My Fried Chicken Observations

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Chief Longwind Of The North

Aug 26, 2004
After reading many DC posts where people have recommended soaking chicken in buttermilk before frying, I decided to give this a try. I placed a bone in, skin on chicken breast, and thigh into a zippered freezer bag, and added a pint of buttermilk. I placed the sealed bag into the fridge for 3 hours. After soaking, I dredged the breast in plain flour, with salt, and let sit for 01 minutes. I seasoned the rest of the flour as I like it, and dredged the thigh in the seasoned flour, back into the buttermilk, and back into the flour for a crispier coating. The chicken was fried until lightly browned, and then baked at 250' F. for 30 minutes. The meat was Ok. It didn't develop any more flavor than chicken right out of the package, nor was it more juicy, or tender. The coating did not adhere well to the chicken skin and just slid off.

I will stick to using a brine, and dipping in egg-wash, then flour, and double coating if desired. When I use this method, I get chicken so juice it squirts you when you bite into it.

I am convinced that it is the final meat temperature that determines the texture, and moisture of the chicken meat, as I have fried chicken with, and without soaking in brine. Using a brine simply seasons the meat all the way through rather than only on the surface.

Dry the chicken with paper towels and dredge in flour coating, seasoned or not as you prefer. Dip the floured chicken into the egg wash, letting it sit for a minute to hydrate the flour. Then dredge in flour again and let sit on a wire rack for 5 minutes to let the coating glue itself to the chicken skin. Fry in an inch of hot oil until lighlty browned. Turn over and lightly brown the 2nd side. Remove the chicken and place onto a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350' F. for 30 minutes. Remove and let sit for five minutes.

I have oven-fried chicken without first cooking in hot oil, and have fried the chicken until done, without finishing in the oven. My best results come from frying, then finishing in the oven.

As another testament to cooking to the correct meat temperature making all the difference, my roasted whole chicken, with no frying, or coatings other than seasonings comes out as juicy and tender as does my fried chicken.

A third testament to temperature of final procurement being the most important variable; DW love my chicken fingers. I have determined the proper thickness to cut the boneless, skinless breast meat nto before dredging in egg wash, then flour before frying. I fry the fingers to a light golden color. They are juicy and tender, and really good. I have fried the same sized fingers to a dark brown, accidentally, and the meat was tough and dry. On the same lines, velveted chicken is poached in hot water, ore oil until the cornstarch thickened marinade turns opaque. Again, because of the chicken piece size, when the coating turns opaque, the chicken is cooked perfectly to the correct temperature, and comes out extremely tender and juicy. The coating gives the pieces a velvety smooth mouth feel.

That's my observations with chicken. I really hope to get feedback and opinions on this, as we can all learn from each other.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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I just tried the buttermilk marinade in the last year. First time I did it, came out fine. Good adhesion of flour, I did a single dredge. Chix tasted fairly normal. I only marinated for about the same time, around 3 hours.

Second time I did it w boneless skinless thighs. Marinated over night with Frank's. Came out tasting better. Didn't get as much taste from the Frank's as I thought it would. Nice crunchy breading, looked better.

I'd do it again.

I like pan frying chix fingers. My main breading is half seasoned flour and half saltine crackers.

I used white cheddar cheese-it's instead of the saltines and that's a nice change.
When the buttermilk brine was developed, chicken used for frying was older and more tough than modern chickens, which have been bred for increased tenderness and are slaughtered when they're just a few months old. So increasing tenderness is not necessary at all.

You're right about overcooking being the cause of tough meat, whether chicken, beef pork or other meats.

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