Fried chicken is traditionally made with a floury coating, but crackers are just the ticket if you prefer your chicken extra-crispy on the outside and juicy-tender inside. Nearly any type of cracker makes crispy, flavorful breading, including saltines, whole-grain crackers or buttery snack crackers, but be sure to crush the crackers as finely as possible. Serve the crispy chicken as-is, or stir a little milk and flour into the pan drippings to make rich, flavorful gravy.
Things You'll Need
- Resealable bag and rolling pin
- Blender or food processor (optional)
- Herbs and spices (optional)
- Shallow dish or pie pan
- Whole milk
- Heavy skillet
- Cooking oil
- Tongs or spatula
- Meat thermometer
- Paper bags
- Paper towels
- Serving plate
Place the crackers in a resealable bag. Remove the air from the bag, seal the top securely, and crush the crackers with a rolling pin. You can also crush the crackers in a food processor or blender.
Season the crackers with herbs and spices such as dried thyme, black pepper or paprika, if desired. Transfer the crushed crackers to a shallow dish or pie pan.
Beat an egg and whole milk together in a separate bowl. Use about 3 tablespoons of milk for each egg.
Place a heavy skillet over medium heat or preheat an electric skillet to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the bottom of the skillet with about 1/2 inch of cooking oil. You can also use lard, bacon grease or good quality shortening. Heat the skillet until a drop of water sizzles when dropped into the oil.
Dip the chicken pieces, one at at time, into the egg mixture. Coat each piece evenly with cracker crumbs.
Place the breaded chicken in the hot oil. Don't crowd the pan. Fry the chicken in batches, if necessary.
Cook the chicken for about 7 to 10 minutes on each side, or until the cracker crumbs are golden brown. Turn the chicken with tongs or a spatula. Don't use a fork because puncturing the skin causes a loss of savory juices.
Serve the chicken when a meat thermometer registers at least 165 F when the probe is inserted into the thickest part of breast or the inner part of a wing or thigh.
Remove the fried chicken from the skillet, then let it drain for a few minutes on a layer of brown paper bags or paper towels before serving.
Tips & Warnings
- Most crackers are salty and no additional salt is required. However, you can add extra salt to the crumb mixture, if desired.
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