Fry Chicken with a Deep Fryer

Hands down the best way to eat chicken is fried. The meat is always juicy and tender, the crust golden brown and crispy, the flavor is unbeatable. With recent news broadcasts slamming fried foods for being the main cause of heart disease and obesity, many people gave up eating fried foods. But with the right oil, you don’t have to.

Canola is genetically modified and contains pesticides. Corn oil also contains pesticides. Peanut oil is recommended for deep frying. It is naturally better for you as it is low in saturated fat, and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (1).

Peanut oil has been used in Asian countries for centuries, and many Chinese restaurants in America use it. Refined peanut oil comes from raw peanuts and contains no proteins. Peanut proteins are found in cold pressed peanut oil or roasted aromatic peanut oil. The refined peanut oil is recommended for frying.

Preparing chicken for the deep fryer is easy. If you are doing a whole chicken, you may want to brine the chicken four hours or overnight. Brine is simply a water and sugar mixture with a little soy sauce and salt added.

Preparing chicken
Image: Jack Scalfani

This will help to keep the moisture inside of the chicken. Drain the chicken and let it sit for 30 minutes so that it comes to air temperature. This will allow the chicken to cook all the way through.

Everyone has their own recipe for frying chicken, but it is recommended that you never leave off the bread crumbs. Deep frying a chicken coated with breadcrumbs will seal in the moisture and add a mouthwatering flavorful crunch to the outside of the chicken.

It is also recommended that soaking the chicken in buttermilk before breading it will add a unique flavor to the chicken. Use flour before the liquid dip and after, as this allows your egg or buttermilk to stick better, and gives the crust a little extra crunch.

When heating the oil to fry, it must be between 350 degrees and 375 degrees. Although many of the best deep fryers available come with temperature controls, you will want to use a thermometer to track the oil temperature to ensure you have a steady 350 degrees.

The oil should sizzle when putting your chicken into it. Use tongs to turn the chicken for even cooking. Use the thermometer after about 15 minutes to make sure the interior of the chicken is 165 degrees. Over filling the fryer will make the temperature of the oil drop, take more time for it to cook, and make the skin soggy, so be sure you don’t add too much at once.

Fry Chicken
Image: Jack Scalfani

Use a wire rack after removing your chicken as this will allow it to cool, crisp and dry off. If you use a paper towel it creates steam, thus making the skin to become soggy. Allow about ten minutes of cooling off before serving. Remember you just pulled the chicken from oil that was 350 degrees, so eating it immediately will cause you to burn the inside of your mouth.

There are many great recipes out there for frying chicken. Skipping the brine is ok, skipping the buttermilk is fine and skipping the flour is ok too. Make it your own, and enjoy it!

7 Common Mistakes of Fried Chicken

  1. Only Using the Drumsticks
  2. Frying Fridge-Cold Chicken
  3. Going Low-Carb and Skipping the Breading
  4. Skipping the Brine
  5. Using Oil with a Low Smoke point
  6. Eyeballing the Temperature
  7. Letting the Chicken Cool on Paper Towels

Remember according to the New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, cooking oil and grease should be disposed of with your trash.

How To Make Fried Chicken Video by Jack Scalfani