Chefs talk to me..... fried chicken.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Brunty_Farms, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    Ok so I made fried chicken the other night from someones recipe in another thread.... and they breading turned out awesome. It was extremely fluffy and crispy kinda like KFC , but I don't want to brag too much! Anyhow, the skin was rubber.... this is the second time I have done this I'm more of a BBQ / smoker kind of guy and when it comes to the kitchen with baking and frying extra I'm just not it. I can fry an egg but that's about it.

    So the question... how do you get the skin crispy? I'm thinking that it's probably just best to take it off when you batter your chicken. It seems that I wouldn't miss it with that great breading...... or is that the point of the breading? To take the skins place?

    I'm confused...
  2. Ironmaiden

    Ironmaiden Chicken Maiden

    Jun 14, 2010
    Wow. Was all the skin was that way or just the wings? How was the meat?
  3. DIYSeattle

    DIYSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2010
    Maple Leaf
    Sometimes when I process the bird I leave the bird in the water too long and it cooks the skin rubbery a little. These I have to take the skin off, when I pluck it I can tell I messd up.

    Another thing might be the oil temp. The temp should be hot when you put it in. Drop a couple drops of batter in the oil first, if it starts rolling then its probably ready. If it doesnt do much wait until its hotter. I double batter my chicken, dry, then dip in egg mix, then flour/meal, then egg mix and again inthe flour/meal. If the oil isnt hot enough the coating still cooks its just not cooking the chiken as well. When its golden its done.

    Other than that I dont know why it would be rubbery skin.
  4. 10ducks

    10ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2009
    Dexter, Michigan
    I've seen several recipes that say to air-dry the chicken for a couple of hours prior to coating. The old Cook's Illustrated recipe (2001) does this. It's my favorite... seems complicated when you first read it, but a lot of the verbage is just a long explanation of something that doesn't take long to actually do!

    The Ultimate Crispy Fried Chicken
    Serves 4-6

    Maintaining an even oil temperature is key to the success of this recipe. An instant-read thermometer with a high upper range is perfect for checking the temperature; a clip-on candy/deep-fry thermometer is fine, though it can be clipped to the pot only for the uncovered portion of frying.

    1 1/4 cups kosher salt or 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons table salt
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons paprika
    3 medium heads garlic , cloves separated
    3 bay leaves , crumbled
    2 quarts buttermilk (low fat)
    1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), giblets discarded, cut into 12 pieces (see illustrations below)
    4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    3–4 cups refined peanut oil or vegetable shortening


    1. In large zipper-lock plastic bag, combine salt, sugar, paprika, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. With rubber mallet or flat meat pounder, smash garlic into salt and spice mixture thoroughly. Pour mixture into large plastic container or nonreactive stockpot. Add 7 cups buttermilk and stir until salt is completely dissolved. Immerse chicken and refrigerate until fully seasoned, 2 to 3 hours. Remove chicken from buttermilk brine and shake off excess; place in single layer on large wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours. (After 2 hours, chicken can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 6 hours longer.)

    2. Measure flour into large shallow dish. Beat egg, baking powder, and baking soda in medium bowl; stir in remaining 1 cup buttermilk (mixture will bubble and foam). Working in batches of 3, drop chicken pieces in flour and shake pan to coat. Shake excess flour from each piece, then, using tongs, dip chicken pieces into egg mixture, turning to coat well and allowing excess to drip off. Coat chicken pieces with flour again, shake off excess, and return to wire rack.

    3. Adjust oven rack to middle position, set second wire rack over second rimmed baking sheet, and place on oven rack; heat oven to 200 degrees. Line large plate with double layer paper towels. Meanwhile, heat oil (oil should have 2 1/2-inch depth in pan) to 375 degrees over medium-high heat in large 8-quart cast-iron Dutch oven with a diameter of about 12 inches. Place half of chicken pieces skin-side down in oil, cover, reduce heat to medium, and fry until deep golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes; after about 3 minutes, lift chicken pieces with tongs to check for even browning; rearrange if some pieces are browning faster than others. (Spot-check oil temperature; after first 6 minutes of frying, oil should be about 325 degrees. Adjust burner if necessary.) Turn chicken pieces over and continue to fry, uncovered, until chicken pieces are deep golden brown on second side, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Using tongs, transfer chicken to paper towel–lined plate; let stand 2 minutes to drain, then transfer to rack in warm oven. Replace paper towel–lining on plate. Return oil to 375 degrees and fry remaining pieces, transferring pieces to paper towel–lined plate to drain, then transferring to wire rack with other chicken pieces. Cool chicken pieces on wire rack about 5 minutes and serve.
    1 person likes this.
  5. maizey

    maizey Chillin' With My Peeps

    can i see the recipe? Might be able to tell more after seeing it.
  6. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:that was my tip as well... air dry (in the fridge) for at least 30 minutes.

    then after you have coated the chicken w/ the batter (either once or twice battered) let the batter coating rest on the chicken for another 20ish minutes at room temperature before dropping in the fryer.

    hope this helps!
  7. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    I've also found adding a generous dose of corn starch to the breading mix helps a lot. I would try adding some corn starch, and air drying...OR at least patting dry with a paper towel, which is how I always did it and it ended up pretty crispy.
  8. Ahab

    Ahab Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    You asked for a chef. I'm amateur, not professional, though my son is--cordon-bleu trained. This fried chicken is the first thing he wants to eat when he comes home to visit.

    I've tinkered with my East Tennessee great-grandmother's fried chicken recipe for the past 40 years, and have found many ways to make it worse and few ways to make it better. Basically, it's dry-salted for 24 hours, dried, for 8 or 9, coated in seasoned flour, then milk, then seasoned flour again, then fried slowly (325F), covered, for 20 minutes (turning once) and then fried slowly, uncovered, for 20 minutes (also turning once).

    Fried slowly this way, the subcutaneous fat in the skin renders out completely, like cracklings; fat and moisture retained in the skin is what makes it rubbery--even with a shattery-crisp coating. The modifications I've made over the years (i.e., the search for a heart-healthier fat than lard, and a slightly more sophisticated array of seasonings available than what East Tennessee offered in the 1880s) that have worked are incorporated in the more detailed recipe below:

    One chicken, cut into serving pieces (we eat it all, and fight over the backs and necks, hearts and gizzards; livers and get separate, less invasive treatment).

    Mix together one teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of chicken, along with seasonings, in proportion, that you like. Great-grandma and my grandmother and mother used a fierce amount of black pepper and an equal portion of paprika. I use, per 2 teaspoons of salt, about 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon herbes de provence (or thyme, or sage, or savory, or whatever you like), and trace amounts of good, fresh garlic powder and onion powder.

    Mix this thoroughly, then rub it evenly into the chicken, place in a plastic bag (or a nonmetallic bowl covered with plastic) and refrigerate for 24 hours.

    In the morning (assuming an evening frying), place the chicken on a rack in the fridge and allow it to dry.

    In a black cast-iron pan, heat 1/2-inch of peanut oil (I've tried them all; peanut oil works best on many different levels) to 325F.

    Add two cups all-purpose flour to a paper bag, dump in a big pinch of kosher salt, a bigger pinch of black pepper, and two big pinches of paprika (not smoked).

    Shake up chicken, a few pieces at a time, in the flour, then dip into milk (buttermilk makes a thicker crust, but it doesn't adhere as tenaciously), and shake back up in the flour. Lay the pieces carefully in the pan, spacing everything at least 1/2-inch apart, then cover and cook for 10 minutes. (I use a 14-inch iron skillet and cover it with the lid from my wok. A high, domed lid helps keep the crust from going soggy from condensation. If you have only a flat lid, leave a small gap to vent moisture). Now turn the chicken and cook for 10 minutes more, still covered.

    Now uncover, turn, cook for 10 minutes, then turn again and cook for 10 more minutes. You're looking for a medium mahogany brown. Remove to a rack and let rest for 20 minutes minimum before eating.

    Of course, tastes vary, and what is best to one palate may not be best to others. But I've been eating fried chicken for 62 years, and grew up at its epicenter, and have never had any I liked better than this.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2010
    Sheridan, Indiana
  10. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2010
    Sheridan, Indiana
    The recipe sounds similar to mine.

    Oil temperature is important and as others pointed out, any excess water on the chicken is trapped between the skin and the batter and may "boil" the skin to a rubbery texture.

    I pat the chicken dry with paper towels, but am going to try air drying it the next time to compare.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010

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