Yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about, writing about, and eating fried chicken. A few posts dropped to this here internet site, I had some Salt & Pepper wings at my favorite local ramen joint, and then I remembered that my Partner In Binge Watching pointed out that there was a whole pack of chicken thighs just hanging out in the fridge that could use some attention. I thought about it for a minute…maybe make fried chicken? Maybe share the recipe and results? My normal fried chicken recipe requires an overnight brining process, two stage frying, and a court order to get the actual recipe out of my greasy paws. It was a Sunday night, there was no chicken on brine, I was too impatient for double frying, and up for whatever.
Sunday Night Lazy Ass Quick Fried Chicken
This is “quick” in the sense that it doesn’t take days, but remember that good things come to those who wait, and ok things come to those who say fuck it and just do the best they can in the time allotted to them. This is an OK recipe, but it’s still going to take about an hour if you are on “Sunday Time,” 40 minutes if you are a seasoned panic cooker.
You should really have a dedicated electric deep fryer for doing your chicken or any fried foods, really) at home, they are made to maintain the proper temperatures, and have safety features built in that keep you…safe. You can also get models that have a lid to keep the spatter to a minimum. That being said, I use the old trusty stove top stock pot and candy thermometer method for my chicken at home. It works, but if you are uncoordinated or inexperienced with this method of frying, it could have some bad results. Buy a fryer.
You should also have a half sheet pan with a cooling rack that fits neatly within its borders. This is the perfect perch to rest your dredged chicken (it’s a good idea to allow some set time once the chicken has been “floured,” so that the mixture has a better chance of not flaking off when it hits the oil), also it’s a great spot for your cooked chicken to set in a low-heat oven (200 f) to stay warm if you are frying in batches.
Probe Thermometers are pretty rad, I suggest you get one, especially if you cook chicken. This is the best way to ensure that all of your hard chicken frying work will be fully cooked and not gross out/piss off anyone joining you for your feast. The model on your left is the Comark PDT-300, and is the exact thermometer I use at home and in my businesses. Notice the thin tip, that is what you want to look for, it allows for accurate temperature register in shallow environments. You can pick one of these up at your local Kitchen Supply place, or online, for about $20.
You will also need a decent pair of tongs, and bowls to hold the egg wash and flour mixtures. I’m going to go ahead and assume you know what tongs look like.
- 6 Chicken Thighs (or 8 or 10, I had 6 so I used 6)
- 1 Large Egg
- 1.5 C Milk
- 2 C Flour
- 1T each
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Granulated Garlic
- Smoked Paprika (Optional, I have way too much, so I use it where I can)
- 1t each
- Curry Powder
- Chinese Five Spice (optional AF, I just like 5 Spice)
- Rinse and Pat dry your chicken. Place on the rack to hang out and wait for your next move
- Turn your fryer on. Set the temperature control to 310 f.
- Whisk the egg and milk mixture together in one bowl
- Mix the dry ingredients in the other bowl
- Why do you have a third bowl out? You only need two.
- Dip the chicken one piece at a time into the the wet mixture, then place the piece into the dredge mix. Coat the chicken with the dry mixture, shake any excess off, then place back on the rack. Repeat until all chicken is coated. DON’T MAKE ANY WEIRD SWIPING/WIPING MOVES THAT WILL TAKE THE COATING OFF THE CHICKEN, IT SHOULD BE EVENLY COATED!
- Carefully place the chicken into the properly heated oil. If you have a small fryer, you will need to do this in batches. DO NOT overload your oil. It never goes well
- Fry for roughly 18-22 minutes. The coating should be golden brown, and the internal temperature should read at least 165. TEMP YOUR GODDAMN CHICKEN. (This goes for home cooks, as well as pro cooks. Nobody wants jelly center fried chicken)
- Remove from oil when done, and let drain on a rack or on paper towels if you are a paper towel draining type. I won’t judge.
- Put it on a plate with whatever sides you have, and get down.
As you can see above, this exercise in last minute frying turned out looking exactly like fried chicken. The flavor was good, but not as intense as a brined bird. Anyway, you can try this at home, and don’t be afraid to throw whatever you want in the dredge, get crazy even when being lazy, live a little. That’s what life’s all about.