When it comes to cooking chicken in any of the massive varieties of ways in which chicken can be prepared, sometimes success or failure comes down to the smallest of details. If you want to make sure that the chicken comes out not only capable of being eaten, but arriving at the height of delicacy, then here are some little details you should not overlook.
The Key to Chicken Fingers
Success or failure in the arena of deep frying strips of chicken may seem like it has to do with the content of your batter. That is certainly true…but only to an extent. The greatest batter recipe in the world won’t deliver delicious golden chicken fingers if you don’t make sure to do one thing in particular. No matter whether your batter involves eggs or milk or bourbon, for crying out loud, you need to set the chicken fingers aside after dipping for at least ten and, preferably, twenty minutes. This extra time will pay off in the form of uniform batter that doesn’t fall away immediately upon contact with the oil.
When you sauté chicken, there is a little secret that is not a secret at all among those who have done it, but may be an even greater secret than how Cher became an Oscar-winning actress to newbies. Some people sauté chicken in oil. Some people sauté chicken in butter. You want to ensure that your sautéed chicken comes out crazy good? Mix together oil and butter and sauté in that. You almost cannot go wrong.
Rip Open That Roasted Chicken
Okay, do not literally rip open your chicken, but if you wanted your oven roasted chicken to kick butt, you do need to subtly rip the skin away. You don’t even need a knife, although you can certainly use a blade if necessary. The little secret to ensuring roasted chicken comes out tasting better than the sweetest kiss from your high school memories is to gently pull the skin away from the flesh and slide some slivers of butter in there. Then rub and pat the skin so that the butter is spread all the way around the bird beneath the skin.
Turn Down the Heat
Few things in life taste better than perfectly fried chicken parts. Whether you are talking about a plump breast, a thick drumstick or those dark-skinned thighs, when done to perfect, fried chicken is a gift from God. The thing is, however, that God knows exactly what to do. And even those who have been frying chicken for years can sometimes screw up. Here’s the little thing that turns a bad batch of fried chicken into a great batch of fried chicken: turn down the heat when frying smaller parts or parts of varying sizes. That thick breast may come out just fine by frying on high heat, but if you’ve got a little wing or leg in there, you may wind up with highly uneven cooking. The breast may be juicy and tender, but the thigh may feature burnt skin and dry meat. Turn down the heat and give yourself more time for frying if you really want your own bucketful of fried chicken.