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Old 10-05-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Pan Fried "Fried Chicken"

im looking for tips/tricks/recipe for really good fried chicken....we are sort of health nuts and have therefore never made it before, but i saw an episode of Good Eats and now im craving it...im not looking for deep friend chicken, but the "pan fried" style AB made here:

Fried Chicken Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

i was going to use this recipe straight up, but the comments by people who had tried it weren't all positive....if someone could offer some advice, while keeping it simple (first time and all), it would be great....or just tell me that this recipe is fine, and ill do that!

some extra info:

- i have a stainless stock pot (a typical pot you would make pasta in) and a non-stick skillet that is a very good size for something like this....no cast iron...at first i was going to avoid the non-stick because it is not known for good crust formation, but does that rule apply here? i realize the stock pot may be a bit awkward to use, but would use it if it would yield a better product
- i would prefer an oil other than shortening....we use very little oil to begin with, and any leftover shortening would def go to waste....canola or veg ok?
- im relatively confident that i can create or tweak a seasoning shake to my liking - but perhaps there is a key ingredient i may not think of, or something that i should avoid?
- would it be ruined if i removed the skin? i'd prefer not to have it, but not if it will totally destroy the dish
- i have a basic dial, probe style thermometer...honestly, i dont even trust it much, but dont plan on buying a new one....tips on heat management?

thanks!

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
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Non-stick are not great for frying, so I've heard. The temp gets too high (for the non-stick finish, not the food). Peanut oil is great to fry in, but I just use canola because it's less expensive. I use my grandma's cast iron chicken fryer, it has taller sides. not sure about skinless fried chicken, never tried it. When I googled
skinless fried chicken" I found lots of recipes for oven-fried. But, you could probably do it in a skillet, it may dry out the surface, though. You could also try a 3-stage breading procedure, like for chicken fried steak, flour, egg wash, crumbs; or even a batter.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
im looking for tips/tricks/recipe for really good fried chicken....we are sort of health nuts and have therefore never made it before
If made correctly, fried chicken is no where near as bad as some people think it is. I certainly would not call it health food, but if mad right the chicken will have very little oil in it. The skin itself will be the most unhealthy part, but it would be no more unhealthy than any other chicken with skin. Well maybe not no more unhealthy, but close to it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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If made correctly, fried chicken is no where near as bad as some people think it is. I certainly would not call it health food, but if mad right the chicken will have very little oil in it. The skin itself will be the most unhealthy part, but it would be no more unhealthy than any other chicken with skin. Well maybe not no more unhealthy, but close to it.
right...learning that fact is how i am "allowing" myself to make it....i know, im kind of crazy

got any tips or recipes?
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:40 PM   #5
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just make sure your oil is hot enough, that way it stays on the outside of your food and is not "greasy"
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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Not crazy at all. I have never actually made friend chicken myself so any tips or info I give you will not come from first hand experience. From what I understand though, the most important factor in frying chicken is keeping the heat at the correct temp and keeping it from raising or dropping to much.

The reason I said it is healthier than most think if done correctly is because when you fry chicken at the right temp then what happens is the moisture inside the chicken turns to steam and pushes out of the meat. This expulsion of steam keeps the oil from going into the chicken so all the fat stays on the outside. If the temp drops too much then there is not enough steam pressure to keep the oil out which will result in a greasy unhealthy meal. If the heat is too high then you run out of steam before the chicken is cooked through which is no good either. Because of this, keeping the correct and steady heat is very important.

Non-stick pans and stock pots are not well suited for frying. I would use this as an opportunity to get yourself some cast iron. You can get a pan very cheap and it will last you many lifetimes.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:57 PM   #7
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For this purpose, non-stick will work fine, especially for the technique I'm giving you. The trick is to avoid cooling the hot oil by adding too much chicken. The oil (I prefer sunflower oil) and chicken cooking will not get the non-stick coating hot enough to create any problems, if the oil is kept at the proper temperature (160' F). Remove the skin from your chicken pieces. Preheat the oven to 375'F. Put oil in your frying pan up to about 2 inches deep. Place 1 cup all-purpose flour into a rectangular cake pan, or other suitable vessel. Crack one egg into a mixing bowl large enough to place chicken pieces in. Add 1/4 cup milk to the egg and beat until smoothly blended.

Heat oil in the pan to 360' using a candy thermometer. Dip the skinless chicken into the egg was, taking care to coat completely. Dredge the chicken through the flour. When removing from the flour, know off the extra flour by gently tapping the chicken against the pan side. Place into the hot oil and fry until lightly golden on one side. Turn over and repeat. Remove and place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Lightly salt. Fry no more than two pieces of chicken at a time. When all pieces are fried, place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Cook your sides during this time. Remove and serve hot.

The skins can be fried, drained of grease, then boiled to make a stock for gravy. Season with salt, pepper, and sage to taste. Thicken with a corn starch slurry. You can also add chicken soup base, and chopped green onion to the stock before thickening to add flavor. A bit of shredded carrot isn't bad either.

This chicken comes out very light, and not greasy at all. Have napkins ready. This technique makes chicken so juicy it will squirt you when you bite into it. My Mother-in-Law taught this method to my wife, who taught it to me.

Once you have the basic technique down, you can add seasonings to the flour. I have combined salt, sage, coriander, dried oregano, dried basil, nutmeg (just a hint of this), turmeric, granulated onion powder, granulated garlic powder, , cayenne pepper, and ginger to my four. Sometimes all in combination, sometimes just one or two of the herbs and spices. Play with the flavors to get it just the way you like it.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:05 PM   #8
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Oh, and just sos you knows, chicken or any other meat or veggie, lightly coated in egg wash and flour, absorbs much less oil than does the same food dipped into a batter and fried.

But I have to tell you, chicken strips fried in a tempura batter, or crusted with shredded coconut, and panko bread crumbs is ourtrageously good.

For the former, just combine 1/2 cup each flour and cornstarch with 1 tsp. baking powder. Add 1 cup water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Dip the pre-cut chicken strips into the batter, and place in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Remove and serve with a great salad.

For the latter, use the egg-wash and flour mixture from my first post. But after dredging the chicken in the flour, dredge again in the egg wash, and then into a bowl of 1 cup panko breadcrumbs that have been mixed with half a cup of shredded coconut. Fry and bake as in the original technique. yum.

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Old 10-05-2009, 04:14 PM   #9
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Oh, and just sos you knows, chicken or any other meat or veggie, lightly coated in egg wash and flour, absorbs much less oil than does the same food dipped into a batter and fried.
I would say this is only true if fried incorrectly. If done right then the amount of oil absorbed by either method is extremely small and one would not be more prone to absorbing more than another.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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>>tips and tricks

from my mother-in-law... and it does make a difference....
cut up the chicken and soak in a big pot of ice water - real ice cubes floating around in the water - for 2-3 hours. sometimes I skip this step, but it does make a difference - no, can't "explain" it - but when employed, juicer / more tender outcome.....

ice cubes floating in buttermilk,,,, even more better....

coat / bread the chicken parts - this is a _huge_ area of different practices.
I pat the chicken dry, season it, dredge in plain flour, egg wash, coat in seasoned flour. it was indeed Alton Brown that put me onto "season under the coating" concept - it's a valid concept - but I limit my under coating seasoning to salt&pepper - the other stuff goes in the second dredge seasoned flour.

in a properly hot pan and properly hot oil, fry the chicken pcs to "make it pretty" - crisp and lightly browned.

pop it in a pre-heated 325'F oven - on a rack - not drowning in its own juices/oil - for 20-25 minutes to cook through.

the whereas-i and wherefore-i:

it is possible to pan fry scrumptious chicken. been there, done that.
it takes exactly the right fry pan / oil temperature, time and patience.
frankly, deep frying in a thermostatically controlled fryer is whole lots easier if you want to take that approach and got the gear to do it.

with / without skin:
without a single question in my silly little mind, frying with the skin on produces a moisture, juicer, more flavorful chicken product.
whether one _eats_ the skin is a personal / dietary preference.

my dear wife insisted (past tense) on removing the skin from the breast (she's a white meat, I'm a dark meat fan....) to be 'healthier' - well, she ceased with that nonsense and now specifically requests with the skin - which she peels off and does not eat - but dang the white meat tastes better - her opinion..... I can't tell because if there's any breat meat left over, I eat with the skin on.

the "on a rack" bit is important. it keeps the pcs "dry"

finishing in the oven is a whole lot less "timing critical" than the "all in the pan" method. I've used temps as low as 275'F (longer time). frying to a complete finish in a pan, in oil, is a delicate balance of temperature / knob twisting" - success of which probably the hallmark of a truely experienced and expert cook, but heck, finishing in the oven works just as great, for me... anywhey.....

as a secondary consideration, if you need fired chicken for 10 people, doing it entirely in a pan is problematic unless you've got a 50" fry pan and multiple burners. for larger batches, fry to make pretty - finish in oven allows you to serve up rafts of hot, juicy, just done volume.

when doing volumes, I start frying the small pcs first - breasts last. rationale: the small pcs will 'reheat' fast; the larger pcs I want to be 'fry pan hot' going into the oven so everything is 'done' and the same time.
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