Fried chicken holds a special place in the hearts and stomachs of people worldwide. Its crispy exterior and succulent interior create a culinary experience like no other. However, achieving the perfect fried chicken is an art form that requires precision, technique, and a touch of secret magic. In this article, we’ll delve into the secrets behind mastering this beloved dish.

                 Growing up, fried chicken wasn’t a regular feature on my family’s dining table. However, I distinctly recall my initial encounter with this crunchy-coated delight. It happened at a Fourth of July block party, where someone unveiled an iconic red-and-white bucket of fast-food chicken. Tentatively, I stood on my tiptoes, peering into the bucket, unsure of what to expect. As a selective eater, I typically avoided messy, bone-in dishes like greasy chicken. Yet, succumbing to peer pressure, I grasped a drumstick with cautious fingers and took a bite. To my surprise, any apprehension vanished as the crispy exterior shattered, giving way to tender chicken beneath.

               Since that memorable moment, I’ve indulged in various renditions of fried chicken, ranging from buttermilk-soaked to cornmeal oven-fried and even cornstarch-coated karaage chicken, also known as Japanese fried chicken. What sets this particular fried chicken recipe apart is its batter—an egg and flour mixture that ensures the crispy coating adheres perfectly to the chicken. While buttermilk is a common ingredient in many fried chicken recipes, I appreciate the omission of it here. After all, how many of us actually keep buttermilk stocked in our fridges?

Fried Chicken Ingredients

            Chicken: Instead of purchasing individual chicken pieces, we opt for the whole bird. Breaking down a whole chicken yields a satisfying mix of white and dark meat, ensuring uniform sizes across all pieces.

            The Batter: Our approach to coating the chicken involves a two-step process. Initially, we dip the chicken in a batter consisting of flour, eggs, and water. This initial coating provides an even layer and prevents the breading from separating during frying. Subsequently, the chicken is dipped in seasoned flour, enhancing its crispiness when immersed in hot oil.

             Seasonings: Our seasoning blend comprises a delightful mixture of garlic salt, paprika, black pepper, and poultry seasoning. This medley incorporates dried sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and nutmeg, infusing the chicken with robust flavors. For those lacking garlic salt, a homemade version can be crafted by combining one part garlic powder with three parts salt (e.g., one teaspoon garlic powder and three teaspoons salt).

             Oil: Optimal frying oils, such as canola and peanut oil, are chosen for their neutral flavor profiles and high smoke points. These qualities make them ideal for frying chicken and other culinary delights, ensuring a crisp and golden exterior.


             Step 1: Coat the Chicken:





In a spacious shallow dish, blend together 2-2/3 cups of flour with garlic salt, paprika, 2-1/2 teaspoons of pepper, and poultry seasoning. In another shallow dish, lightly whisk the eggs with water, then add salt, the remaining 1-1/3 cups of flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Dunk each chicken piece into the egg mixture first, then into the flour mixture, ensuring all sides are evenly coated. Rotate each piece until thoroughly coated.


Step 2: Fry the chicken

              Preheat the oil to 375°F in either an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer. Fry the chicken in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until the chicken turns a golden brown hue and the juices run clear, approximately seven to eight minutes per side. Once cooked, drain the chicken on a plate lined with paper towels or a wire rack.

              Editor’s Tip: To maintain warmth, store the cooked chicken in a 250°F oven while frying the remaining pieces. Elevating the chicken on an ovenproof cooling rack atop a lined baking sheet helps preserve its crispiness.

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