How To Fry Chicken With Flour

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This how to fry chicken with flour tutorial will teach you how to fry chicken with flour. Learn how to shake dust the flour over your fresh chicken and by the end, you’ll be an expert.

Oh fam, you is about to cook up a storm in the kitchen this weekend with dis foolproof recipe fo’ Crispy Southern Fried Chicken. Or, you knows what, lemme puts it like this: You’s jus’ bout to learn how to fry chicken wit’ flour.

Batter-Fried Chicken

This batter-fried chicken calls for the pieces to be quickly brined and then dipped in a seasoned batter for a crisp Southern-style crust. Simple as can be. This is the real deal. Includes secrets for that crunchy crust.

Pieces of batter-fried chicken piled on a white platter.

With its crisp, craggy crust and tender meat, this batter-fried chicken recipe is fried chicken perfection. Those of you who are geeks for cooking technique wizardry, pay attention. The clever folks at America’s Test Kitchen carefully devised this Southern fried chicken recipe exquisitely well thanks to some clever tricks and tips. Wait’ll you taste it. 

Batter-Fried Chicken FAQs

What’s the secret to crispy fried chicken?

The batter contains equal parts cornstarch and flour to ensure a shatteringly crisp crust. The recipe also calls for baking powder to create a crust that’s airy without a trace of doughiness. The batter relies on black pepper, paprika, and cayenne for a “simple but unambiguous flavor” (just be forewarned, the amount of black pepper is intentionally heavy-handed).

The batter contains no dairy. Cook’s Country replaced the milk in the batter with water. The logic behind this? “When wet batter hits hot oil, the moisture in the batter vaporizes, leaving behind the solids that adhere to the chicken. With milk, the sugars in the milk solids browned too fast and produced a soft crust.”

And, perhaps most critically, the batter-dunked chicken is then deep-fried in several inches of oil (a regular pot works just fine; no need to have a fancy deep-fryer) to ensure that the carefully constructed batter doesn’t scorch on the bottom as is often the case when you attempt to shallow-fry it in a skillet.

What are the best oils for deep-frying chicken?

You want an oil that’s neutral in flavor and has a high smoking point. Cook’s Country calls for peanut or vegetable oil. Canola and sunflower oil will work, too. Oils with a low smoke point, such as unrefined avocado oil and extra-virgin olive oil, will smoke and burn as the fat breaks down, giving a acrid taste to your chicken.

Can I fry this chicken in a skillet?

I wouldn’t recommend it. Shallowing frying in a skillet can cause the bottom of the batter to burn. By deep-frying the chicken, you get an even golden-brown color and no burnt taste.

Batter-Fried Chicken

This batter-fried chicken calls for the pieces to be quickly brined and then dipped in a seasoned batter for a crisp Southern-style crust. Simple as can be. This is the real deal. Includes secrets for that crunchy crust.

Prep30 mins

Cook30 mins

Total1 hr 30 mins

Mains

Southern

4 to 6 servings

1266 kcal

Want it? Click it.

EQUIPMENT

  • ▢Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer

INGREDIENTS USMETRIC

For the fried chicken brine

  • 1 quart (4 cups) cold water
  • ▢1/4 cup kosher salt
  • ▢1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ▢4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (halve each breast crosswise and separate leg quarters into thighs and drumsticks)

For the fried chicken batter

  • ▢1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ▢1 cup cornstarch
  • ▢2 to 5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ▢1 teaspoon paprika
  • ▢1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ▢2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ▢1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • ▢1 3/4 cups cold water
  • ▢3 quarts (12 cups) peanut or vegetable oil for frying

GET INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS 

Make the fried chicken brine

  • In a large bowl, whisk or stir together the water, salt, and sugar until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

Make the fried chicken batter

  • While the chicken is brining, in a large bowl, whisk or stir together the flour, cornstarch, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water until smooth. Cover and refrigerate the batter while the chicken is brining.

Make the fried chicken

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other deep-sided pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (176°C). Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Pour the brine from the chicken down the sink and pat the chicken pieces completely dry with paper towels. 
  • Whisk the batter to recombine. (If the batter seems too thick, add some cold water, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time, until the batter becomes the consistency of pancake batter.) 
  • Place half the chicken pieces in the batter and turn to coat. Remove the chicken from the batter, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl, and carefully place it in the oil. Fry the chicken and keep your attention on the oil temperature, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil between 300°F and 325°F (149°C and 163°C). Cook the fried chicken until deep golden brown and the white meat registers 160°F (71°C) or 175°F (79°C) for dark meat, 12 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces and the exact temperature of your oil. 
  • Place the fried chicken on the wire rack to drain. Bring the oil back to 350°F (176°C) and repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve the fried chicken hot, warm, at room temperature, even cold if there are any leftovers.

Fried Chicken

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Creole seasoning

1 gallon ice water

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)

Oil, for frying 

3 large egg yolks 

3 cups whole milk 

3 cups all-purpose flour 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Mix the Creole seasoning into the ice water and add in the chicken. Marinade for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and milk to make an egg wash. Place the flour in a separate large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge it in the flour, and then shake off the excess. Submerge the chicken in the egg wash. Remove the chicken from the egg wash and dredge it in the flour a second time. Shake off the excess flour and place the chicken skin-side down in the hot oil. Monitor the temperature of the oil while cooking to make sure the temperature doesn’t drop too low when you add the chicken or spike too high. Cook until the chicken begins to float in the oil, 12 to 15 minutes. The smaller pieces might cook faster than the larger ones. Remove the chicken from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with some salt. Allow the chicken to cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes, then serve.

Cook’s Note

For the marinade, Gallatoire’s uses a Creole seasoning made up of a secret blend of paprika, black pepper, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and cayenne pepper, but you can use your favorite store-bought blend.

9 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Cooking Fried Chicken

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When you hear the words “fried chicken”, what image comes to mind? For me, it’s the vision of summer picnics complete with a basket and red and white checkered blanket. The fried chicken was always the star of my mother’s beautifully packed picnic baskets, with a supporting cast of potato salad, fruit, and of course pie for dessert.

Maybe you don’t have idyllic memories involving fried chicken, but everybody can enjoy the inimitable flavor of a perfectly fried batch, with a crispy, flavor-filled exterior giving way to tender, moist and juicy meat.

Fried chicken isn’t always such a fine specimen, though. Many things can go wrong during the cooking process, resulting in chicken that is unevenly cooked, lacking flavor, or that comes out soggy and leaden, lacking the signature crispy exterior. Luckily, it’s easy to overcome these possible pitfalls once you’ve learned some key steps in preparing fried chicken.

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9 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Cooking Fried Chicken. Usually, when fried chicken goes awry, it’s due to one of these common mistakes. Here, we’ll go over each mistake and discuss how to fix it.

  1. You fry the chicken while it’s still cold. It’s important to keep meat and poultry chilled before cooking for safety reasons. But it is acceptable to let your chicken sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before frying. This step also ensures that your chicken cooks evenly and has a superior texture.

Think of it this way: if you were to transfer the chicken directly from the fridge to the frying pan, the very cold chicken would reduce the temperature of the cooking oil, which could affect your cooking time and result in uneven cooking.

  1. You don’t believe in soaking. A nice, long soak in an acidic mixture such as buttermilk can be the difference between a lackluster, dry texture and moist, juicy chicken.

Southerners have been keyed in to this trick for ages, and Southern fried chicken will frequently call for soaking your chicken in buttermilk for several hours or even overnight before frying. The acid contained in buttermilk will work to break down the cartilage in the meat, making it tender, and the long soak in liquid will help seal in moisture.

The process is fairly similar to brining a Thanksgiving turkey, but on a smaller scale: you’ll simply pour the buttermilk in a large bowl, submerge the chicken, and let it sit for as short as an hour or as long as overnight.

Brining might seem like an unnecessary and finicky extra step, but the flavor rewards to be reaped by this simple process make it worth the added time.

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  1. You only fry the drumsticks. Yes, drumsticks are probably the most famous fried appendage when it comes to chicken.  But really, you can fry the whole bird.

In addition to the drumsticks, the thighs, wings, and even the breasts can be fried. To keep things cooking evenly, try to work in batches, frying similarly sized pieces at the same time.

  1. You try to omit the breading. Seriously? Why are you even making fried chicken if you’re thinking about omitting the breading?

Joking aside, it is understandable that you might have various reasons for wanting to avoid the breading–going low carb, or trying to eating healthier, for instance.

But the fact is this: the breading is really the key to fried chicken’s success. Not only does it form the crispy crust that makes fried chicken so crave-worthy, but it also helps seal in the moisture so that your finished chicken will be juicy.

Different recipes will call for different breading mixtures, but I like a simple double-dipping version. First, you dredge the chicken in flour, then dip it in either a beaten egg mixture or buttermilk. Then, you dip it in flour again. This process is teamwork at its best: the initial flour dip helps the wet mixture stick, and the wet layer helps the second coating stick. It’s the combination of liquid and flour breading that makes a beautifully crisp, fully coated piece of fried chicken.

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  1. You think you can only make fried chicken with a deep fryer. Nope, you don’t need clunky or expensive kitchen gadgetry to make fried chicken happen in your kitchen. Actually, your fried chicken will fare not only fine but possibly better in a large cast iron skillet.

According to Bon Appetit, “The cast iron retains heat better and stays at the temperature you want.”

In addition, the cast iron skillet’s wider and more open surface area will be more accessible if you need to reach in and rotate or move any chicken pieces around.

A cast iron skillet is a useful tool for all sorts of baking and cooking projects, so it’s a worthwhile investment for making more than fried chicken.

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  1. You use the wrong type of oil for frying. Whatever type of oil you’ve got in your cabinet is fine for frying chicken, right? Wrong.

Not every type of oil is suitable for frying, and it basically boils down to smoke point. Frying chicken requires maintaining a fairly high temperature of around 350 degrees F, and not every type of oil can withstand this heat without scorching. This guide details the smoke points of various oils.

Even with a high smoke point, some oils, such as walnut oil, are prohibitively expensive for frying chicken. For the best results at the most economical price, stick with a neutral oil with a high smoke point such as canola oil or peanut oil.

  1. The heat is too high or too low. If the heat is too high in the pan, you’ll end up with chicken that has a dark, browned exterior but is still raw and uncooked inside. That’s not a pleasant surprise to bite into.

On the flip side, if the heat is too low, it can take too long for the chicken to fry, and it will become over-dense, oily, and leaden. The skin won’t be crispy, and it won’t be a memorable eating experience.

To make sure that your oil’s temperature remains steady at around 350 degrees F, keep an instant-read kitchen thermometer nearby so you can continually monitor the oil’s temperature.

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  1. You rely solely on visual cues for doneness. As noted above, visual cues aren’t always the best way to detect when your chicken is done. Thermometers are your friend. In addition to monitoring the temperature of your oil, you can use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chicken.

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding bone. Ultimately, you’re aiming for 165 degrees F, which the USDA deems the ideal internal temperature for chicken.

If the temperature registers within a few degrees below 165 degrees F, it’s generally fine to remove the chicken from heat, as the internal temperature will continue to rise slightly after it is removed from the heat source.

  1. You blot excess oil on paper towels. It’s a common mistake, and one I made until quite recently: you want to blot the excess oil, but if you do it by laying the freshly fried chicken on top of paper towels, this will create steam. The moisture from this steam will soften that nice crispy crust you worked so hard to attain on your fried chicken.

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