Perfecting fried chicken can be a trial and error process, but there are few key steps which would assist you in perfecting the process without much “error”. Make sure your oil/fat is at around 350 F when you fry, brine the chicken in a seasoned brine for flavor all the way to the bone and once out of the fryer, drain on a wire rack to maintain that wonderful crust you created. Yes, the batter, dry or wet must be seasoned as well.
2 lbs chicken drumsticks
3/4 tablespoon salt
3/4 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
6-8 allspice berries (pimento)
1 scallion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 cups veg oil *
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup corn starch
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon smoked pimenton (paprika)
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water (adjust)
Notes! Please use the video below to follow along in the event you have questions not answered in this recipe post. Feel free to add pepper flakes or a bit of sliced scotch bonnet in the brine should you want the chicken more spicy.
Brining is the process whereby chicken (or other meat) is submerged in a salty liquid (“brine”) and left to marinate to add flavour, tenderize AND add moisture so the chicken stays juicier when roasted.
Create the brine with water, scallion, thyme, brown sugar, salt (3/4 tablespoon), bay leaves, all spice berries and garlic. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and salt, then add your drumsticks to the bowl and let it sit in there for no more than 2 hours. After which you’ll remove the chicken pieces and pat dry. Discard the brine after that.
As the oil heats to 350F lets create the quick batter to coat the chicken pieces with. Keep in mind that the chicken must be as dry as possible for the batter to adhere to it.
Whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, pimenton, cayenne, curry powder and water until smooth.
As mentioned in the video I used vegetable oil, but I find that I get better results when I use beef tallow. Feel free to use any oil or fat you like frying your chicken in. The key is to get it up to 350 F.
My frying station was set as seen in the pic above. I like using a wire rack to drain the finished fried chicken as explained in the video.
Dip the chicken pieces in the batter, coat evenly, shake off the excess batter and place gently into the hot oil.
Try to not overcrowd the pan or you’ll find that you’ll drop the temperature of the oil and end up with uneven soggy fried chicken. With these drumsticks they were done in a little over 10 minutes. During the frying process, I flipped them around.
After you remove the chicken pieces out of the hot oil, should you want to sprinkle on some finishing salt over them, do so. However keep in mind that since we used a brine at the start, they should be seasoned perfectly already.
Should you be doing a few lbs of these, you may set your oven to 200 F and keep the finished fried chicken pieces in there as you work your way through them all. As far as ‘safely cooked’ temperature goes, with dark meat you’re looking for an internal temperature of about 175 F and with white meat, 160 F.