Crispy fried chicken cooks to a golden brown. The meat inside of the crust is moist and tender with a pleasant spicy tang. This is better than your mom’s fried chicken.
Crispy Fried Chicken our history
Mamma made the best fried chicken! Every time we came to visit them in Iowa, she would treat us to her delicious crispy fried chicken.
She would fillet the whole bird, save the bones for broth, then salt and pepper each piece. Her crispy coating for the chicken was flour, egg wash, and cracker meal.
Cracker meal is finely crushed up crackers. I’ve seen it in the grocery stores but mamma bought hers from the local cookie/cracker factory where she worked.
But her magic didn’t just work on the coating, she was able to stretch one bird to feed seven of us plus have leftovers for us to take home. Honey would always ask me afterward, “Are you positive that was just one chicken?”
“It is,” I said. “I asked her.”
For many years we made our fried chicken just like mamma.
Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe Evolves
Then came the day we discovered Panko crumbs. That was the day we forgot about the cracker meal and went on to better and crunchier coatings. We decided to fry some fish fillets and we couldn’t believe how crunchy the crumbs were.
We believe this is the perfect formula: flour, buttermilk instead of egg wash, and Panko crumbs.
Anytime we have a dish that needs a special coating, like our green tomatoes, we fall back on our special formula:
- dip in flour and shake off excess.
- bathe in buttermilk and let excess drip off.
- roll in Panko crumbs and gently press the crumbs into the piece to be fried.
- place in the fridge to set the crumbs.
This time we planned to prepare and fry our chicken just like we always did, but Honey was feeling adventuresome. He decided to try something different with the thawed chicken tenders. Our secret addition — Frank’s Red Hot Original!!
He coated each chicken piece with Frank’s, covered the plate with plastic wrap, and set the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours. Turn the pieces occasionally.
Frying the Chicken to Golden Brown
And 30 minutes or so before frying time, we took the chicken out of the fridge and proceeded with the flour, buttermilk, Panko routine. We put the chicken on a wire rack over a baking tray and set it back in the fridge.
It’s important to keep the breaded pieces in the refrigerator for about 15 to 30 minutes. This sets the coating and seals the pieces so that they stay moist and flavorful but don’t absorb the oil.
We always use peanut oil. We find that it’s the best for frying. The nice part of peanut oil is that you can use it many times, it doesn’t get that strong taste or odor. (You know what I’m talking about, that heavy fishy oily smell.)
You heat the oil to 340 F. in a Dutch Oven or fryer. Add a few pieces of chicken at a time. You don’t want to overcrowd. In a deep fryer, you don’t have to turn the pieces to get them evenly brown but you may have to in a Dutch oven or deep pan.
Fry until the pieces reach that beautiful golden brown. Place them on a wire rack over a tray. Salt and pepper the pieces then place them in a 180 F. oven to keep warm. Fry the rest of the pieces in batches until they’re all done.
Enjoy your better than mom’s Crunchy Fried Chicken.
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
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