Fried chicken, a universally loved dish, gets its irresistible charm from that perfect blend of juicy meat inside and the contrasting crispy exterior. While many people have their tried-and-true methods of getting that perfect crust, a new tip has surfaced that promises to enhance the crunch factor significantly: adding a dash of liquid to the flour dredge.
Let’s delve deeper into this:
Why is this method effective?
It’s not just about the crust crisping up. The true magic lies in the rugged edges, nooks, and crannies of the batter that sizzle and crisp up during frying. The typical dredging process will give you a somewhat smooth and even coating. Introducing some liquid causes the flour to bunch up, creating irregularities in the coating, which, when fried, result in a crispier crust.
What liquid should you use?
You’re not just restricted to one type of liquid. The sky’s the limit:
- Brine or Marinade: The first and easiest choice is the brine or marinade you’ve soaked your chicken in. This could be a simple concoction like salted water. However, if you’ve marinated your chicken in buttermilk or heavy cream, these can enhance the crust with a richer flavor.
- Pickle Juice: This is an increasingly popular choice. Not only does it give your chicken a hint of tanginess, but it also promises a beautifully textured crust.
- Neutral Alcohol: Borrowing from the science of vodka in brines, a sprinkle of neutral alcohol in your dredge can amplify the crunch. Since the alcohol burns off quickly when frying, it won’t alter the taste but will leave behind a beautifully crispy coating.
- Quantity Matters: You don’t want to drown your flour. Just a couple of tablespoons should suffice. You’re aiming for clumpy texture rather than a wet mess.
- Mixing it up: Before dredging the chicken, pour your chosen liquid into the flour. Use your fingers to mix until you achieve those desirable clumps. If you feel it needs more moisture, add your liquid tablespoon by tablespoon.
- Proceed as Usual: Once your dredging mix is ready, coat your chicken as you would typically do. Fry it, and get ready to bite into the crispiest chicken you’ve ever made.
In summary, achieving that dreamy crispy crust on your fried chicken is now easier than ever. With just a dash of liquid in your dredging mix, you’re set to tantalize your taste buds. Happy cooking!