Fried chicken can be a challenge to make. You have to dust it with flour, fry it in oil and cook it to a crisp
perfection. Under-cooking it creates a health hazard, while burning it to a blackened crisp renders it inedible.
Yet there are other mistakes you can make that prevent you from getting the delicious dish that the South is
famous for. Here are 4 ways you’re screwing up your fried chicken. We’ll also take the time to explain why
these are mistakes.
You’re Cooking the Chicken Wrong
Most people know you can’t fry frozen chicken without ending up with something unsafe to eat, because the
inside will barely thaw while the outside burns. One variation of this mistake is taking cold chicken from the
fridge and trying to fry it. The chicken should be left at room temperature for thirty minutes before you fry
it. Fail to do this, and the oil will be cooled down when you try to fry it, and you’ll get an unevenly cooked
chicken. However, if you leave the chicken at room temperature for several hours, you risk getting food
You Aren’t Drying the Chicken Well
Before you dredge the chicken, you really should dry it well. Drying it with paper towels or clean towels
may seem inconsequential. However, failing to do this means the coating of flour won’t be evenly
distributed. Instead, you’ll get irregular clumps interfere in the proper texture and flavor of the fried chicken.
If the chicken is too wet, the flour won’t stick to it at all. Either way, take the time to dry the chicken. And
always use dry flour for your dredging. You can put the flour in a bag, add the chicken and shake so it isn’t
You’re Frying the Chicken Wrong
One mistake is using the wrong oil. Only fry chicken in oil with a high smoking point, one well above the
cooking point of the chicken. This includes sesame oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Don’t try to fry chicken in
olive oil. You can fry the chicken in an iron skillet with high sides unless you’re making enough chicken to
feed a small army. Just make sure you can flip it without splattering oil.
Don’t try to add spices to the cooking oil, either. The spices should be mixed into the flour you dredge the
You’re Frying at the Wrong Temperature
The chicken should be fried at between 300 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, the chicken is
hot enough to kill bacteria while the chicken has a nice crust. You won’t get soggy or dry meat, either. Make
sure you cut the chicken into small, similarly sized pieces so that everything cooks in the same amount of
time. This means you need to cut up chicken breasts if you’re going to fry them along with the chicken legs.
Cover the frying chicken to minimize heat loss and oil splatter. Don’t turn up the fryer temperature to make
up for nearly frozen chicken.