Making Deep Fried Chicken

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Batter

  • You can deep fry chicken without battering it, but you will be sacrificing texture and flavor. Batter can be made either from scratch or you can buy it at the grocery store. Usually commercial batter is sold in the flour section and can be found plain, spicy, or extra crunchy. Follow the instructions for making batter on these commercial products or simply pour the mix into a plastic bag, insert the chicken into the bag, and shake. It's exactly like Shake N Bake, except you will fry instead of baking.

Seasoning

  • If you deep-fry chicken without batter, apply seasoning directly onto the chicken. If you use batter, it is best to apply season both before and after you batter. For spicy chicken ala Popeye's, sprinkle liberally with cayenne pepper. Regardless of whether you want spicy or mild, no deep fried chicken will taste good unless you thoroughly salt the chicken. One reason that deep friend chicken tastes so good at commercial outlets is because they are quite generous with the salt, and usually pepper. Even if you are afraid of oversalting, go ahead and add another dash or two, because the oil is going to burn off much of the salt.

Safety

  • Deep frying has the potential to become very dangerous. There are several steps that must be taken in order to avoid the possibility of burning your skin with the hot oil. In the first place, make sure the fryer is completely dry inside; just one drop of water can cause the oil to pop uncontrollably. Secondly, always wear oven mitts or some kind of glove when cooking in a deep fryer. Use metal or aluminum tongs instead of plastic ones because the plastic tongs can easily lose grip and cause the chicken parts to drop into the vat of boiling grease. Finally, when placing the chicken into the fryer, place the chicken all the way into the grease; do not ever just drop the parts into the fryer.

Preparation

  • The deep fryer should be turned off and unplugged before use. Pour the oil into the fryer and then plug it and turn it on. Let the oil heat up for a few minutes before placing the chicken into the fryer. This is especially necessary if you have battered the chicken because if you place the chicken into unheated oil, the batter will not immediately adhere to the chicken, but will instead run off and create a great big mess.

Cooking Time

  • Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the portion. In addition, you'll want to give boned chicken some extra cooking time over boneless chicken. Generally speaking, most chicken can be fried completely in about eight to ten minutes, but as the saying goes, always stick a fork in it to tell if it's really done; if the juices run clear you're safe to go in most cases. To be absolutely certain, however, just slice the chicken at its thickest part. If you have a meat thermometer, slide it into the thickest part; if the temperature is over 170 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken should be done.

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