Everyone loves fried chicken, but it can be a tricky thing to get right at home. Try this foolproof recipe for homemade fried chicken and you’ll get restaurant level results every time.
It goes without saying that the most important thing about making homemade fried chicken in your own kitchen is of course the quality of the chicken you use. Resist the urge to get the cheap drumsticks from the chicken aisle in the supermarket and instead try and source ethically raised, free-range chicken cuts. Even better, buy a whole chicken and get your butcher to debone it and chop it up for you, then cut the chicken breasts into small spices to fry.
This recipe can be made very quickly and takes only about 30 minutes in total. The first thing is to make a batter using two free-range eggs and 300 ml of water. Whisking them together and add 250g of all-purpose flour, salt and black pepper. Then make a dry flour mixture for your fried chicken. This is where all the flavour and spices can be added.
Take 300g of all-purpose flour, add a teaspoon of onion powder, a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of smoked paprika, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper into the flour mixture. Add chilli to taste, or leave it out if you prefer. You can add any kind of poultry seasoning you wish at this point, including Cajun spice mix or Chinese 5 Spice seasoning.
Take your pieces of chicken, which you have allowed to reach room temperature, and dip them in the batter. Cover completely. Using tongs, take the piece of chicken out of the batter and place it in the spiced flour mixture. Coat well with the mixture.
Heat a large saucepan with vegetable oil. Do not use olive oil. Sunflower or vegetable oil, is best. The oil temperature should be hot enough to cook, but not too hot to burn. Cook the chicken just a few pieces at a time, about 7-8 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Take the perfect fried chicken out from the oil, shake and allow to drain on paper towels. It’s a good idea to keep them in the oven on low heat until you’re ready to serve. Before frying the next batch, remove any pieces of batter floating in the frying oil with a slotted spoon so they don’t burn and spoil the oil.
It is a good idea to insert a kitchen thermometer into your fried chicken to ensure they are cooked right the way through. The thermometer should read 165° F (74° C). If the chicken is in any way pink, or you suspect it is undercooked, do not eat it. If it's cooked just right - enjoy.
Fried chicken works really well in a traditional New Orleans Po Boy fried chicken sandwich. The chicken should, of course, be hot and the filling of slaw is non-negotiable in this one, but it is one of the best sandwiches you can make and that's saying something.
Tenders, which come off the underside of the chicken breast can be baked in the oven. While 'tender' refers to the soft strip of breast meat, they are usually made with the whole breast. Tenders work well for crispy homemade fried chicken too as they as easily coated with batter, think enough to cook quickly and thoroughly as well as having dry, white meat that is delicious when found in a basket of fried chicken pieces and drumsticks.
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