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6 Steps for Crispy Fried Chicken

When we first got married, I was scared to make fried chicken.  I was nervous about not getting it done, or burning the crust before the chicken gets done or whatever.  I ate some fried chicken at a restaurant once and it changed my mind. It was a simple fried boneless, skinless, chicken breast. It was so moist and delicious. So I have been working on my fried chicken recipe and it's now a pretty common meal. Im linking up today with Skip to My Lou today!

This meal is pretty cheap to make. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts aren't as cheap as bone-in chicken typically used for frying, but I can find it for less than $2.00/pound pretty regularly.

Some chicken breasts are so huge, I can cut up one into smaller pieces and get enough for our family. I'm feeding two adults and two children (3 and 1). So here's some tips I have learned that help me get really good, crispy, and juicy fried chicken.

1. I cut up my chicken breasts into smaller pieces. This cuts down on cooking time and this way, I can ensure they aren't raw or overdone.

2. I soak the chicken breasts in buttermilk for a few hours before cooking. This helps me get juicy chicken every time. Overnight is best, but I usually forget until around lunch time and then start it then. I sometimes substitute buttermilk for a whole milk/lemon juice mixture. About 1 cup of whole milk and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes before using.

3.Double coat your chicken. I use a seasoned flour mixture and buttermilk. My chicken is already wet from soaking in buttermilk. Then coat with flour, dunk in buttermilk, and then coat in flour again.

4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP! (Sorry to yell!) Let the coated chicken rest for about 15 minutes or until the flour mixture begins to look pasty. I tried my best to capture this in my picture. The flour and milk need time to marry. This makes the coating stay thick and crispy. I have made fried chicken before learning this and the coating turns out thin and almost non-existent. So make sure you do this step!

5. Another important tip for making the best coating is to make sure your oil is at the right temperature. If you put your chicken in before the oil has come to the right temperature, the breading mixture will separate from the chicken and will soon fall off. This is no bueno, my friends. One easy way to tell if your oil is hot enough is to put a wooden spoon into the oil. When it immediately starts to bubble (as shown in the photo below), then your oil is ready!

6. Once your chicken is cooked through, you need to drain some of the oil off. Do not do this by just placing it on a plate lined with paper towels. Your breading is going to get soggy. Use a cooling rack placed over a paper towel, and put your cooked chicken on top of the cooling rack to drain. 

 And look! You get beautiful, golden brown fried chicken. For pieces the size of the ones shown here, I cook for about 12-14 minutes total, about 7 minutes per side.

 Hope this helps! What other frying tips do you have?


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