Ever wondered how to get that golden-brown, crunchy perfection on a fried chicken? The kind that makes it irresistible? Here are 5 tips to take note when frying chicken.
1. Let It Sit for 30 Minutes
Never get the chicken right out of the fridge and plop it into the fryer because the temperature of the oil will drop and the meat won't cook evenly. You can say good-bye to the crispy skin. Once you get the chicken out of the fridge, set it aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before frying it.
2. You Don't Particularly Need A Fancy Deep Fryer
Yes, they are convenient to a certain extent but you can always opt for a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven because they retain heat better.
3. Use Canola, Vegetable or Peanut Oil
Never use extra-virgin olive oil because the chicken will turn out tasting bitter due to the oil's low smoke point. Canola, vegetable and peanut oil has a high smoke point and this makes them the perfect choice. The temperature of the oil should be at 350 degrees. If you're not sure, never assume. Invest in a kitchen thermometer instead.
4. Skip The Paper Towel
Paper towels do absorb excess oil from fried food but you might not want to do that anymore because when you place it on a paper towel, it'll start to steam and get soggy. In order to keep that crispiness on the chicken, drain it on a wire rack that's layered with a baking sheet. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes; the crust and the meat won't be searing-hot by then.
5. It's Not Done Until It's Brown? Think again.
This is another common mistake. It doesn't mean that if the chicken browns, it's done. Most often, when the oil is too hot, the chicken turns dark on the outside but insides are still uncooked. Stick your kitchen thermometer into the chicken's meat and make sure that the internal temperature is at 165 degrees. Also, never throw in too many chicken pieces into the pan at once. This will lower the oil's temperature and extend the cooking time.