If you are relatively new to the kitchen, or you are a novice and the idea of Salmonella scares the shit out of you, cooking chicken in any way can be a terrifying experience.
Don’t feel bad, I was the same way. For the longest time I would overcook chicken to the point of practically jerky-ing it because:
- I was young and stupid and not very picky about what I ate.
- I figured that the longer I cooked it, there was less chance of it being undercooked.
For the record, chicken is not supposed to taste or look like shoe leather. In the grand scheme of things, chicken is a versatile and indispensable part of any kitchen because it goes with nearly anything. As such, anyone worth their salt ought to know how to prepare it in a couple of different ways.
Today, you’re going to learn how to make Fried Chicken.
- Chicken tenders You can try breasteses. Me? I prefer the chicken tenders because they are easier to work with and if you make enough of them, you have leftovers. Leftovers are good.
- Eggs. That’s right: eggs. The eggs act like the glue that hold the breaded deliciousness onto said chicken. The quantity depends on how much chicken you are frying. With a 5lb. bag of chicken, you can expect to use at least 3-4 eggs.
- Breading material of your choice. People get a little freaky with this. You can use corn flakes, pork rinds, traditional breading, basically anything that can be refined to a powder can be used as breading. For this particular example (and my breading of choice) I use almond flour.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Do not fuck around with store bought almond flours. Yes, it may have certain benefits (health, taste or otherwise) but in my experience they are expensive as fuck! For this recipe I bought sliced almonds and then gave them a go-around in the food processor. Sure, it looks chunky but it’s still consider ‘almond flour’.
- Seasoning. This is strictly all on you. You like it sweeter? Figure it the fuck out and get some sweet shit up in that. I tend to go the savory route as you will see in the following pictures.
- Cooking implement of your choice. I have the blessing and curse of having a fryer. It certainly makes frying shit easier. You can fry on your stove top with the pot and/or pan of your choice.
ADDITIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! When I was still trying to get my sea-legs as the stay at home parent, I ventured into making fried chicken on the stove. Basically the recipe called for a pot and a fuck ton of oil that had to be at an appropriate temperature. Me being a rookie, I got the food thermometer out and tried to take the temperature of the oil that I had been heating on the stove. What I didn’t know was that dropping something metal into a heated, semi-volatile substance, will indeed, scare the living shit out of you.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED, HEAT UP YOUR OIL!
It doesn’t matter if you’re using the stove top or a fryer like I have in this recipe. Breading the chicken is a bit tedious. The last thing that you want is to go through all of this shit AND THEN have to wait for the damn oil to warm up.
STEP 1. THAW THE CHICKEN!
Again, while chicken can be a tasty component of any meal, it’s really easy to get sick from mishandling raw chicken. I recommend having the water running to ensure ease of rinsing hands. Additionally, it is not advisable to have thawed chicken sitting in it’s own juices. Why? I have no fucking clue. I just remember that from my ‘retail days’ and the occasional reiteration when I settle on watching the Food Network.
STEP 2. MAKE THE FLOUR!
If you don’t have a food processor or a half way decent blender, I recommend one of the less healthier options of breading.
This is what the final product should look like. Don’t worry about the clumps. As long as it has a powder-like consistency, you’re good to go.
STEP 2-A: SEASON THE FLOUR!
Almonds on their own taste like ass. They are the healthier of the nuts in the Nut Kingdom but in terms of flavor, they are pretty lacking.
Seasoning is a personal thing. Some people prefer smoke, others prefer fire. Myself, I like to fall somewhere in between.
This is what the final product should look like.
STEP 3: BEAT THE FUCK OUT OF THE EGGS!
While it does seem a bit cruel and sadistic to use chicken embryos like glue on chicken corpses, there isn’t a better thing out there for what we are trying to accomplish. Make the above picture, look like the below picture.
My tool of choice is the fork. I just don’t have the coordination to whisk anything. Should you use the fork as well, make sure you get enough lift in your eggs. That means, hold the bowl at a slight angle over your sink so that everything pools to one side and then stir like a motherfucker.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE ASSEMBLY LINE!
This is what I do. You may want to play with this to find out what work for you. Should you be using a fryer, put something underneath the son of a bitch as the breading will find a way to fall through the holes during the journey from the assembly line to the fryer.
STEP 5: START BREADING!
TAKE THE CHICKEN!
DROWN THE MOTHERFUCKER! (BE SURE TO GET BOTH SIDES!)
DROP IT IN THE SEASONED BREADING!
HIDE IT IN THE BREADING WITHOUT LOSING IT!
NOW, PUT IT IN THE BASKET! OR WHATEVER!
LATHER, RINSE, AND REPEAT UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF CHICKEN!
See? Simple yet tedious.
STEP 6: START FRYIN’!
Did you read the thing about the oil at the top of the page? Sure fucking hope so. Doing all of that work and then having to wait is a buzzkill.
When I cook, I generally don’t use a timer. I go by sight, smell, and texture. If you’re just starting out, don’t be a goddamn hero: use the timer until you get good enough to eyeball whatever the fuck it is that you are cooking.
When it comes to the almond-flour-ed chicken, you want a light change in color. Yep, you want to see it go from brown, to light brown. Dark brown is ok too. Not everybody has the palette for that though. It’s not that it tastes horrible. People prefer to not have burnt nuts in their mouth.
STEP 7: FINISH HIM!
TA DA! It’s a meal. Chicken, not just fried chicken is simple to make as long as you know what you are going to do with it.