Yes, fried chicken has been around since forever, but 2016 is the year when this brilliant master piece of succulent meat in a crunchy crust finally gets its due. No surprise that it is one of the top trending foods of 2016! Right from exotic crumbing to implausible marinades – the humble fried chicken just got a ‘chic’ new status. Take a look at these 6 recipes that celebrate the magic of the evolution of fried chicken.
It’s really difficult to resist the gorgeousness of a sticky sweet barbecue sauce, but when it’s served with a piece of crispy cornflake crusted fried chicken it takes things to another level. A brilliant match of crunchy-soft textures and sweet-spicy flavours this fried chicken - this full proof fried chicken holds its crunch even when doused in the sauce.
Fry up some polenta please?
Whether it is the beautiful emerald pesto marinade or the crunchy polenta crust, this one is really fried chicken with a difference. Strips of chicken cooked to such perfection and loaded with flavour you don’t even need a dip to dunk it in. Also brand new use of polenta grains and of pesto sauce – it gives you a whole new fried chicken experience!
Most fried chicken recipes are supposed to be easy and quick, but this one takes the cake. All you’ve got to do is grind a classic green chilli mustard pickle (or any pickle for that matter) into a smooth marinade and use up some crushed cornflakes for the coating. Yes, we have managed to put the tantalizing flavours of and Indian pickle in fried chicken too!
This recipe brings two fast food favorites together to give you total satisfaction in each bite. Boneless chicken pieces marinated with onion-ginger-garlic powder and salt, coated in eggs and then crushed up nachos and fried to a crispy perfection. It puts a bag of crumbled nacho chips to perfect use
Our very own desi version of fried chicken - this one is packed with all the fiery flavours of Chettinaad cuisine. Marinated with a bright red chilli garlic masala, coated with rice flour and pan fried to juicy. You could eat it just like that or as a spicy accompaniment to a simple rice dal meal.
Let’s face it fried chicken is as much about the crust as it is about the chicken inside. While eating it is probably one of the easiest things you can do, there are a number of things that could go wrong with frying chicken. Here are 6 of the most useful tips to ensure you get that combo of an earth shatteringly delicious crust and moist succulent chicken just right.
Make sure the pieces of chicken that you are going to fry are the same size, which makes the cooking time more uniform and gives you a consistent batch of this deliciousness. Also remember if you are going to make little nugget sized ones then a few minutes in hot oil is good enough to cook them through but for large chunks always keep the flame a medium-low.
Can you handle the heat?
Not just the temperature of the oil, but of the meat too can affect how your fried chicken turns out. If you have decided to let your batch of chicken sit in the fridge so it can soak up the delicious marinade, do not forget to bring it up to room temperature before you start frying it. Right out of the fridge and into hot oil will give you uncooked chicken in either a flimsy or burnt crust.
Meet the mains
A flavourful marinade, a dry flour coating, a good dunk in a wet coating of eggs or buttermilk and a final crumb coat are the main guys that make or break a piece of fried chicken. The flour and liquid mixture act like glue, hugging both the chicken and the crumb coating, ensuring they stay together and don’t disintegrate while frying. Also don’t forget to season every step of the way to ensure there is flavour in each bite.
Double the dip, double the crunch
Fried chicken may be in the category of fast food, but it requires every inch of your time patience and love to prepare. A double coat of flour ensures a good crust that doesn’t come off while frying. Another great way to double up the mazza of a crunchy crust is to fry your chicken once till half done, allow it to cool and then re fry it again.
Rack it up
Use a wire rack to cool chicken instead of a paper towel – always! A wire rack allows exposure to air and makes the chicken crust go crisper as it cools, as opposed to paper towels which produce moisture and steam resulting in a limp covering. Trust us it is the last thing you want after all the efforts you made for that skin to stay crisp.
Fried chicken is after all a hot chic
If you have some time between frying the chicken and devouring it, you want to make sure you keep it at a very low temperature in the oven. This does two things 1. It keeps the chicken warm and 2. It makes sure the crust remains crisp. Don’t ever keep it in a closed box unless you want your coating to be like soggy wet newspaper.
With these outrageously good recipes and tried and tested tips, we are pretty sure you are definitely joining us on the fried chicken invasion of 2016! So let’s get moving and fry some chicken!
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Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.