1 What’s Your Story?
Ordering fried chicken off a menu needs to be more than just a transaction, says CulinaryNXT’s Ron DeSantis. “Have you used regional or special spices? Is the spice mix or breading blend your own, and did you handle the chicken in a certain way? Any of those things will help you make your fried chicken truly your own.”
2 Flavor Building
“Be generous with your spices to ensure your fried chicken really tastes like something,” says Honey Butter’s Christine Cikowski. “Brining or some other kind of pre-treatment is also really important to ensure your chicken is delicious.”
3 Fry Business
Fried chicken is inherently hard on oil, accumulating a lot of particulates from the breading agent, says Food-Fixe’s Dan Kish. So it’s critical to care for your oil if you want to prevent your fried chicken from carrying a burnt taste. “Moderate the temperature so it doesn’t ever get too hot, and filter your oil regularly,” he suggests. “After the cooking process, give your chicken time to drain in a basket or on a rack rather than on a paper towel, which creates moist heat and can result in soggy spots.”
4 Beyond the Breast
The right cut is crucial when preparing fried chicken, says chef Edward Lee. “I see many chefs using breast meat, which is a very difficult cut of meat to fry. We only serve dark meat, which is tender and flavorful.”