Frying chicken typically involves a few key steps. Here’s a basic guide to frying chicken:
- Chicken pieces (such as drumsticks, thighs, or breast pieces)
- Oil for frying (such as vegetable oil or canola oil)
- Buttermilk (optional)
- All-purpose flour
- Seasonings (such as salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and any other desired herbs or spices)
- Prepare the chicken: If desired, you can soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk for a few hours or overnight. This helps tenderize the meat and adds flavor, but it’s optional.
- Heat the oil: In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, add enough oil to have a depth of around 1-2 inches. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of about 350-375°F (175-190°C). Use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature, or you can test by dropping a small piece of bread or flour into the oil. If it sizzles and floats to the top, the oil is ready.
- Season the chicken: While the oil is heating, season the chicken pieces generously with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices or herbs. You can mix the seasonings into the flour in the next step if you prefer.
- Coat the chicken: In a shallow dish or bowl, combine the all-purpose flour with additional seasonings if desired. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour mixture, pressing lightly to ensure it adheres well. Shake off any excess flour.
- Fry the chicken: Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. The chicken should be fully submerged in the oil. Fry the chicken for about 8-12 minutes per side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and the crust is golden brown. Adjust the cooking time as needed depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces.
- Drain and rest: Once cooked, use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the fried chicken from the oil and transfer it to a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels. This allows any excess oil to drain off and helps keep the crust crispy. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.
- Serve: Serve the fried chicken while it’s still hot and crispy. It pairs well with various side dishes like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, cornbread, or biscuits.
Remember to always exercise caution when working with hot oil to avoid any accidents or burns.
Image from Wikipedia