My Ultimate Super Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe that is super duper crispy, juicy and the batter never falls off the chicken so each bite is crispy to the end!
My ultimate crispy fried chicken recipe has only 3 main requirements.
- It has to be super crispy
- The crispy skin cannot fall off the chicken easily, or with one bite.
- It must be juicy (not dry or rubbery)
There isn't much to it because crispy fried chicken to me is meant to be simple, comforting and delicious (and I guess sometimes shared 😛 )
Whenever you have a craving for some crispy fried chicken, whip up a batch (or 3), with dark meat, white meat (for chicken tenders) or wings!
For this Super Crispy Fried Chicken recipe, all ingredients can be found at your local grocery stores.
The key to a crispy chicken is adding a bit of starch into your flour mix. It can be either potato starch or corn starch but the chicken turns out a LOT crispier and stays crispier if you use potato starch.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
A Brine is Must for Juicier Chicken (Completely Optional On Lazy Days!)
For the spices in the brine, you can pretty much go nuts. I like to add fresh garlic and a few bay leaves to keep things simple but if you're feeling fancy, you can definitely add more exotic spices in as long as the salt to water ratio is 3-4 tablespoons to 8 cups of water.
I keep this step optional because not everyone will want a juicy chicken and not everyone has the time to brine but whenever I fry chicken I definitely brine my chicken for a minimum of 4 hours.
A Mix of Wet Batter & Dry Mix to Get More Flavor in the Crispy!
For the wet batter, there is no egg in it, because I found egg gave me a gummier batter. I just decided to use the dry mix that we already have created, and just add additional spices, vinegar and water to it and lo and behold a wet batter! 🙂 It's a thin batter and it's meant to be just a thin coating.
How to Prevent the Batter From Falling Off the Chicken
Make sure you dry the chicken REALLY well (with paper towel or air dry) right before you lightly coat it with the dry mix. This is a SUPER IMPORTANT step. Many people don't mention this small minor detail but it makes a world of difference when it comes to making the crispy part stick to your chicken and well worth the effort if you don't like your batter coming off easily and enjoy every bite of chicken to be crispy.
Once the chicken has been dried out, we are ready to lightly coat the chicken with the dry mix to remove the moisture from the skin even more from the starch and so that the wet batter will have something to actually cling on to and not just wick off the slippery skin. For the initial flour dunk, it's important that you do a light coating only and shake off any excess mix - it's meant to be a thin layer for the batter to stick to if this layer is too thick the wet batter will not stick to the chicken.
How to Get A Lot of Textures For More Crispiness
The secret to getting a lot of nooks and crannies for the crispy texture is squeezing the flour onto the chicken! When you are flouring the chicken for the second or third time, don't be afraid to use your hands and squeeze the flour mixture into the chicken. Make sure you give the chicken a gentle shake once you squeeze the chicken - this will form the textures.
I like to do a pattern of: cover chicken completely in dry-mix, squeeze the mix into the chicken, shake off flour, and then repeat again one more time. This gives the batter more nooks and crannies, which means more crispy!
You can even add a few tablespoons of the wet batter into the dry mix, and using your fingers break up the wet batter into the dry mix. The added chunks will give the chicken even more batter. As time goes on, you will notice your dry batter will naturally have clumps from the wet batter anyways - just use your fingers and smush them back into the dry flour.
Why It Is Important For Your Chicken To Rest After Dusting it
While the chicken is resting, it is essentially drawing out the moisture out of the chicken which slightly dampens the dry layers. You'll notice that coating becomes almost dough like - this will help you not lose all the batter into the oil during the deep frying phase. Letting your chicken rest is an important step so that your batter sticks even more to the chicken.
Deep Frying Temperature & Oil
For this crispy fried chicken recipe, the temperature is important. I ate a whole lot of burnt crispy chicken with raw insides this year (blech) and I found that my biggest issue was the outsides were always cooking faster than the insides so I was getting a lot of dark brown (borderline burnt) crispy chicken with raw insides.
- Oil Temperature below 340 - This gave me a greasy feeling chicken, it was essentially oil logged. It was crispy, but not super crispy but the batter was not burnt and my chicken was cooked all the way.
- Oil Temperature at 340-350 degrees - This was just right. It gave my chicken a non-greasy feeling and it was super crispy, golden brown and cooked perfectly through to the center
- Oil Temperature at 360-375 degrees - This made my chicken super dark on the outside sometimes burnt and raw on the inside. My chicken would become dark brown within 3 minutes which is not long enough for chicken to cook all the way through.
What Type of Oil Do You Use to Deep Fry?
For deep frying, I like to use canola or corn oil, this is not limited to just this crispy fried chicken recipe - I use it for any type of frying I have to do. Peanut oil also works and has a super high smoking point, which makes it the ideal oil to deep fry with but to be honest it's a very expensive oil and if you deep fry often and change the oil all the time the bill can add up! I also want to keep in mind that there are a lot of peanut allergies out there and since a lot of deep-fried foods are meant to be shared, it's something to keep in mind when using it. 🙂
In Short - Here Is The Process For My Super Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe
- Marinade/Brine Chicken (Optional)
- Dry Chicken Well
- Dust in Dry Mix (and let it rest for 5 minutes)
- Dip in Wet Batter
- Dredge in Dry Mix Again (and let it rest 10-15 minutes after)
..and Deep Fry! 🙂
My Ultimate Super Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe
- 4 Chicken Legs (Separated into drums and thighs to make 8 pieces)
- ½ cup potato starch (or corn starch, but it won't be as crispy)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional ingredient, this makes a spicy chicken, start with 1 teaspoon for a less spicy chicken)
- ½ cup "Dry Mix" (pre-mixed with ingredients above)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¾ cup ice water (water must be cold)
- In a large bowl, combine all the brine ingredients.
- If you are using chicken legs, separate the drums from the thighs so that it becomes 8 pieces of chicken.
- Add the chicken to the brine and let it sit for a minimum of 4 hours in the fridge or room temperature. (If you keep it in the fridge to brine, bring it out to room temperature 1 hour before you are ready to prep it so you are not dealing with super cold chicken, which can drop the oil temperature during deep frying.)
Making the Dry Mix
- In a large Tupperware or bowl, combine all the ingredients of the "Dry Mix" from the ingredient list. Reserve ½ cup of it aside to make the "Wet Mix" and set the rest aside for later.
- (Optional) If you want a more textured crispy batter, add 2-3 tablespoons of the brine into the 'dry mix' and work it into the mix with your fingers until you get a slightly clumpier and moist dry-mix.
Making the Wet Batter
- Add the reserved ¼ cup of dry mix into a bowl and add in the white vinegar and ice water and mix well until everything is combined. Set this aside
Battering The Chicken
- When you are ready to batter the chicken, remove it from the brine and dry it out VERY WELL with paper towel
- One at a time,, put the chicken into the dry mix and coat it with a light dusting. Shake very well. You want a very light coating for the intial flouring only.
- Set the chicken in a single layer on a plate or a rack aside to rest for 5 minutes. This will allow the batter to stick to the skin better.
- Use a fork to re-mix the wet batter (it may have settled and separated)
- Dunk one piece of chicken quickly into the cold wet batter, and shake off any excess.
- Add the wet chicken piece back into the "Dry Mix" and completely cover the chicken in the mix.
- Use your hand and press the dry mix into the chicken and give it a several gentle squeeze. Remove the chicken from the dry mix and shake out the flour to create the nooks and crannies.
- Remove the chicken from the dry mix and set it in a single layer on a plate.
- Do this for every piece of chicken.
Deep Frying the Chicken
- Fill a cast iron pan or deep fryer with oil and set the temperature to 350F (177C)
- Once the oil is hot (you can do a test if it's hot enough by sticking a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon into it to see if it bubbles) add in the chicken slowly. Do not overcrowd the pan, you don't want the oil temperature to drop. You may need to cook this in a few batches.
- Cook the chicken for 18-20 minutes
- Once it has cooked for 18-20 minutes, remove it from the oil and let it rest on a rack, newspaper or parchment paper for a few minutes before digging in.
- Enjoy! 🙂
- For the brine, switch up the spices you add in there and have some fun with it! 🙂
- When you are coating your chicken in the dry mix, and you notice the batter making the dry mix clumpy - this is a good thing! You can run your fingers through the mix and smush the clumps to break them back down into smaller bits - these bits will be added textures for the crispy chicken.
- I like adding a cup of pickle brine to the brine for some extra flavor, when I have some on hand!
- After you finish deep frying your chicken, it's best to rest the chicken on newspaper, a cookie rack or parchment paper. Try not to use paper towel, the heat causes a bit of steam between the chicken and the wet paper towel.
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