbles merrily when

inserted into the hot oil. Lazy I know, the thermapen was actually right by the stove but so were the cooking chopsticks which I needed 

to turn the chicken anyway, 

 

These went maybe 2-3 minutes a side until they looked the way I wanted them & were the placer on a wire rack on a sheet man in a circa 170F oven 

for about 1/2 hour to warm through (they stayed nice & crisp BTW).

 

I was really really pleased by the result & would absolutely do it again; minimal effort tasty flavourful result. The addition of garlic & thyme + seasoning 

the chicken in the sous vide bag really shone through. My wife felt it was better than any fried chicken we'd ever had including  some fairly well known

restos like Roscoe's

 

Ciao

 

Jon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chix.png

  • Like 4

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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15 minutes ago, Jon Savage said:

I'm late to the party but hey cook-offs are forever. 

 

I've made fried chicken many times at home & have always

not enjoyed the dance between a nice crust and getting the chicken properly done 

without cremating the crust.

 

I thought what the hell why not sous vide the bone in chix prior & then coat/fry as per usual-

in theory then at least then the chicken should be nicely cooked through and would only

be concerned with when the crust was a ice colour.

 

I took 4 bone in skin on thighs, cleaned them up a bit (any excess skin/fat into the freezer for future schmaltz rendering).

Seasoned generously with kosher salt, black pepper + chopped garlic & thyme (froze because I was prepping about 10 lbs of thighs).

...I've found there's no harm and maybe a benefit to freezing meat destined for sous vide seasoned however is appropriate.

 

The above is fairly generic for roast chicken but a fairly slight departure for fried chicken as most like it in the US.

 

I digress - the thighs went into  the water bath from frozen for 3 hours @ 165 F (most people say for thighs 1-4 hours @ 165 is good which = 2-5 hours from frozen.

 

I pulled the chix, discarded any liquid, scraped off some of the loose garlic & herbs, not all though. no need to pat dry as moisture would help the next step.

 

Dredged in flour/old bay/half sharp paprika/pepper mixture - to taste really but aggressive seasoning isn't awry here. 

The initial flour coating was allowed to set up a bit in  the fridge then egg coating followed by a second dredge in the flour mixture and

again letting things firm up for 1/2 hour or so in the fridge. 

 

Shallow fried on the oil about 3/4" deep starting at whatever temperature a (dry) chopstick or wooden spoon bubbles merrily when

inserted into the hot oil. Lazy I know, the thermapen was actually right by the stove but so were the cooking chopsticks which I needed 

to turn the chicken anyway, 

 

These went maybe 2-3 minutes a side until they looked the way I wanted them & were the placer on a wire rack on a sheet man in a circa 170F oven 

for about 1/2 hour to warm through (they stayed nice & crisp BTW).

 

I was really really pleased by the result & would absolutely do it again; minimal effort tasty flavourful result. The addition of garlic & thyme + seasoning 

the chicken in the sous vide bag really shone through. My wife felt it was better than any fried chicken we'd ever had including  some fairly well known

restos like Roscoe's

 

Ciao

 

Jon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chix.png

Completely  agree.  SV the chicken and fry the crust. I take off the skins too. So does Tom Coliccio.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Opinions sought...

 

Add starch or baking powder or trisol to the seasoned flour?

 

Add egg to the buttermilk?

 

Or batter coat (as opposed to making an in situ batter with buttermilk-soaked chicken and flour)?

 

Skin off or on?

 

Sous vide first?

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After years of being beaten by fried chicken, I saw a video of Anthony Bourdain going to Willie Mae's Scotch House in NOLA.  Seeing that they battered fried their chicken I searched for 'Batter Fried Chicken; and found this recipe.  It appears to originally come from Cooks Illustrated.  IMHO, THIS is the way to do it.  I keep a container of the premixed dry ingredients on hand so I just need to add water.

 

After a simple brine, the batter is made and  the brined chicken is dipped into it and fried.  You just need one bowl - none of this messy assembly line of flour -- egg -- flour/breading.

 

But if you'd like to go even more crispy - after battering, dredge in some crushed Corn Flakes.

 

I'm very pleased with the results (Note: I double the salt in the batter recipe).  But am now experimenting with the brine to include vinegar or pickle juice.

 

[Edit to Add] Also, if you don't add the Corn Flake variation, the batter is very kind to your oil.  There is virtually no flour dispersion to wind up burning and fouling your oil.

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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59 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Opinions sought...

 

Add starch or baking powder or trisol to the seasoned flour?

 

Add egg to the buttermilk?

 

Or batter coat (as opposed to making an in situ batter with buttermilk-soaked chicken and flour)?

 

Skin off or on?

 

Sous vide first?

 

From an eater's point of view, skin on. Never understood why you'd take the skin off of fried poultry (except to cut calories). But the skin has to be really crispy, not flabby. IMO.

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      -- the paste: many curry dishes involve frying a blended paste of onion, garlic, and/or ginger, along with the spices, in oil or ghee (clarified butter). I found that learning how to cook that paste -- which requires the same sort of patience demanded by roux -- was the key to making a deep, rich curry.
      -- accompaniments: rice dishes or bread (I have a pretty good naan recipe that I'd be glad to try out again).
      Here are a couple of related eGullet threads:
      lamb kangari
      a lamb and goat thread
      If anyone finds more, post 'em!
      So: find yourself a leg of lamb to bone, sharpen your knives, and get ready to update your spice drawer!
    • By Chris Amirault
      Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index.
      For our fourteenth Cook-Off, we're making bibimbap.

      Aficionados of Korean food and cooking are well aware of this famous dish, but many who have not had the pleasure might find this a surprising cook-off selection. Folks, I'm here to tell you that everyone should bring this remarkable dish into their repertoire.
      What is bibimbap, you ask? In a previous thread devoted to the subject, Jinmyo offered this typically inimitable explanation:
      True, some ingredients (the pickles known as kimchee and the red pepper paste known as gojuchang) may be a bit tricky for you to find, but we can summon up some possible substitutes. No special equipment is absolutely necessary, though if you have one of the stone or metal cook bowls known as dolsots, you'll want to use that. Like cassoulet, bibimbap inspires many debates about authenticity and regionalism, which means that the neophyte can experiment with great flexibility and still claim some amount of technical merit!
      Finally and as always, the eGullet Society is chock-a-block full of experts ready to share ideas and recipes for the various components of this dish, not only on the thread referenced above (click the little pink box in the quotation) but also here, here, and here, with a kimchee thread here and a kochuchang thread here. So turn on your rice cookers and get your beef a-marinating -- and if you have any soju handy, get it damned cold!
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