While re-reading a Cook’s Country Magazine from last summer, I came across a recipe for battered fried chicken. Now, I know what you are thinking…how is that healthy? Well, it’s not! About once every other month I will deep fry something, and that frying happens to be my home made tenders. I am still weary about cooking chicken with the bones in it, so I followed their exact recipe, except, I cut boneless chicken breasts into strips and went from there.
The result? Spectacular!! The one thing I love about Cook’s Country, is the person who is creating the recipe already does the trial and error, so you can be assured that it will turn out perfect.
One thing I haven’t done before is brine chicken. The recipe called for adding the chicken to a mixture of water/sugar/salt about an hour before preparing.
***UPDATE*** I omitted a few steps, so this is a correction*****
Best Batter-Fried Chicken
1. A crisp crust starts by whisking together a thin batter made from water, flour, baking powder, spices, and cornstarch.
2. After you’ve dipped the chicken in the batter, let the excess drip off (back into the bowl) to avoid a doughy coating.
3. To prevent the chicken pieces from sticking together in the oil, don’t crowd the pot. Fry the chicken in two batches.
Serves 4 to 6
Halve breasts crosswise and separate leg quarters into thighs and drumsticks.
1 quart cold water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (see note)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
5 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups cold water
3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
1. MAKE BRINE Whisk water, salt, and sugar in large bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
2. MAKE BATTER Whisk flour, cornstarch, pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water in large bowl until smooth. Refrigerate batter while chicken is brining.
3. FRY CHICKEN Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from refrigerator, pour off brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Rewhisk batter. Transfer half of chicken to batter. One piece at a time, remove chicken from batter (allowing excess to drip back into bowl) and transfer to oil. Fry chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, until deep golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (175 degrees for dark meat), 12 to 15 minutes. Drain chicken on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Serve.
Stir that together in a big bowl and refrigerate the same amount of time as you do the chicken. It should look like this:
After the chicken has brined. Strain the water and pat dry the chicken. Add the chicken to the batter making sure to coat all the chicken. I used about 1 3/4 pounds of chicken breasts and still had a lot of batter leftover.
I use a skillet, and add enough Canola Oil so it covers about 2 inches all the way around. Heat the oil for a good few minutes before adding the chicken.
You know the oil is ready, if you drop a little water in the oil and it starts to spatter.
Now, here is the important part:. Cook each side for 3 minutes only. This will ensure the middle is cooked, but the outside doesn’t burn. I’ve used that method tons of times and it turns out great each time.
As soon as I tasted one, I thought it tasted like Kentucky Fried Chicken. Great spice and peppery. I told that to my kids and realized they haven’t ever had KFC before! Which is kind of good I guess! So I said they had to take my word for it.
I HIGHLY recommend trying this. You can do the same thing using chicken parts except the cooking time is 12 to 15 minutes or until the white meat reaches 160 degrees and the dark meat reaches 175 degrees.