Friday, October 16, 2009

Quick Tips for Perfect Fried Chicken

You can make finger-lickin' GREAT fried chicken at home if you follow these tried & true tips gathered from some of the best Southern cooks (and not just famous ones, but also from beloved grandmas):

*Cast iron is by far the best type of cookware. If you have a cast iron Dutch oven, kettle or skillet, now is the time to use it!

*Frying in lard is ideal for best flavor, but unhealthy - for a healthier dish that still delivers delicious flavor, use peanut oil and mix in 3 Tablespoons of bacon grease

*For pan-frying, the oil or grease should be about 1 1/2 inches deep before adding the chicken, and for deep-frying, the depth should be about 3 inches. In any event, DON'T fill the pan more than half-way with grease or else it might spill over the sides when you add the chicken, and this could start a grease fire

*Use a deep-frying or candy thermometer to make sure the oil or grease gets to (and stays at!) the right temperature: 325F degrees for pan-frying and 350F degrees for deep-frying. Don't let the oil or grease get too hot - keep below 375F degrees, and between 325 and 350F for best results (this may mean turning up the heat after you add the cold chicken because it may drop the temperature of the oil or grease at first)

*Add the legs & thighs first, because dark meat takes longer to cook

*Insert a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer into the plumpest part of a chicken piece to test for doneness, and don't let the thermometer touch the bone. Dark meat is done when it reaches 170F degrees, and white meat when it reaches 160F

*For super-moist chicken, some folks swear by brining the chicken parts or soaking them in salted buttermilk (with or without adding hot sauce!) for an hour, before dredging or breading or otherwise seasoning the chicken for frying

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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