Homemade Fried Chicken…it’s not as scary as it sounds! (Part One-Brining)

I know everyone likes to think that frying your own chicken at home is some incredibly daunting task only to be performed by the most amazing cooks…but it’s not. I admit it can be a litle scary wondering if you’ve cooked your chicken thoroughly by the time the crust is golden brown, but if you follow a few easy steps, you too can be a master of homemade fried chicken that looks as lovely as this:
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The first step for making fried chicken that is juicy and flavorful begins with the brine. A couple of hours of brining will allow your chicken to remain moist despite the extreme temperatures of frying and will allow the chicken to cook more quickly as well.

Brine Recipe:
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Dry Brine Ingredients:
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It should also be noted that the salt to water ratio needs to remain the same, but everything else can be added, deleted, or substituted as they are just for imparting flavor to the chiken while brining.

Combine ingredients for the brine in a large pot/bucket/ice chest. You will also need ice packs to keep the brine at a safe temperature for a couple of hours during the brining process. Place your rinsed chicken pieces (I buy whole cut-up chickens for this dinner. They should weigh around 6 lbs and have the bone-in.)

The chicken pieces will likely want to float somewhat and look something like this:
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This is where you use ice packs (or another food-safe heavy item) to push the chicken pieces below the surface. It might look something like this:
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Now put your brining chicken in the fridge or add ice if you haven’t used ice packs. It’s super important to keep your chicken at a safe cool temperature for the next 2 hours.

Another note, once the chicken has finished brining, dump the brine. Do NOT reuse it. And be careful to wash everything that has touched the chicken or brine very well. Raw poultry can harbor food-borne illnesses, so it’s very important to properly cleanse anything that has come in contact with it.

Many people want to know if they can skip the brining part and the official answer is yes, you can. But once you’ve had brined chicken and un-brined chicken, you’ll never want to skip this step again, it’s absolutely worth the effort.

Now on to part two-the actual frying of the chicken.

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Published in: on September 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As you know I’m a vegetarian, but do I ever miss fried chicken. Not really the chicken, but the coating. Can’t wait to read how you coat the chicken.

    For this post I’ve got a small question. Would you suggest doing a brine if I use tofu or vegetables?

    Thanks, Jessie!

  2. I wouldn’t brine either one b/c the purpose of the brine is to break down the meat’s fibers and create osmosis by which the tasty solution permeates the poultry and I’d be afraid that the tofu in particular would lose texture and become mush. But marinading both makes a world of difference in flavor 🙂


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