What is comfort food to you? If you’re like me, and many other people in the world, one of the images that comes to mind is a gorgeously crispy fried chicken. Simple but flavorful, fried chicken is a treat for both kids and adults alike. Whether you’re enjoying it at a kid’s birthday party or serving it as an appetizer for game night with your barkada (group of friends), crispy fried chicken is definitely a classic choice.
Fried chicken is seen as a quintessential part of American cuisine. In the American South, especially, crispy fried chicken is a staple in many homes and restaurants. In fact, many restaurants and fast food chains boast their own trademark fried chicken recipes (KFC and Popeyes ring any bells?). This is something that has been imitated across the world, finding a home even in countries like ours; just think of Jollibee!
But wherever you may buy your chicken from, that feeling of comfort and warmth and indulgence is always the same. There’s nothing quite like that first bite you take into a great piece of chicken –– the marriage of the crunch of golden skin and tender meat is unlike any other.
A combo meal
The best thing about fried chicken is the many things you can pair it with. Here are just some of my favorites:
- Mashed potatoes. Like I said, mashed potatoes are my kids’ favorite thing to eat with a crispy fried chicken. To be honest, any way you cook potatoes is a great partner to this delicious meal. But mashed potatoes truly win people’s hearts over with their smooth and buttery texture; and let’s not forget the fact that they taste great, too! My favorite part about mashed potatoes is how perfectly they go with a sumptuous serving of gravy.
- Rice. Being the Filipinos that we are, of course, there’s no way to enjoy a perfectly good meal quite like enjoying it with a nice cup of rice! There’s a reason this particular combination is so popular at fast food restaurants as value meals. Crispy fried chicken with wonderful compact white rice is a filling meal worthy of all praise. Whether you’re having it at your table or on the go, it’s the best for that mundane bite of comfort. And if you’re like me, indulge a little and pour gravy of that delicious cup!
- Corn. Bright, sweet, and nutritious, corn is a healthy alternative to some of the other side dishes on this menu. The buttery and velvety flavor of corn is a fitting contrast to the texture of crispy fried chicken. Some like to pair corn with carrots for another layer of depth to taste, while others even make corn muffins to pair with this dish! However you enjoy it, corn is a wonderful and sweet addition to any taste palate.
- Coleslaw. A side dish of shredded cabbage topped with a generous portion of vinaigrette or mayonnaise is what comprises this humble but delicious dish. Coleslaw is a refreshing partner to any breaded or fried dish; you often see it as a side in most tonkatsu places as well. Slaw works great with our crispy fried chicken as it’s able to add bursts of refreshing flavor of its own. Another upside: it’s such an easy side to make!
- Biscuits. Another humble product of American South cuisine, buttermilk biscuits are as rich and indulgent as they come. These biscuits aren’t like the ones you buy in packs at the grocery; warm, fluffy, and perfect with honey or gravy, these will fill you up almost as much as the fried chicken will. Trust me: you won’t get enough!
What’s your favorite side dish for crispy fried chicken?
Tips and tricks for crispy fried chicken
Whether it’s your first or fifth time cooking this delectable dish, here are some pointers that might help you maximize fried chicken’s yumminess.
Double the coating, double the crispiness
Crispy fried chicken is an easy enough dish to make, but the problem may lie in how well and evenly you coat the breading. Dredging your chicken more than once in your mix of flour and batter will guarantee that you’ve covered the chicken thoroughly. It also prevents any excess batter or skin from falling off as you fry.
High and dry
Once you’ve finished frying your chicken, you might notice it tends to end up quite oily. One way to avoid serving a dish that’s too greasy is to place it on a plate with a paper towel after frying. Patting your crispy fried chicken down with a paper towel lessens the grease without sacrificing its crunchy texture. Once you’ve filtered out the excess, place your chicken on a wire rack to cool down before plating.
The best things take time
While this recipe should only take about 35 minutes, it really depends on how hot your oil is on your stovetop. I say it should take about 7 minutes per side, but do check on your chicken and see what the best result is for you! Crispy fried chicken is a great dish, but be sure to take your own sweet time making it. The results will definitely be worth the wait.
Some well-known fried chicken variations around the world:
In America, people know the Southern-style fried chicken for its delicate texture on the inside, with a great balance of crunch on the outside. And you usually serve it with a good batch of warm gravy.
Meanwhile in Singapore, they integrate oyster sauce and shrimp paste or bagoong with the fried chicken. This creates a strong-odoured but distinctively delectable dish called the Shrimp Paste Fried Chicken.
Also using oyster sauce, the Gai Tod from Thailand has a trademark complex taste for its overnight marinating process. This utilizes coriander seeds and roots, white pepper, garlic, and of course, oyster sauce for marinade. The chicken is also very moist, but deliciously crunchy.
But if you’re a fan of the classics, I’ve got the perfect Crispy Fried Chicken recipe for you. This uses a special fried chicken batter– and it is guaranteed to bring the most delightful crunch to your chicken.
Cook some Crispy Fried Chicken with me:
Let’s start off by whipping out 3 lbs of chicken. Make sure to cut them up into the various parts we will be eating them in– the drumstick, the wing, the breast and the thigh. Then we will be seasoning our chicken by rubbing salt all over the surface of these parts. Wait for 15 minutes so the chicken absorbs the salt as needed, and create more flavor later on. Now we can begin to heat our 3 cups of cooking oil in a cooking pot.
Making the batter for our chicken’s crunch:
Get 1 Knorr Chicken Sube and press a fork down on this until it has been squashed completely. Then add ⅓ cup of warm fresh or evaporated milk. Make sure that this is not hot, but is just warm enough for mixing. We can begin to stir these ingredients now until they seem well-blended enough. Then set it aside.
Gather some of the dry ingredients for our batter, which are ¾ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Among the best secrets for a good fried chicken is the thoughtful mix of seasonings to give it the best, juiciest flavor. These components will help in making that happen, so mix them together well with a wire whisk or a fork. Set this bowl aside.
Crack 2 eggs into a large mixing bowl, and start beating it. After beating, integrate your milk mixture from earlier, and then beat this again. Once you have mixed together all of the ingredients well enough, pour in half of your flour mixture with the dry ingredients. Start whisking this.
Once the batter has become smooth, you can stop whisking and work on cooking the chicken, at last!
Making and frying the chicken:
Pull out the chicken you set aside earlier, and dredge it in a bowl with ¾ cups of flour completely. After this, dip it in the batter that we made. Then roll it in the flour again, and make sure it is completely covered. This will help with the chicken’s crispiness later.
Then go ahead and fry your chicken in medium heat. Let it stay this way for about 7 minutes, then flip it over to fry the other side. After this, place your chicken on a plate lined with paper towels. This will help keep the oil out of your chicken, and give it less of a wet consistency, but a crunchy one.
Proceed to serve your chicken, which might taste best with a bit of gravy or ketchup. This recipe is good for 6 servings, so you can share this plate with your friends or family. And if you have some left over, don’t worry about keeping it crispy because we’ve got some tips for you!
Keeping your fried chicken crunchy:
If you will be bringing your fried chicken somewhere else, and are worried about maintaining that fresh crisp, you can transport it in a container with holes. This is how fast food chains often package their fried chicken, and there’s a reason for that. Fried food that is warm can release moisture so the holes can keep your chicken from absorbing that and becoming soggy.
Be warned that it may start to smell like fried chicken if you carry it in an airconditioned car, but this is a pretty good way to keep your meal crunchy.
You should also let the fried chicken cool for a good amount of time before you go elsewhere with it so steam doesn’t build up.
And if you are simply staying at home, one surefire way to keep your fried chicken as crispy as possible is by placing it on a wire rack. Then insert it into your oven, best if kept warm, so the heat stays with your meal.
Fried chicken is just such a guaranteed crowd pleaser that it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try in other styles! If you’re looking for other varieties of fried chicken, I have some suggested recipes for you.
Other appetizing fried chicken recipes:
Even with the marinating time of 10 minutes, this Quick and Easy Fried Chicken only takes about 30 minutes to make. And you’ll come out with a sure win of a dish. It has all of the essential flavors of a great fried chicken. And it does this while integrating tones of toyomansi to bring in a salty and sour flavor to the mix.
Tasting every bit as comforting as being at home, this Pinoy Style Fried Chicken is both tasty and packed with Filipino flavors. It also utilizes some of the more affordable ingredients that won’t strain your budget. But the you can’t doubt the flavor, as it is filled with all the goodness of a classic fried chicken.
There’s always room to experiment with the fried chicken. And that’s why we love to have it every now and then. But if you’re craving to go back to the classics, just scroll back up for the steps to my rendition of the Crispy Fried Chicken!
Enjoyed this recipe? Let us know in the comments what you thought!
Crispy Fried Chicken
- 3 lbs. chicken cut into individual pieces
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cups cooking oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 1 Knorr Chicken Cube
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Rub salt all over the chicken. Let it stay for 15 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a cooking pot.
- Prepare the batter. Start by pressing a fork on the chicken cube until it is completely squashed. Combine it with warm milk. Stir until well blended. Set aside.
- Combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well using a fork or a wire whisk. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk mixture. Continue to beat until all the ingredients are all incorporated. Add half of flour mixture. Whisk. Add the remaining half and whisk until the texture of the batter becomes smooth.
- Dredge the chicken in flour and then dip in batter. Roll it again in flour until completely covered. Fry in medium heat for 7 minutes per side.
- Remove from the pot and put in a plate lined with paper towel. This will absorb the oil.
- Serve with ketchup or gravy.
- Share and enjoy!