Tips for crispy and juicy fried chicken
Brine it overnight: You’ll get good fried chicken if you brine for a minimum of two hours. You’ll get great fried chicken if you brine overnight. Brining your chicken keeps the moisture inside and ensures a crispy chicken skin. The best thing about this fried chicken recipe is you’ll be able to brine and marinate simultaneously. This is especially important when cooking chicken breast.
Starch it up: Starch absorbs more water than flour. It also acts as glue creating a better seal. This leaves the juices inside the chicken and creates a crispier outer coat. A rule of thumb is 1 tbsp of starch to 1 cup of flour.
Milk matters: Fat is fried chicken’s friend. The higher the fat content present in the milk, the better the fried chicken. This explains why buttermilk fried chicken is always so crispy and juicy. It’s both high in fat and acid. If you must use milk, consider a mixture of whole milk and full-fat yogurt. My preferred milk for marinating is coconut milk. It must be the Jamaican in me. I am also a big proponent of yogurt.
Okay, let’s fry some chicken.
Oven (works in a toaster oven as well)
Pastry or BBQ brush
Baking sheet Baking rack (optional)
Prep time: 15 mins but Marinate/Brine: Minimum 2 hrs
Cook time: 1 hr
Ingredients: (Serves 2-4)
3 lbs of your favourite cuts of chicken. (roughly one whole chicken)
1 stick (4 oz) melted butter or ½ cup of canola oil
For the brine:
2 cups coconut milk or buttermilk or (1 cup of full-fat milk and ½ cup of yogurt)
2 tbsps. salt
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. scotch bonnet powder (optional)
For the flour dredge:
1 cup of flour
2 tbsps. corn starch- we’re going for extra crispy (tapioca and arrowroot are options as well)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. scotch bonnet powder (optional)
- Gather your ingredients for your brine. In a small bowl, mix your seasonings together. Completely coat the chicken.
- In a large bowl, add the seasoned chicken and the milk. Mix to combine ensuring that the chicken is completely coated. Set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours or preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Prepare your baking sheet and rack. Pro tip: line with parchment paper for better clean-up.
- In a wide plate or shallow bowl, combine the flour and spices. Or you can combine the flour and spices in a paper bag or plastic storage bag.
- Add chicken pieces a few at a time and coat with flour.
- Place the flour-coated chicken on the baking rack. Let it rest for five minutes.
- Brush the chicken with the melted butter or oil ensuring it is completed coated. Place chicken back on the baking rack.
- Place in the oven on the top rack. Bake for 1hr. Depending on your oven, you may need to add time or remove time. I recommend checking your chicken at the 45-minute mark to be sure. You should not need more than 15 additional minutes to reach your desired doneness.
- Remove your fried chicken from the oven. Let it rest on the tray for 10 minutes before serving.
Bonus Tip: Infuse your brine and/oil with fresh ingredients. Add a few sprigs of thyme, and a garlic clove rough chopped to your chicken marinated for further flavour. You melt your butter in a saucepan on low heat with a garlic clove and thyme sprigs. To infuse the oil, add to a saucepan with thyme and garlic. Place on low heat for about 15 mins. Allow to cool before coating the chicken.