What is the secret to frying chicken so it is done in the middle and crisp on the outside? Thanks a million.
Tony from Chicago, IL
Flour chicken pieces. Put cooking oil in frying pan (preferably cast iron), make oil very hot. Put chicken into hot oil, do not overcrowd chicken. Brown each side of the chicken pieces to your taste and turn down the flame to low and cover chicken. You will keep the lid on for about 30 minutes. Check one piece of chicken (dark piece) for doneness. Take lid off and turn up the heat once again and crisp the chicken up again. I hope you enjoy! Good Luck!
You can put chicken or anything to be sure it's done in microwave & cook it a few minutes, check for doneness.
Hubby's our "official chicken fryer, since he didn't care for my oven-fried chicken. (I'm visually impaired and try to avoid stovetop frying; the flour coating on mine never seemed to get done.)
The one way hubby always checks for doneness is, he cuts into a thick part - right down to the bone. If the meat doesn't look at all pink and doesn't "jiggle" (sorry, not technical, but workable) it's done.
Here in the South we fry everything in a cast iron skillet, so that's my first piece of advice. Wash chicken pieces thoroughly, season according to your taste preference, I usually just use salt and pepper and sprinkle hot sauce onto pieces, rub to coat completely. And no, this doesn't make the meat hot, but it does make it fry up golden brown. Dredge pieces in flour, coating well and drop down into hot grease. Put a lid on skillet and turn heat down to about medium high. Check meat frequently and turn when first side is brown and repeat for other side. The mistake alot of folks make in frying chicken is having the heat up too high and keeping up while cooking, but once you drop the chicken in you need to cut the heat down and cover with lid, this makes for moist, juicy chicken. Good luck!
The main thing that you need to do is not cook it too fast. Start out on a lower heat setting and let it cook, if you cook it at too high a setting, the outside can get scorched before the inside is done. The way that you tell that chicken is done on the inside is when the juices run clear when you prick it with a fork.
My first tip is to add corn starch to your flour/spice mix(salt, pepper, garlic, etc). I use a large ziploc bag for this. Wash and dry the pieces and then shake in the flour/spice/corn starch mix. Place the chicken on a foil-lined cookie sheet and place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. Take out and shake again, then put back in the fridge. During this time I heat up my CRISCO SHORTENING in a pan. The oil is good and hot by the time it is time to take the chicken out. I place about a teaspoon of butter in the oil (for flavoring). Take the chicken out, shake in the bag one more time and place in the oil. Turn down the heat to medium and place a lid on the pan (a clear lid works best). I was told by my two "southern chicken queens" at work to let the first side cook until the coating browns just past halfway up the chicken part before turning over.
Test with a toothpick or fork for clear juices. The whole cooking process for a batch should be 30-40 minutes.
The cornstarch helps the coating "puff" and the refrigerating between coats helps to "layer" or "build up" the coating.
Another tip; if you like BBQ or a hot wing type of chicken, heat the sauce of choice in a separate pot and then dip to coat upon taking the chicken out of the oil.
My landlord taught me how to fry chicken in 1960 when I was engaged to get married. I had cooked chicken for my future husband and it was beautiful but raw on the bone. Bless his heart, he ate it anyway.
Salt and pepper each piece of chicken as desired. Put flour in a covered container or paper bag and place chicken in the flour and shake it well coating each piece of chicken with flour.
Set electric frying pan for 350 degrees. Put Crisco shortning in pan approximately 1/2 inch deep. Place pieces of chicken in the hot grease. Cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes. It will be nice and brown on the bottom.
Take lid off, turn pieces of chicken over and cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes. This will brown the other side and chicken will be crispy.
Splatter screens have been invented since then and I use it over the top of the frying pan when frying with the lid off.
Lightly brown your chicken then either
A) cover the pan and cook until nearly done. Uncover the pan and allow the chicken to crisp up turning it over at least once to be sure it was crispy all over
B) Brown your chicken in the frying pan then place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree over for about half an hour to an hour.
My Mom did both styles depending on how much time she had available. The oven baking was if she had other things she needed to do while supper was cooking.
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