How to Make a Good Batter for Chicken

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Fried chicken is a southern classic, and it seems that every cook has her own favorite recipe. Some call for soaking the chicken in buttermilk before frying. Others use a method of dipping the chicken pieces into flour and then eggs and then back into the seasoned flour. And of course there are the proponents of batter-coated fried chicken. The basics of batter are simple: a liquid, flour, seasonings and eggs.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • 1/2 cup beer or soda water
  • Chicken
  • Paper towels
  • Cake rake
  • Skillet
  • Cooking oil
  • Combine the flour, seasonings, butter and eggs in a bowl with a whisk.

  • Add the beer and gently combine with the flour mixture. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for about three hours and up to 12 hours.

  • Dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel. This is an important step. The batter will adhere better to a dry surface.

  • Dip the chicken pieces into the batter. Place the pieces on a cake rake. Let the excess batter drip off.

  • Put the dipped chicken pieces into cooking oil that is at least 1 inch deep and heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't crowd the chicken. The temperature of the oil will be lowered too much and the batter will absorb the oil rather than becoming crisp.

  • Cook for eight minutes and then turn over to cook the other side. If you are using a deep-fat fryer, the chicken will be submerged in the oil. In this case, fry the chicken for 13 to 15 minutes. Cut into the chicken to ensure that it is done. No pink juices should be present.

  • Keep the chicken warm. Place it in a preheated oven, set to the lowest setting, on top of paper towels placed in a roasting pan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vary the batter by adding hot sauce, different herbs or milk instead of the beer.
  • Let sliced fresh garlic seep in the batter instead of the garlic powder. Remove before dipping in the chicken pieces.
  • It is best to let the batter "mellow" for at least three hours, but it will still produce good results if you use it immediately.
  • The batter works with vegetables as well as chicken. Dip the vegetables first and fry before dipping the chicken. You don't want any raw chicken juices contaminating the vegetables which don't take as long to fry.

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References

  • "The Joy of Cooking"; Irma S. Rombauer; 1972
  • "American Cooking: Southern Style"; Eugene Walter; 1971
  • Photo Credit Media Bank/Photos.com/Getty Images
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