Step-by-Step Guide to Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken

Cooking How-To, Dinner, Featured Article, How-To, Recipes
on July 31, 2015
Crispy Fried
Aaron Hutcherson
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This article from The Hungry Hutch for Honest Cooking was reprinted with permission and originally appeared as The Simple Guide to Making Fried Chicken

I present to you this comprehensive guide on how to make fried chicken. I’ve shared a couple of variations over the years, but this aims to be your go-to manual for how to fry chicken.

Step One

It of course all starts with the chicken. I tend to stick with dark meat these days because I find it more flavorful, but you can use whatever cuts you like. Lay your chicken out flat on a good working surface.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Fried Chicken

Aaron Hutcherson

Step Two

Now it’s time to season! The basic chicken spices that I always include are kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. You can stop there (as I did for this post), or you can personalize with other herbs and spices. Some others that I regularly include are onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Be sure to generously sprinkle all sides of the chicken so that it is full of flavor.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Fried Chicken

Aaron Hutcherson

Step Three

Speaking of flavor, it’s also a good idea to season the flour you’ll be dredging the chicken in. Just use all of the same spices you put on the pieces of chicken.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Fried Chicken

Aaron Hutcherson

Step Four

Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour a few pieces at a time, shaking off any excess, until they’re all floured. It’s great to let the dredged chicken sit for a few minutes to help the coating adhere to the meat.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Fried Chicken

Aaron Hutcherson

Step Five

While the dredged chicken is resting you can start heating the oil to fry the chicken. You want about 1/2 inch of oil (i.e. corn, canola, vegetable, or peanut) in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Though a cast-iron skillet is ideal for frying chicken, I have a confession to make: I don’t actually own one. I know, I know…it’s definitely on my list, but I’m low on space and already have to store some of my equipment in my bedroom. (Thank you, New York City apartments.)

Step Six

You can check that the oil is ready by flicking some flour into the pan and looking for a moderate sizzle. If it goes crazy, then it means that the oil is too hot. Carefully add the chicken pieces, a few at time so as not to crowd the pan, and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 7 to 10 minutes.

6-Chicken-Going-in-Oil The Ultimate Guide to Making Fried Chicken

Aaron Hutcherson

Step Seven

Flip over and continue frying until the chicken is golden brown on the other side, about 7 to 10 minutes more.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Fried Chicken

Aaron Hutcherson

Step Eight

Fry at a low temperature that will allow the chicken to cook all the way through without burning or having to finish in the oven. Put the perfectly fried chicken on a wire rack to drain. (Paper towels will also work.)

Step Nine

Repeat with the remaining chicken and then EAT!

The Ultimate Guide to Making Fried Chicken

Aaron Hutcherson