This week, for the very first time, I ventured to make fried chicken. It was a goal a long time in the making, and one which intimidated me to no end. Despite my relative prowess in the kitchen, frying things is not my forte. In fact, I’ve avoided it almost completely for fear of failure. There’s something about standing over a boiling vat of oil that’s just plain intimidating!
Luckily, though, I took the task on. And, boy, am I glad I did. The simple, classic, crunchy finger licking dish had me giddy! I’m pretty sure that fried chicken is bound to become a regular fixture in my cooking repertoire.
Here are some thoughts, from a first-timer to anybody out there hoping to take the dive into this down home meal.
1. Don’t skip the brine! I opted for a buttermilk brine, the rich acidity made the final product oh so juicy and moist and delicious. I didn’t have time to brine for a full twenty-four hours, instead I submerged my chicken for about three and a half hours, before dredging it. The result was still pretty damn delectable.
2. Season your flour! Make sure that your breading mixture gets a healthy amount of salt, pepper, and paprika! This way your crispy skin will be packed full of flavor. Hit the hot chicken with some top salt when it comes out of the oil as well, your chicken will be anything but bland!
3. Control your oil! Making sure that your oil doesn’t get too hot is a necessary step in the whole process. If the oil goes too high, your chicken will come out dark brown rather than that golden crispy hue you’re looking for. If your oil gets too hot, try removing some with a measuring cup or large spoon, and replacing what you’ve removed with new oil.