Fried chicken is major comfort food, right? I love biting into that crunchy breading! Sometimes, what I crave as much as the fried chicken are the dipping sauces to go along with it. I like my honey mustard from time to time, as well as classic buttermilk ranch dressing. In Ireland, a dish we had often were Goujons. They were basically just chicken strips, but they were served with Thai Sweet Chili sauce that just made the meal so much more exciting. Since our trip to Ireland a year ago, I have had a constant stock of Thai Sweet Chili sauce in my fridge for any dipping needs. I wanted to try out some other sauces with my fried chicken so I made a few on the same day that I tested a few different fried chicken recipes, and David and I had all this goodness for dinner with a side of mashed potatoes. Not a single vegetable to be found. Scroll to the bottom for some of my dipping sauce recipes. In the meantime, let’s talk about frying up some golden, crunchy, deliciously breaded chicken.
There are a few rules when it comes to fried chicken.
1. Take the bird outta the fridge.
Remove your chicken fromt he fridge at least 1 hour before frying. If you use cold chicken, it will bring down the temperature of your oil and extend the cooking time. The most common result is undercooked chicken, and that is not something anybody wants ever. So don’t do it! Let the chicken sit on the counter along with your other ingredients for about 1 hour. 1.5 hours is okay, too.
2. Brine Baby Brine! Or Not…
Some people are die hard briners. They cannot fathom cooking or eating a bird that has not been brined. I do enjoy a good brine on the Thanksgiving turkey, and sometimes pork chops, but it is not a crucial step for me when it comes to fried chicken. The point of brining is to add moisture to the bird so it doesn’t dry out as easily. I have found that chicken in a traditional brine (salt water) retains a ton of water. Causing it to splatter a bit during cooking and also I would argue that the water sort of dilutes the overall flavor. If you must brine, which is fine, do a buttermilk brine. Season your chicken breasts with kosher salt and black pepper, place in a bowl, and cover with buttermilk. Let them sleep in the fridge overnight. Another option is to do a “dry brine”. This means you season and coat your chicken in spices and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
3. Heat it Up, and Regulate that Shiz!
You must use oil that is the correct temperature. Too cold and your chicken with just swim in oil, soaking it all up, and take way too long to cook. Too hot and you’ll end up with burnt breading around undercooked chicken. Bad combo. Use a candy or deep fry thermometer to make sure your oil is always between 325F and 350F. The temperature will drop after you add a few pieces of chicken, so turn up your flame if necessary. Remember to keep an eye on the thermometer and lower that flame back down when needed.
4. Air it Out!
Instead of placing your cooked chicken on a paper towel to soak up excess oil (Really? How much of a difference is that drop of oil going to make… you’re eating FRIED chicken!) Set a cooling rack on top of a sheet tray and allow your chicken to cool on that. This allows air to flow all around your cooling chicken. Setting the hot birds on a towel will create steam, which creates soggy breading.
So what is the exact recipe for fried chicken? I have my favorite, and I think you should make it. I also think you should play around with the seasonings and figure out which you like best. You can also let the chicken cool completely, and then store it in the fridge to eat cold later. Like maybe on a picnic or something.
- 3-4 pounds of your favorite chicken pieces
- 15 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- peanut oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 small bunch cilantro
- juice of 1/2 lime
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon ranch mix
- Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- In a large bowl or large shallow dish, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl or shallow dish, whisk the eggs and water.
- Heat the oil to 350F in a large cast iron skillet, adding enough oil to come about 1/2 way up the skillet.
- Pat the chicken dry. Coat in the flour mixture, then dip to coat in the eggs, and dip again in the flour mixture.
- Transfer the coated chicken to the hot oil and cook until the breading is golden brown and the chicken register 165F on a meat thermometer, turning 3-4 times during cooking. This will take about 12-15 minutes per piece of chicken.
- Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a cooling rack. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.
- Finely mince the garlic, sprinkle with the salt, and drag the edge of your knife over the garlic to mash it.
- Mince the cilantro. Place in a bowl along with the garlic, salt, and lime juice.
- Add enough oil to cover the cilantro. Taste, and add more oil if the garlic flavor is too strong.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined and creamy. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Place all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir and cook until ingredients are combined and smooth.
- In a bowl, combine the ingredients and stir until smooth.
The mixture will appear to separate as you're mixing. Keep stirring and it will combine and become creamy.
So many chicken recipes!!!
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Healthy Eats: 6 Reasons Not to Write Off Chicken — Summer Soiree
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Domesticate Me: Chicken and Goat Cheese Burgers with Peaches, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes
Taste with the Eyes: Gochujang Chicken Adobo
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