You can find many chicken recipes online, but few are as beloved as crispy chicken fried to perfection. People buy these by the bucketful from restaurants and fast-food chains, but they can be a little difficult to make at home.
Crisp up that fired chicken!
A good fried chicken is fairly straightforward. It has a crisp crust and soft, well-cooked, and seasoned flesh inside.
Whether you use a deep fryer or air fryer, you need to stick to the right technique to get the best results, like a crispy crust. But frying chicken isn’t as easy as it sounds; sometimes the results can be disappointing.
Let’s look at why your chicken is soggy and what you can do to fix it.
How to fix soggy fried chicken?
The best way to fix a soggy chicken is to apply dry heat to it. When dry heat coats the chicken from all sides, the moisture will evaporate steadily and your chicken will become crisp.
The best way to do this is by placing the chicken on a wire rack and then placing it in a pre-heated 400° F oven. That should crisp the chicken up in around 10-15 minutes but don’t let it sit for too long.
Keep an eye on the chicken because if you leave it in for too long, the meat will overcook and become dry. No one wants overcooked chicken pieces, after all.
Alternatively, you can use the air fryer to achieve the same results as they are convection ovens with a smaller form factor.
Why is my fried chicken breading too dark?
The breading can turn dark if the temperature of the oil is a little too high. When that happens, the oil burns the outside crust instead of frying it steadily to form a crispy coating.
The best way to avoid this is to be mindful of the oil temperature. Many recipes available online mention the exact temperature of the oil to get the best results. Most experienced cooks recommend 350 degrees F for the ideal crispiness.
If you use a deep fryer, it is important to monitor the temperature with a thermometer before putting the chicken pieces in the hot oil. It is also a good idea to look for oils that have a high smoke point as they are ideal for frying.
Why does my fried chicken taste like flour?
Your fried chicken may taste like flour if you’re not dredging it properly and haven’t seasoned your flour. Do dredge properly, cover the pieces of chicken in all-purpose flour, dip in batter, and then cover with flour again.
Pat to ensure all excess flour is dusted off before putting the pieces in high-temperature oil. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oil and place it on a rack or a baking sheet.
Many people put their chicken directly on paper towels to soak up any excess oil, but that does more harm than good. As the hot oil is soaked up, moisture is released and that can turn the chicken soggy.
Instead of using paper towels, let the chicken rest, and the residual heat reduces gradually. That can reduce the flour-like taste of your chicken.
Some tips for fried chicken troubleshooting
Getting the chicken extra crispy is a matter of technique. Once you master the technique, you will get the best results.
- Always season the flour or season it during dredging.
- Popular seasonings include salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Always fry in small batches to reduce the mess and avoid mistakes.
- Keep the fried chicken pieces in a low oven to ensure they remain warm and crisp.
- Always check the internal temperature to ensure it is above 165° F for safety.
- Pat the chicken breasts and pieces dry carefully to avoid the oil sputtering.
- Avoid deep frying a whole chicken before you understand the frying technique better.
- Season the flour mixture properly to add some flavor to the outer crust.
- Tenderize your chicken to make it extra crispy after frying.
- Always brine or marinate your chicken to ensure maximum flavor.
- Let the brine drip for around 30 minutes before flouring it again.
- Don’t let the chicken sit at room temperature for too long after removing it from the freezer.
Why is my fried chicken greasy?
No one likes greasy fried chicken but unfortunately, that is what they get if they don’t use the proper chicken cook technique. The most common reason the chicken turns out greasy is the oil temperature.
Your oil should be hot enough to ensure the outside is crisp without being burnt. The ideal window mentioned in most recipes is between 325° F and 375° F, depending on your oven and its efficiency.
Experts recommend experimenting with different timings to nail your technique. If your chicken isn’t crisp enough when it is cooked at this temperature, change the duration of the cooking time instead of changing the temperature.
Some pieces may just take a little longer to deliver the best results.
Why is my fried chicken too crunchy?
Your chicken will be extra crispy and crunchy with dry or undercooked insides if you fry it at very high temperatures. In this case, the oil flash-fries the exterior instead of cooking evenly throughout the meat.
You may also have used too much breading or the combination of ingredients isn’t balanced. Understanding the science of fried chicken will help you overcome these issues effectively.
A great way to make fried chicken is to modify the recipe based on observations. There are several factors that can alter your final results and lead to disappointment.
Understanding how different elements of the dish work together is key if you want delicious crispy chicken.
How long should I fry chicken to make it crispy?
The frying times can change depending on your method of cooking and the size of your chicken pieces. The larger the chicken, the more time it will need to reach the ideal internal temperature.
Remember, you need to reach 165° F to ensure all harmful bacteria and microbes are killed off effectively. Any lower, and you will be at risk of getting food poisoning.
The ideal cooking time is around 7-8 minutes on each side for smaller pieces. Some experts recommend 6 to 8 minutes per pound of meat, so you can make the decision there.
If you’re frying on a cast iron skillet, you will need to flip the chicken pieces around halfway through to ensure an even cook. In the Dutch oven, make sure the bottom is coated sufficiently with peanut oil or other high-smoking point oils to get the best results.
Why is my fried chicken bland and tasteless?
This is a common complaint among beginners. You follow the recipe to the letter and your chicken breasts are still tasteless. There are some tricks to ensure the chicken is crispy and flavorful.
- Invest is the best spices at your local grocery store.
- Use good vegetable oil or canola oil to fry your chicken.
- Always brine your chicken in buttermilk for a few hours.
- Make sure you add enough salt to the marinade. Salt is the best thing to happen to your chicken.
- Season dark meat effectively to intensify the flavor.
FAQ relating to why is my fried chicken not crispy
How do you crisp up fried chicken?
You can crisp up the fried chicken by tossing them in an air fryer for 10-15 minutes. Air fryers are a convection oven that can heat the meat pieces from all directions, which is essential if you want to get the best results.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use your regular oven for this. Make sure the oven is preheated at 400° F before you place the chicken inside. Once that is done, let the pieces roast for around 10-15 minutes, flipping them around a few times to ensure everything heats up evenly.
Don’t fry the chicken again because that will do more harm than good in this case.
Why is my fried chicken always soggy?
Your fried chicken is always soggy because you are cooking it at the wrong temperature. Make sure your oil is over 325° F before you add the meat in.
That’s why a cooking thermometer is essential when you are making fried chicken. It allows you to monitor the temperature effectively and get the best results. You also need to make sure you’re dredging the meat properly.
What is the secret to crispy chicken?
The secret to great crispy chicken is brine. If you soak your chicken pieces in brine for a few hours, it will develop a lot of flavor and become crisp. You also need to make sure the oil is properly heated and you have used the right amount of breading.
If you use too much breading, the chicken will have a flour taste and will be soggy. The brine will not crisp up as much as it needs to.
Why is my batter not crispy?
Add the right amount of salt to the batter. You can also add a little bit of baking soda to make the batter more suitable for frying.