Ask Betty Q&A
qt cold water
cup all purpose flour
cup corn starch
tsp cayenne powder
tsp baking powder
cups cold water
qts oil, veggie
MAKE BRINE Whisk water, salt, and sugar in large bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
MAKE BATTER Whisk flour, cornstarch, pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water in large bowl until smooth. Refrigerate batter while chicken is brining.
FRY CHICKEN Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from refrigerator, pour off brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Rewhisk batter. Transfer half of chicken to batter. One piece at a time, remove chicken from batter (allowing excess to drip back into bowl) and transfer to oil. Fry chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, until deep golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (175 degrees for dark meat), 12 to 15 minutes. Drain chicken on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Serve.
Enter step instructions1. A crisp crust starts by whisking together a thin batter made from water, flour, baking powder, spices, and cornstarch.
2. After you've dipped the chicken in the batter, let the excess drip off (back into the bowl) to avoid a doughy coating.
3. To prevent the chicken pieces from sticking together in the oil, don't crowd the pot. Fry the chicken in two batches.
Why this recipe works: As far as technique went for our Batter-Fried Chicken recipe, deep-frying easily beat out shallow-frying. With shallow-frying, the batter always burned on the bottom. To ensure a crisp crust, we replaced the milk in our initial batters with plain old water. It turned out that when wet batter hit the hot frying oil, the moisture in the batter vaporized, leaving behind the solids that adhered to the chicken. With milk, the sugars in the milk solids browned too fast and produced a soft crust. Using equal parts cornstarch and flour in the batter ensured a crisp crust on the chicken. And baking powder added lift and lightness without doughiness. We flavored our batter with black pepper, paprika, and cayenne for simple but unambiguous flavor.
1 Serving ()
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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