Fried chicken is considered as one of the ultimate comfort foods across the globe. With its golden, crispy exterior and tender, juicy meat, it’s not hard to see why so many people love this classic dish. However, cooking the perfect fried chicken can be a bit of a challenge, even for experienced home cooks. That’s why we reached out to some of the top chefs around the world to get their secrets and tips for cooking crispy, delicious fried chicken.
1. Start with the Right Cut
The first step in cooking the perfect fried chicken is to choose the right cut of chicken. Many chefs recommend using bone-in, skin-on chicken for the best results. This will help to keep the meat moist and juicy during the cooking process, while the skin adds a crispy texture that is essential for good fried chicken.
2. Brine the Chicken
Brining the chicken before frying can help to ensure that it stays moist and tender, even after cooking. To brine the chicken, create a mixture of water, salt, and sugar (along with any other spices or seasonings you like) and let the chicken soak in the mixture for several hours before frying.
3. Use the Right Seasoning
Seasoning is key when it comes to making great fried chicken. Many chefs recommend using a blend of spices and herbs, such as paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and thyme, to create a flavorful coating for the chicken. You can also experiment with different seasonings and blends to find the ones that work best for your taste buds.
4. Use the Right Flour
The flour you use to coat the chicken can also make a big difference in the final result. Many chefs recommend using a blend of all-purpose flour, cornmeal, and cornstarch for the best texture and flavor. You can also add other ingredients to the coating, such as breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes, to add extra crunchiness and flavor.
5. Fry at the Right Temperature
One of the most important things to remember when frying chicken is to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. Too hot of an oil will result in burned, overcooked chicken while too cool of an oil can result in greasy, undercooked chicken. Aim for a temperature of around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit and monitor the heat carefully to get the best results.
6. Drain the Chicken Thoroughly
Once the chicken is cooked, it’s crucial to let it drain on a wire rack before serving. This will help to remove any excess oil and ensure that the chicken stays crispy. It’s also a good idea to season the chicken with a bit of salt immediately after frying to enhance the flavor.
7. Serve with the Right Accompaniments
Fried chicken is often served with a variety of different sides, such as coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and biscuits. Choose your favorite sides to accompany the chicken, or try out some of the chef’s recommendations, such as pickled vegetables or a hot honey glaze.
Finally, remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to cooking fried chicken. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the perfect recipe and technique for your taste buds, but with the right tools and tips, you’ll be frying up delicious chicken in no time.