Fried Chicken —Easy Recipes All Summer Long
Wherever there is chicken, there are people making fried chicken. Scotland, Western Africa, Korea, Japan. Fried chicken may seem like the most all-American summer months dish of the, but crispy poultry has deep, far-reaching roots.
Fried-chicken purists use lard or shortening, but trans fats make frying chicken that way feel like mountain biking without a helmet. (People have been talking lately about lard being more healthy than shortening, but that’s lard that hasn’t been hydrogenated to preserve shelf life — like saying cigars are healthier than cigarettes because you don’t inhale.) Your best bet health-wise when frying chicken is to choose a neutral oil with a high smoke-point. Peanut oil is a big fave, safflower a close second.
(“High smoke point” means oil can be heated to a higher temperature — in the case of refined peanut oil, to 450 degrees Fahrenheit — before it begins to break down, which is what happens when it smokes. That doesn’t just small bad; it’s the signal of a nutritional breakdown in the fat, and it actually starts to become toxic.)
But enough science. We’re here to make fried chicken. We’ve gathered an array of recipes from the most traditional to some lighter varieties. Note that you can brine your chicken in some surprising ingredients to lock in flavor and moistness. And the whole process can take a day or a half hour — your choice. Ever had a fried chicken lollipop? Read on.
Make all of these quick-and-easy chicken dishes!