2 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 -lb. fryers, cut int, o serving pieces
Crisp fried chicken is one of the things that I always find
contradictory instructions for. "ALWAYS cover the frying chicken."
"NEVER cover the frying chicken." This is from "The Chef s Secret
Cook Book" and directly addresses the question. It works too. I
tried this out last night (used a bunch of chicken wings rather than
whole cut up chickens) and came up with a crispy, nice batch of fried
chicken. The trick is explained in the "Chef s Secret" section
below. BTW, I used plain ol commercial seasoned salt instead of the
"Chef s Salt" called for and it turned out just fine.
1. When cutting the chicken into serving pieces, separate the thighs
from the drumsticks, cut each breast in half, leaving a part of the
breast meat on each wing, and, if you wish, cut two separate back
2. Take out all the small bones like the rib cage, backbone,
collarbone, etc.,leaving only the main bones in the pieces.
3. Mix the flour with the Chef s Salt. Beat the eggs with the 1/2
cup milk and the water, then strain through a sieve.
4. Dip each chicken piece in the 2 cups milk, let the milk drip off,
then dip it in the flour-spice mixture. Be sure to completely cover
with the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour and then dip in the
egg wash. Turn the piece to be sure no dry spots remain, then place
the piece on the top of the piled up bread crumbs, Sprinkle more
bread crumbs over the chicken until completely covered, then gently
but firmly press down so that the crumbs really adhere to the
chicken. Shake off excess crumbs and lay the chicken parts on a paper
covered tray, skin side up. Continue until all chicken is breaded.
5. In a large frying pan which has a lid, beat half of the
shortening to approximately 360F and carefully, one by one, put in
the chicken pieces, skin side up. Add the chicken slowly so that the
fat remains hot. Cover the pan, adjust the beat to medium, and cook
for about 10 to 12 minutes.
6. Remove cover, turn pieces, and fry, uncovered, for another 10
minutes or so. Remove the pieces to a warm place on absorbent paper
and keep warm until served.
CHEF S SECRET: By straining the egg-milk-water mixture, called egg
wash, you avoid having big parts of the egg white adhere to some
pieces so that there is not enough of the egg wash for other pieces.
Also, the straining makes the coating even.
If you want to avoid lumps of flour and bread crumbs on your fingers,
designate one hand as "wet" and the other as "dry." With the wet hand,
handle the uncoated chicken, dip it into and remove it from the,
milk, and place it on the flour. Sprinkle flour over it with the dry
hand, and coat it and lift it out with the dry hand. Place it in the
egg wash with the dry hand, lift it out with the wet hand, and then
finish with the, dry hand. It sounds complicated, but if you learn
the trick you can prepare large amounts of chicken without ever
getting lumps on your fin fingers.
It is important to cover the pan while the bottom of the chicken is
frying as this keeps it tender. Frying the pieces without a cover
after turning makes the skin crisp.
CHEF S SALT:
Mix well and use instead of salt:
Be careful to use garlic salt, not garlic powder, If you use garlic
powder a small pinch is enough.
Makes 8 servings.
From "The Chef s Secret Cookbook", Louis Szathmary, Quadrangle Books,
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; March 16 1993.
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