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Fried Chicken - Explanation on why it's so good!

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by PacsMan, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. PacsMan

    PacsMan Songster

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    Feb 8, 2009
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    No idea if this is already on BYC. (and yes, I'm too lazy to check!)
    My mom typed this up for me today, and I found the information at the bottom excellent!

    Try it and let me know what you think.
    Marty

    =-=-=-
    NOTE: A whole 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, can be used instead of the chicken parts. Skinless chicken pieces are also an acceptable substitute, but the meat will come out slightly drier. A Dutch oven with an 11 inch diameter can be used in place of the straight sided saute pan.

    1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    Table salt
    Dash hot sauce
    3 teaspoons ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    3 l/2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or mix, with breasts cut in half), trimmed of excess fat
    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    l 3/4 cup vegetable oil

    1. Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, l/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

    2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon paprika and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mixture on pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.

    3. Heat oil in 11 inch straight sided saute pan over medium high heat to 375 degrees. Careful place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 for legs and thighs, 15 to 20 minutes. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Remove pieces from oven as they reach correct temperature.) Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.

    SCIENCE EXPERIMENT

    Salting the Milk

    In fried chicken recipes, soaking the chicken in buttermilk is a standard approach that helps tenderize the meat (mainly the outer layers). But is adding salt to the buttermilk really necessary to ensure meat that's also juicy?

    Experiment

    We cooked four batches of chicken side by side. Three of them were soaked for an hour, one in a solution of buttermilk and salt, one in only buttermilk, and one in plain saltwater solution. The fourth was not soaked. All of the chicken was dredged in flour before frying.

    Results

    The unsoaked chicken was dry and tough. The saltwater-soaked chicken was moist but a bit rubbery. The chicken soaked in plain buttermilk, while tender, was not terribly moist. Only the chicken soaked in salted buttermilk came out both tender and moist.

    Explanation

    Buttermilk and salt play equally important roles here. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which activates the cathepsin enzymes naturally present in meat as it penetrates mostly the outer layers of the chicken. These enzymes break down proteins into smaller molecules, tenderizing the meat. (We've found that strong acids such as wine and vinegar can break down so many proteins that the meat turns mushy, but the lactic acid in buttermilk is too weak to have this effect.) Just as in a traditional brine, the salt helps change the protein structure of meat so that it can retain more moisture as it cooks, producing noticeably juicier results.
     
  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

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    Cause it's fried!!! Do the Colonel proud!
     
  3. peeplessinNC

    peeplessinNC Songster

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    Oct 23, 2008
    NC Piedmont
    Very interesting! I will salt my buttermilk soak next time. But I usually do oven fried chicken. A few years ago I did a lot of experimenting with my recipe. Here it is for your use. Please let me know what you think if you try my recipe?

    My Oven Fried Chicken - serves 4-6

    2-3 lbs. chicken pieces: breasts (bone-in, skin off), thighs (bone-in, skin off),
    legs (bone-in, skin off), wings (bone-in, skin on)
    1-2 cups buttermilk with dashes of hot sauce added (Texas Pete or similar)
    opt. generous dash of salt

    Soak chicken in seasoned buttermilk for several hours or overnight, refrigerated

    Crumb Coating

    2 cups cornflake cereal crumbs
    1 1/2 cups Italian dry breadcrumbs
    3 TB flour
    1 t. salt
    1/2 t. garlic salt or powder
    1/2 t. pepper
    1/2 t. paprika
    1/2 t. poultry seasoning

    2-3 TB vegetable oil

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with foil. Spray the foil with PAM. Mix coating ingredients on a sheet of waxed paper. One by one, remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge with the crumb coating. Put plenty on! Pat to make coating adhere better. Arrange chicken on sheet with space between each. Drizzle each piece of chicken with vegetable oil.

    Bake 30 minutes then turn pieces over and bake another 15-20 minutes. Stick largest piece with a knife to be sure juices run clear.

    Don't skimp on the seasoning. You could use Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix, whizzed in a blend or food processor to reduce size, but mix in some cornflake crumbs. This recipe combines the cornflake crumbs, bread crumbs, and a bit of flour to make a really good crust on the chicken. It required quite a bit of experimenting on my part to get to this recipe, but....... at least the failures were still edible!
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    [​IMG]
    Now i need me some fried chicken!! [​IMG]
     
  5. WingingIt

    WingingIt Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Quote:[​IMG]

    Like I heard someone say one time: We grew up poor. We cooked whatever meat we could get and Mom did her best to make it tasty. Meaning: she fried everything!
     
  6. chickendude

    chickendude Songster

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    Dutchess County NY
    Sounds delicious!
     
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I would love to try this!
     
  8. arabianequine

    arabianequine Crowing

    Apr 4, 2010
    Butter milk, fried chicken, dutch oven, I think that says all there is to say. [​IMG]
     
  9. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
    Oh wow, these sound SO yummy! I know what I am making for supper tomorrow night [​IMG]
     
  10. Tomhusker

    Tomhusker Songster

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    May 28, 2010
    Hamburg, Iowa
    Fried chicken is my downfall in my quest to lose weight.... and I fail miserably. I am going to try one (or both) of these this week.
     

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