Thursday, April 24, 2008
Ever since I made the decision to eat poultry again around this time last year, I have wanted to make fried chicken. My first attempt, rather early on in my meat cooking ventures, was a sad, soggy mess and I decided to wait until I had more pedestrian techniques down prior to attempting it again. Within the past few months I have tried it 3 more times. Twice with the same Ina Garten recipe Smitten used. I burnt the crap out of it both times. I checked my thermometer for accuracy prior to starting each time, but it seems to me that pan-frying chicken at 350-375 ends up burnt. Most recently with a less bready version that I managed not to burn (see below) which ultimately cooked at a much lower temp- but turned out greasy because of that. I have scoured the internet for methodology, including the very thorough Alton Brown version. (He is great for stuff like this. There is a website I can't find right now that gives the play-by-play of entire episodes of his show with screencaps) I've read about deep-fry vs. pan-fry. Covering and not covering. I definitely have issues regulating the oil temp in general. But I think really what it comes down to with frying is "feel", and that takes practice.
At least I'm hoping that's what it is. My friend Mr. Jones (who makes amazing fried chicken) says that you have to be born with it.