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My extra crispy ain't tasty

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kinnip, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    How does one make that unctuous crust on fried chicken? I've tried the corn flakes, potato flakes, panko and none of it is what I want. I want extra tasty crispy or Arby's style chicken fingers. I've been double dipping my tenders in egg/buttermilk and flour, but I just can't get it right. Do I need to triple dip? Should I batter them instead? After years of searching, I'm sure you all can give me the recipe I need, pleeease.
  2. Frogdogtimestwo

    Frogdogtimestwo Songster

    May 21, 2008
    *Edited to add it is all about the process, not so much the ingredients as you know. I am not sure about using this on tenderloins, but it makes a super crispy flavorful coating on regular fried chicken. You may want to ask admin to move this to the recipes section for more responses.

    About 10 years ago on Martha Stewart show she had a special on fried chicken. It is the best home made I have ever had! Give it a try it might be what you are looking for. I always use the cayenne for kick.
    Serves 4-6

    * 1/2 cup coarse salt (or 6 tablespoons table salt)
    * 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
    * 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1/4 cup cornmeal
    * 2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano, or a pinch of cayenne pepper
    * 1 teaspoon table salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 2 eggs
    * 1/2 cup buttermilk
    * Peanut oil, for frying

    1. In a large bowl or pot, dissolve 1/2 cup coarse salt in 3 quarts of water. Rinse chicken pieces, and add to bowl. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours(I have done longer with out problems). Remove chicken pieces, and rinse under cool water. Clear space in the refrigerator to accommodate a wire cooling rack.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, and seasonings, and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Shake. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, then whisk in buttermilk. Dip half the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture, then place in the plastic bag. Shake, and lay out on a wire rack. Repeat for remaining pieces. Put the rack on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but preferably 2 hours, to set.
    3. Pour peanut oil to a depth of 3/4 inch in a large iron Dutch oven. Place over medium-high heat.
    4. When oil reaches 365 degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, wait until the oil starts to smoke -- very hot oil is fine for this recipe), arrange chicken pieces in the pan, skin side down, and cover. After 5 minutes, remove the cover. Adjust heat level, if necessary, so oil bubbles at a moderate pace -- not too rapidly and not too slowly (medium to medium-high heat is best, depending on the heat conductivity of your pan). Rearrange pieces if some are browning more quickly than others. After 5 more minutes, turn the pieces over. Cook uncovered for 8 to 10 more minutes or until done. Meanwhile, thoroughly wash and dry the wire rack.
    5. Remove the fried chicken to cleaned wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Let drain for 5 minutes, and serve.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    unctuous: 1. (of a person) excessively or ingratiatingly flattering; oily.
    2. (chiefly of minerals) having a greasy or soaplike feel.

    I've never eaten Arby's chicken fingers, but I'm guessing they're breaded or battered and deep fried. Have you tried dipping in buttermilk, with or without an egg beaten into it, then dredged in flour, then repeat, dip, dredge, then drop (Carefully! Beware of splashes!) in hot oil to deep fry? They'd only take a few minutes, most deep fried foods float when done. At a restaurant I worked at when I was younger, we used this with chicken and chicken fried steak, it made a very nice crispy crust. You can add salt to the flour, I'd start with 1/2 tsp. salt per cup of flour.

    You won't get the same result from pan frying, but pan fried chicken is very good as well.

    You probably won't get exactly the same thing that Arby's has, (I'm not sure why you'd want to) because processed fast food usually has all kinds of artificial flavors added, and a few preservatives, too. That changes both flavor and texture, plus theirs has almost certainly been frozen first, probably goes straight from freezer to deep fryer.

    I personally find the real food version, without the chemicals, better tasting than fast food.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  4. Frogdogtimestwo

    Frogdogtimestwo Songster

    May 21, 2008
    I noticed that after I posted the recipe, but I agree with you why would you want that? I left the recipe anyway. It is really good!
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Yeah, I put a lot of time and work into raising my birds. I'm not about to make "imitation fast-food" out of them.

    Kinnip, what will you do with the rest of the bird, after you make tenders out of the breasts? Fry up regular? bake? Crock pot?
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest of the bird. I like to wing it in the kitchen. I didn't mean that I want Arby's tenders exactly. What I'd like is a healthier, real food version thereof. I've eaten the same style of chicken at little cafes and country buffets, but I wanted a name everyone would recognize. The jist is, I want a thick coating with many extra crusty spots. I just find that all the breading I try is too thin, not crunchy and hangs around the meat like skin. I like the Martha recipe. I think the corn meal will add the right amount of crunch, and I'll wager the chilling will help the breading cling and not have that 'skin' effect.
  7. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    The secret to good cooking is salt and lard. Recently, do gooders convinced the local chicken franchise to leave out the salt and fry in some sort of weird polyunsaturated fat.

    The stuff is horrible.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  8. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    rufus nailed that one on the head. Lard makes a huge difference.
  9. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I love lard! It really isn't that bad for you, if it's fresh. The difficulty I've been having is in finding a transfat free source. I suspect the folks I go to for pork are hoarding it all or selling it to restaurants. I'll try again next time the send a pig for processing.
  10. holliewould

    holliewould Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Planet Earth
    How we do it in the keys.... dip in flour, then buttermilk, then dunk in salted cracker meal. We also deep fat fry in vegetable oil. [​IMG]

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