How to Make the Batter for Deep-Fried Fish or Chicken

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When making the batter for deep-fried fish or chicken, you're always going to want to keep a few important things in mind. Make the batter for deep-fried fish or chicken with help from a self-taught cook with decades of experience in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Southern Cooking
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm John McLemore, the president and CEO of Masterbuilt and the author of "DADGUM That's Good!" and "DADGUM That's Good, Too!" cookbooks. There are two recipes that are near and dear to me because they're from my parents. Pa Pa's old fashioned fried fish and MeMa's southern fried chicken. Both are in Dadgum That's Good 1 and MeMa's southern fried chicken was so dadgum good we actually repeated it in Dadgum That's Good, Too because we dedicated that book to my mom. And my kids call my dad Pa Pa and my mom MeMa. Now recipes are real easy. There's two different types of batter. We've got a wet batter and we've got a dry batter. My dad's fish is this simple. We're going to take some salt and salt both sides of the fish. OK. You want to turn that over, and we don't put pepper on the fish, just salt. We've got our fish salted. Now we're going to dredge it in just regular corn meal. OK. Both sides, and get this ready to go in 325 degrees of peanut oil. Now we recommend peanut oil for a lot of reasons. One, peanut oil gives it a great flavor but peanut oil also does not transfer taste from one type of food to the other. And a lot of people ask when they're frying fish, can we fry chicken or recipes in the same oil. Well with peanut oil you actually have a little bit of flexibility there. All right. So we've got our fish salted, we've got our fish with the corn meal coating, and we're ready to go into the fryer. Again, always when you're dealing with raw fish and or poultry, wash your hands in between when you're transferring. And now we've got our turkey fryer here with the oil at 325 degrees. The reason that's important when your frying fish is because thick fish will not get done on the inside. We want to put the fillets in the basket and lower them in. Again, 325 degrees. Now fish is only going to take about three and a half to four minutes. OK. While that fish is frying let me show you my mom's great southern fried chicken recipe. It's real simple. You take a complete fryer, whole fryer and you cut it up where you can have your leg, your wing, your thigh and your breast. We want to salt and pepper your chicken on both sides, and with seasoning it's to taste. If you like a lot of pepper you put a lot of pepper on, same thing with salt. Now salt is going to tenderize that chicken and give the right flavor. Salt and pepper on chicken, you then take it and put it in a buttermilk bath. And you want to make sure that you completely cover the entire chicken. From there we put it into self rising flour. Now this gives it that great skin. That's one of the things that I remember growing up with my mom, is she fried southern fried chicken and all of us kids would fight over who got here skin. All right. So we've got salt and pepper completely submerged in the butter milk and you want to get that self rising flour completely coating the chicken. Now our fish has about two minutes to go. While it's frying up, this particular recipe is great for on the fish we've actually got a whiting which is typically what you can buy at the grocery store or cat fish. But when I was growing up with my dad it was whatever we caught. It as brim, catfish, crappy, bass, fillets, whatever your favorite recipe or fish is. It was not only great recipes but a lot of fun. That's one of the things also at the McLemore house, everybody gets involved when they're cooking. I did growing up with my dad, I've got my kids cooking with me today. We've got one more minute to go. OK. Our fish has been in now for about four minutes. We're going to let it drain and put it on some paper towels to drain on a platter. This fish is also great with hush puppies. OK. Our fish is now done so it's time to put in the chicken and we've got the leg and the thigh and the breast all going in at the same time. Going to close the lid and set the timer for fifteen minutes. You want your chicken to come out golden brown and always have your poultry at 165 degrees. I'm John McLemore with Masterbuilt and author of Dadgum That's Good and that is how you cook old fashioned fish and southern fried chicken.

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