I’ve tried many methods for fried chicken. The ones that use only flour, or the three stage flour–egg–breadcrumb process, or the buttermilk marinade followed by breading, but it seems like the crispness doesn’t hold up for more than a minute or two past frying. They all taste good, but I really expect a crisp coating if I’m going to go to the trouble of frying. This recipe—Crispy Fried Chicken from Taste of Home—delivers. The name says it all.
What they do differently than most recipes is add flour to the egg wash, so that you are really dipping it in a batter before adding a final coating of seasoned flour. The final coating makes a shaggy layer that crisps up all over the chicken. Sometimes you get that shaggy look when you start with a buttermilk soak, but I find this egg–water–flour batter works even better than buttermilk.
I usually use an electric deep fryer, but I only made four pieces today, so I used a high-sided stock pot with a couple inches of oil. Unlike the original recipe, I did not use bone-in chicken; I used boneless thighs, which cook more quickly, about a total of five minutes in 375° oil for each piece.
Crispy Fried Chicken
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt or garlic powder plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons white or black pepper
- 2 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning—I used a combination of sage and celery seed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- up to 4 lbs chicken pieces, with or without skin. I used boneless thighs.
- cooking oil for frying
- Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl for the final coating and set aside. The original recipe suggests a plastic bag, but I find patting on the flour works better, creating a shaggier coating that has lots of crispy edges.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and water, then whisk in the second amount of flour and salt, until the batter is smooth.
- Coat chicken pieces in batter then dredge in seasoned flour, patting the flour on until all the batter is covered and the coating is dry enough to handle and set aside.
- Heat cooking oil to 375° not allowing it to fall below 350° between batches. Fry chicken in small batches, depending on the size of your fryer, so that you keep the oil temperature high throughout. My boneless thighs cooked in 5 minutes, one piece at a time. The original recipe suggests that bone-in pieces would take about 5-6 minutes per side. My oil was deep enough that I didn’t need to turn my pieces over.
★★★★★ = Five Stars