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Old 01-18-2019, 08:08 PM   #1
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Fried chicken screwed up..what did I do wrong?

I've made fried chicken several times, with varying results. I usually knew what I did wrong, tonight I'm stumped. Ideas please?
I got a whole, cut up bone in chicken from my favorite butcher, 3 1/2 pounds. Marinated overnight in buttermilk and 1/4 cup hot sauce. King Arthur flour with a Tbsp baking powder, with Kosher salt, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder for a dredge. Chicken rested out of buttermilk for 20 minutes, dredged, rest on rack for 15 minutes. Vegetable oil in Lodge enameled Dutch oven, candy thermometer in the oil heated to 340f. Added chicken in two batches, kept the temp between 325 and 350. Double checked grease temp with a Thermapen. Dark meat was cooked to 165 internal temp in about 7 minutes, but the crust was way too dark and tasted burned. Breasts then cooked at same temps, outside was also overdone when the center was under 100 degrees. Kept cooking it until the meat was cooked through, had to peel the skin off to eat it.
So...where did I screw up? Every recipe I've read said keep the grease at 325 (Alton Brown) to 350 (Paula Deen) Ideas? Thank you.

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Old 01-18-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
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Happens a lot with me frying chicken. The coating always gets burned by the time the chicken is cooked inside. I've given up and just fry the chicken pieces for a few minutes, then transfer it to the oven to cook. It doesn't come out nearly as crispy as I would like. I doubt I'll ever master it like long time hired house cooks do. They just have a knack.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:39 AM   #3
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Frying chicken is NOT as easy as you might think. I consider myself very lucky that mine has always come out well.

Your results tell me the temperature may have been too high, regardless of what your Thermapen said. Seven minutes to burnt is setting off alarms. It shouldn't burn that fast.

I personally don't worship the Thermapen the way many people do. I sold mine years ago because it let me down too many times. I'm not saying that was your problem, but it may have played a role.

My own experience with pan fried chicken, which I do in cast iron -- pan or DO is not important if you have the oil at the same level -- is that you go by the color. Fry one side until the color looks right, and turn it over. I don't probe the meat for temperature. When it is crisp and golden brown on one side, flip it until it is crisp and golden brown on the other side.

Fried chicken is one of those things you just have to learn to make, through trial and error.

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Old 01-19-2019, 01:03 AM   #4
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I got to thinking, what if I set my rare to buy now 6" x 7" drying rack at the bottom of my big frying pan (it barely fits). Maybe the heat from the bottom of the CI pan wouldn't scorch the chicken batter?

I think the secret of oil frying chicken is learning from someone who does.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:15 AM   #5
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I don't do will with fried chicken either and getting different chicken parts done together is a mystery to me. We like thighs so that's what I fry till nicely browned, and then finish them in a hot oven. By the way, I think thighs need to be cooked to 180 internal temp for best texture.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
Frying chicken is NOT as easy as you might think. I consider myself very lucky that mine has always come out well.

Your results tell me the temperature may have been too high, regardless of what your Thermapen said. Seven minutes to burnt is setting off alarms. It shouldn't burn that fast.
I try and fry chicken at optimum temp. Getting there.

I keep thinking of southern fried chicken sunday dinners, where it's like Churches fried chicken or KFC or an experienced hired woman who does it well.

My fried chicken nowhere near hers, might never be.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:49 AM   #7
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I got to thinking, what if I set my rare to buy now 6" x 7" drying rack at the bottom of my big frying pan (it barely fits). Maybe the heat from the bottom of the CI pan wouldn't scorch the chicken batter?

I think the secret of oil frying chicken is learning from someone who does.
You are on the right track. I watched other people fry chicken before I tried it on my own. It made a big difference.

Forget the rack, or other tricks. It works perfectly if you know what to do, and get out of the way!

I think more fried chicken is ruined by anxiety than anything else. You have to prepare, and then do it, and let it cook.

I was stressed out the first time I made fried chicken. It came out great! Now, I don't stress out. I just do it.

BTW, you WILL make a mess. As far as I know, there is no way to make proper fried chicken without having to spend a lot of time cleaning afterwards. As much as I hate cleaning, it is worth it.

CD
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:58 AM   #8
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Like CD wrote, your temp is too high. I don't use a thermometer for the oil either, but neither did my mother or grandmother and watching them cook was how I learned. You can do like Kay does and finish in oven or you can look up the method where you parcook the chicken by boiling or baking, let it cool, then batter or dredge and fry.

OR

You can visit KFC or your local grocery, buy the chicken already cooked and make your own sides at home. Considering the mess it makes, the oil it takes and your time, it's not that big of an expense, and if the grocery fries it well and it happens to be on sale, it's pretty much a wash. That's what we've done last few times we've had fried chicken.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:37 AM   #9
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It always seems to go differently for me every time I do it..some times it works out and some times it doesn't..
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:03 AM   #10
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It always seems to go differently for me every time I do it..some times it works out and some times it doesn't..
Same for me....

Fortunately, our surrounding small towns have old fashioned "Mom's" diners.. When I get a craving for fried chicken, off we go..

Part of what I love about rural Missouri..

Oh... and every one of those diners have pie.. Delicious pie..

Ross
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:59 AM   #11
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I should point out I used a candy thermometer in the oil the entire time, only double checked with my Thermapen when it appeared it was going sideways.
Everything I read said oil needed to be at least 325 to sear the outside so oil doesn't soak into the meat and become greasy. Read about flicking the tiniest drop of water into the oil and let the crackling tell me when it's ready, which I then tested to be about 350. My chicken "looked" perfectly golden brown, like on a menu, but was way undercooked inside. So I kept frying the rest until it was done inside, overdone outside. Oh well, back to oven fried, which is hard to mess up. I'll remove the skin from this mess and make chicken salad.
Thanks for everyones input.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:01 AM   #12
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And for those who suggest just going to a proper diner or joint who knows how to fry chicken correctly, I'm close enough to Rip's Tavern, Ladd Illinois. That place knows yardbird.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:07 AM   #13
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maybe you tried too aggressively to keep the temp steady. its expected that the hot drop when you add the chicken. maybe you should go with that.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:17 AM   #14
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I quit using buttermilk for this very reason. The chicken browns to fast after it has been sitting in buttermilk.
We use salt, pepper and flour. Never burns and I do not own a candy thermometer but want to get one.

I tried the buttermilk just once and quit.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:13 PM   #15
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I've never used buttermilk to make fried chicken. It was used to tenderize chicken in the past, but today's chickens are bred to be more tender and they're sold when they're much younger than they used to be, so it's not necessary. I dredge it in flour, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and paprika, then cook in hot oil (never measured it) till well browned on both sides. Never had it burn.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:41 PM   #16
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And for those who suggest just going to a proper diner or joint who knows how to fry chicken correctly, I'm close enough to Rip's Tavern, Ladd Illinois. That place knows yardbird.
I have eaten at the tavern in Ladd many and I mean many years ago. I couldn’t recall the name if it was the same then. My dad and brother would get the turtle soup once in a while there. Very good chicken at the time, I grew up in Dixon Il
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Happens a lot with me frying chicken. The coating always gets burned by the time the chicken is cooked inside. I've given up and just fry the chicken pieces for a few minutes, then transfer it to the oven to cook. It doesn't come out nearly as crispy as I would like. I doubt I'll ever master it like long time hired house cooks do. They just have a knack.
That's what I've done several times. I just can't do fried chicken very well. If I pan-fry, it always comes out too greasy and if I deep-fry, the outside gets overcooked and the inside is still partially raw.

So I searched for the perfect oven-fried chicken recipe and finally found one that makes perfect oven-fried chicken every time. It's from a cookbook of mine.

Versatile Chicken


Ingredients

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves, optional
1 (2 and 1/2 to 3 lb) broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
1 cup unsifted flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large Ziploc bag, combine buttermilk, bouillon, and oregano; let stand 10 minutes. Shake to mix. Add chicken, let stand for 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Preheat oven to 350°. In another Ziploc bag, combine flour and paprika. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time; shake to coat. Arrange chicken in a 9x13 baking dish.

Drizzle chicken with melted butter. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. Refrigerate leftovers.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:57 PM   #18
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I just found out that the size of the chicken can be the cause of burning before it's cooked through when fried. A broiler-fryer chicken at 3-4 pounds will cook through without burning. A roaster, which is 5-7 pounds, has bigger pieces than can burn on the outside before the inside is done.

https://www.finecooking.com/article/...broiler-fryers

Edit: I just looked at the OP and see that you had a 3.5-lb. chicken, so I guess this doesn't help. Oh well, it sounded good
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:04 AM   #19
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I soak mine in buttermilk or just milk with a little lemon juice added if I don't have butter milk and hot sauce, then my flour mixture is, flour, garlic & onion powder, salt & pepper, thyme, celery powder ( I dehydrate celery and then turn into powder - great stuff) paprika, and depends on whos at the supper table some cayenne pepper.
I remove the chicken from the marinate let it drip off then into the flour mixture and set it on a rack - I do all of it and then I repeat it, dip back into the marinate and then back into the flour and back on the rack and let it sit while oil is heating.
The one thing I learned was the temperature needs to be controlled. I love my cast iron, but I went and purchased a deep fryer with a thermostat control and I have never had any trouble again. The coating comes out crisp and the meat is cooked all the way thru. I also do it at 350 degree. Having the chicken at room temperature helps also. As it will cook evenly not the outside and then trying to cook the cold inside. Fried Chicken - potato salad yummmm
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:41 PM   #20
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Having the chicken at room temperature helps also. As it will cook evenly not the outside and then trying to cook the cold inside.

Good tip!
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