One of my quests in ‘deep frying’ has been how do you get that crunchy crust on chicken, crunchy moist inside potato fries, without over cooking. Then only to have them get soggy on the plate just before serving.
Or not getting the breading to stick to the bottom of the fryer.
This week I finally got IT!
Double frying. As simple as that.
The coating can be simply a dusting of flour, cornstarch or potato starch. If you want to get more into the batter, I will talk about that in another post. For now I will only get into the frying part.
I use a deep fat fryer, but a deep fry pan will work just as well. The advantage a deep fat fryer for me is the temperature control. I have a Hamilton Beach home fryer. I got it on sale for under $30.00. It has been used reliably for over three years.
Seasoning is a matter of choice. Me I like to season the meat before I do the coating. That way it flavors the meat and not just the outside crust. I usually let it set with the seasoning before coating for about 15 minutes. Then I dredge it in my coating. The chicken wings shown were dredged n potato starch after sitting in minced garlic, salt and pepper.
The oil was heated to 350 degrees. When doing the first fry you do not want to crowd the wings so you need to do them in batches. You place the ‘wings’ In the hot oil one at a time. Each time you hold the pieces so it is submerged about halfway in the oil for a few seconds to set the coating before letting it go. This will prevent it from sinking to the bottom right away and having the coating stick to the bottom. Make sure you keep your face away from the hot oil because the chicken will pop. When it gets a light crispy brown take it out and let it drain, preferably on a cooling rack. Let it cool while you fry the rest of the batches.
When all the rest are finished do the second fry. This can have all of the pieces go in at the same time. Fry until they are a golden brown. Take them out to drain. They should be crispy.
To get the best results from frying the idea is moisture is the enemy. Whether you are frying potatoes or chicken the idea is the drier the better. Oil should be the right temperature. If the item is dry and the oil to temperature there is a minimum of greasiness to the food. Because it is in the hot oil a shorter amount of time.
Usually when the food is taken out of the fryer it is still cooking and releasing the water in the food. By letting it sit a few minutes the liquid boils out. The double fry method gets rid of the crisp killing moisture. So the next fry is dryer. Sealing in the moisture and providing a crisp outer skin with a moist and tender inside.