Cooking Tips

tips for the best fried chicken

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  1. Start with the best ingredients - Springer Mountain Farms Chicken!

  2. Great fried chicken takes time, so plan a few days ahead for the best results.

  3. Brining is a must! A water, salt, and sugar solution can be used for brining, or a buttermilk bath. Place your chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight.

  4. If your chicken is placed in the hot oil straight from the refrigerator, it can drop your oil temperatures and result in a soggy crust. Remove chicken from refrigeration 30 minutes prior to breading and frying.

  5. Use a 3 step breading process, seasoning every step of the way. First dust the chicken with a flour, salt and pepper combination. Next, dip into an egg and buttermilk mixture. Finally, dredge in another flour, salt and pepper mixture for a thick, crunchy crust. If you are looking for more texture in your outer crust, add cornmeal or bread crumbs to the second dry stage. To add some heat, cayenne pepper can be added to the first dry mixture or add your favorite hot sauce to the egg mixture.

  6. Oil choice is VERY important! The best chicken is cooked at a fairly high temperature, so oil with a higher smoke point is necessary, like peanut, canola or vegetable oil (your Grandma probably used lard!). You also want the chicken to be the star of the show, so using an oil with a neutral or light taste is a must.

  7. Cast iron is KING! The best tasting chicken comes out of a cast iron skillet like your Grandma used to use (Grandma knew her way around the kitchen, didn’t she?). Cast iron just does something magical to the crust and it’s a great tool for frying food.

  8. Temperature control keeps the chicken golden brown, seals in all the moisture and cooks the chicken all the way through. Optimal cooking temperature for chicken is about 275°F. Be sure to only fill the cast iron skillet about half way full of oil to prevent overflow when the chicken is added. Cook the chicken about 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway to evenly brown the crust. The internal temperature of the chicken needs to reach at least 165°F using an instant read thermometer.

  9. Drain the chicken on a wire rack over a sheet pan to keep the crust extra crispy. Let the meat rest about 10 minutes prior to serving. If you have to cook the chicken in batches due to the size of your pan, place the sheet pan of chicken in a warm oven (about 170°F) to hold until your chicken is all cooked.

Here are a few of our favorite versions of fried chicken found in our recipe catalog, including some healthier alternatives to pan fried! We hope you try some and let us know what you think.

Chef Jared Hall's Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Fried Chicken & Sweet Potato Waffles from Chef Todd Richards

Barbecue Potato Chip Crusted Chicken Fingers cooked with an air fryer

Chef Josh Lee’s Soulful Fried Chicken

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders cooked with an air fryer

Chef Robert Butts' Nashville Hot Chicken

Chicken Fried Chicken Burger with Honey Mustard Coleslaw

Pecan and Corn Flour Fried Chicken created by Chef Holly Chute

Classic Chicken Fried Sandwich from Darrell Wigging on Instagram @countryboycookingcompany_

Ultimate Chicken Sandwich from Chef Mark Phillips @chefsoutherntemp


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