Tomorrow is National Fried Chicken Day, and we are ready to celebrate the recipe that changed the way we think of and feel about cooking chicken. Originally a Scottish immigrant recipe with some African cooking influence, deep-fried chicken was popular in the south, only to spread across the country later on.
Thanks to the world’s most famous fast food chicken restaurant, Kentucky Fried Chicken, people all over the world now share their love for fried chicken, with many attempting to recreate their secret recipe, which is a combination of 11 different herbs and spices. So, if we’re having ourselves fried chicken this weekend to celebrate the holiday, we have some useful tips that will help us get the best, most delicious results.
Cut the chicken right. Whether you buy it pre-butchered or if you cut the chicken yourself, paying attention to the size of each piece can make a difference. Smaller pieces need less cooking time and allow for an even crisp, unlike bigger pieces, which can get crispy on the outside quite fast, but don’t get to fully cook on the inside.
The marinade is key. One of the most important elements of a truly delicious fried chicken is the marinade, which helps us keep the meat juicy. There are some who swear by buttermilk marinade, while others prefer brine, mixing sugar, salt, and spices into water. Whichever you choose, remember to soak the chicken in the brine and leave it refrigerated overnight.
Be generous when seasoning. Whenever we are making fried chicken, the type and amount of seasoning we add to our recipe will become an essential part. Adding salt and spices during each step of the process will help us banish blandness and increase the flavor of our recipe. Also, for breading, don’t forget to add chile powder, garlic powder, cayenne powder, salt, and black pepper to our flour.
Pay attention to the cooking oil and temperature. It is important to remember that we don’t need a deep fryer in order to cook fried chicken. Using a cast iron pan with a few inches of oil is more than enough, but we need to pay attention to the kind of oil we use and the temperature we are cooking at. Canola and peanut oil are the best ones to use, as they have a high smoke point. In regards to the temperature, 335°F is ideal, as it gives us chicken with a crispy outside and a well-cooked and still juicy inside.
Forget about paper towels. We understand that fried chicken may raise concerns regarding the amount of excess oil, but we should avoid using paper towels on our chicken. Instead, try using a wire rack so that the chicken can get rid of any oil excess without the risk of the pieces losing their crisp.