Battered is better when it comes to fried chicken


(NAPS)—To make your fried chicken one for the history books, chef Kevin Houston offers this advice: “Start with quality chicken,” says Houston, who is the “chief flavor officer” and lead chef for Church’s Chicken®. “Buy a whole bird but separate it into parts so everything cooks evenly.” Wings and breasts cook faster than legs and thighs. “Give each piece a double dunk in batter and breading. You’ll end up with a lighter, flakier crust and, because batter fully coats each piece, it locks in juiciness. Even white meat pieces will be tender and moist. If you like extra crunch, put some cornstarch into your batter recipe instead of flour.”

Most batter starts with flour and water as a base. Houston prefers a 50/50 mix of flour and cornstarch before adding salt, pepper and spices. “You can triple dip before frying,” Houston adds. “Just be sure to give each layer of batter time to settle.” Now it’s time to fry. “You don’t need a deep fryer—just a good cast-iron skillet and either peanut or canola oil.” Bring oil to 350 degrees or just between medium and high on the stove. Cook light and dark meat in batches, submerging pieces halfway in oil…without crowding the pan. Wait five minutes before turning, then dial heat down to medium-low to prevent overcooking and dark crust. Cook five to seven more minutes, then move to a drying rack (never paper towels). Crust should be golden brown, shiny, and ready for greatness.