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How to Make the Perfect Fried Chicken

Perfect your favorite crispy fried chicken recipe with these tips and tricks

By: Toby Kuhnke, Editor, AllFreeCopycatRecipes.com
How to Make the Perfect Fried Chicken

Learning how to make the perfect fried chicken is an essential skill for any home cook! Southern chefs and comfort food lovers alike know how delicious fried chicken is.

But it can be difficult to get your homemade fried chicken to taste like the kind you get at a restaurant. So many restaurants have their own take on fried chicken that it can sometimes feel like it's just easier to buy it. But trust us. It's worth the little bit of extra effort to learn how to make fried chicken yourself.

Different fried chicken recipes can have very different tastes, but these tips can help you make the perfect fried chicken no matter what recipe you're using. Here's what you need to know:

How to Make the Perfect Fried Chicken

1. You Don't Need a Deep Fryer

If you've never tried homemade fried chicken because you don't own a deep fryer and don't want to buy one—don't worry! If you have a deep pot or Dutch oven, or even a frying pan with sides that are at least 3 inches deep, you can fry chicken in it.

You only need about one inch of hot oil for optimum frying. There is also the option of "frying" in the oven—or "oven frying." But whether or not that is actually considered frying is a somewhat contentious topic among chefs.

2. How to Get the Perfect Crispy Chicken

Fried chicken should be at least 75% crunch. That texture is just what can turn plain fried chicken into a Southern masterpiece. But what's the secret?

It's the breading! Letting the chicken sit 15-20 minutes after you've coated it in flour will help the breading set and should result in an ideal crust. It will also ensure that the chicken is at room temperature when you fry it.

Another element of getting the perfect crispy fried chicken is in the dredging method. Watch this video below for how to make Cheesecake Factory's Pretzel Crusted Chicken and learn our preferred way of dredging chicken.

3. The Right Temperature is Key

While you're frying, you want the oil to be 350 degrees F. If the temp is too low, you won't get the perfect crispy crust and if it's too high, your breading will brown before the chicken if fully cooked.

How to Make Fried Chicken

4. Choose the Right Kind of Oil!

When it comes to frying chicken, choose an oil that doesn't have much flavor so that the spices in your crust can shine. We like to use peanut oil for our fried chicken, but canola or vegetable oil will work just as well.

How to Make Fried Chicken

5. Use Your Oven, Too!

I know what you're thinking—how can it be fried if it's in the oven? This tip might seem unconventional, but your oven can come in handy when it comes to frying chicken.

Keep your oven heated to 300 degrees F. Then pop the chicken pieces you've fried into the oven on a cooling rack to keep them warm while you fry the rest of the chicken.

The oven will also be a huge help if your oil gets too hot and you risk browning the crust too much before the chicken is fully cooked. If this happens, simply turn up the temp to 350 degrees F and cook the chicken for a few extra minutes.

6. Serve that Chicken ASAP!

Fried chicken is amazing, but it loses some of its magic if it sits for a while or is served as leftovers. That crispy crust that you worked so hard to make is at its best when it's served right away, when the chicken just cooled enough to eat.

How to Make Fried Chicken

Do you have a secret trick for getting your fried chicken just right?
Let us know in the comments!

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Such handy tips! There's nothing worse than making fried chicken that doesn't turn out as crispy as you hoped for

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