Chicken nuggets (fried, baked & air fryer)

Batter-Fried Chicken

This batter-fried chicken calls for the pieces to be quickly brined and then dipped in a seasoned batter for a crisp Southern-style crust. Simple as can be. This is the real deal. Includes secrets for that crunchy crust.The Editors of Cook’s CountryPrep 30 minsCook 30 mins

Total 1 hr 30 mins

Entrees Southern

4 to 6 servings 1266 kcal

4.79 / 83 votes

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Ingredients 

For the fried chicken brine

  • 1 quart (4 cups) cold water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (halve each breast crosswise and separate leg quarters into thighs and drumsticks)

For the fried chicken batter▢ 1 cup all-purpose flour ▢ 1 cup cornstarch ▢ 2 to 5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper ▢ 1 teaspoon paprika ▢ 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper ▢ 2 teaspoons baking powder ▢ 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste ▢ 1 3/4 cups cold water ▢ 3 quarts (12 cups) peanut or vegetable oil for frying

Directions 

Make the fried chicken brine

  • In a large bowl, whisk or stir together the water, salt, and sugar until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

Make the fried chicken batter

  • While the chicken is brining, in a large bowl, whisk or stir together the flour, cornstarch, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water until smooth. Cover and refrigerate the batter while the chicken is brining.

Make the fried chickenHeat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other deep-sided pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (176°C). Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the brine from the chicken down the sink and pat the chicken pieces completely dry with paper towels.  Whisk the batter to recombine. (If the batter seems too thick, add some cold water, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time, until the batter becomes the consistency of pancake batter.)  Place half the chicken pieces in the batter and turn to coat. Remove the chicken from the batter, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl, and carefully place it in the oil. Fry the chicken and keep your attention on the oil temperature, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil between 300°F and 325°F (149°C and 163°C). Cook the fried chicken until deep golden brown and the white meat registers 160°F (71°C) or 175°F (79°C) for dark meat, 12 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces and the exact temperature of your oil.  Place the fried chicken on the wire rack to drain. Bring the oil back to 350°F (176°C) and repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve the fried chicken hot, warm, at room temperature, even cold if there are any leftovers.

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 1266kcal (63%)Carbohydrates: 55g (18%)Protein: 61g (122%)Fat: 88g (135%)Saturated Fat: 20g (125%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 34gMonounsaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 231mg (77%)Sodium: 808mg (35%)Potassium: 840mg (24%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 580IU (12%)Vitamin C: 7mg (8%)Calcium: 134mg (13%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

Baked Fried Chicken

by Nick
Serves:
Serves 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Print Recipe

Did you make this?

Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your

Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.

Video

How long does it take chicken to fry?

Thighs and drumsticks take 8 minutes, or until the internal temperature in centre of thickest part is 75°C / 167°F. Breast takes around 7 minutes (internal temperature at thickest part 65°C / 150°F).

How to Bread Chicken

Any traditional fried chicken recipe can probably also be air fried. It should work.

The one exception might be if you like a very thick breading on your fried chicken. If you double dip your chicken in flour for the coating, it’s going to be hard to hydrate all that flour in an air fryer, and you’ll almost certainly end up with floury spots that haven’t really cooked.

For my air fryer chicken, I like to soak the chicken in buttermilk to give it that classic fried chicken tenderness. Then, I dip it once in very well seasoned all-purpose flour. That provides a nice layer of breading on the chicken, but it isn’t so much flour that it’ll be a problem in the air fryer.

The Best Substitutes for Buttermilk

READ MORE:

Nashville Hot Chicken

Diana Rattray

Nashville hot chicken might be considered a “trend” in some parts of the country, but those in the know realize it’s been around for nearly a half century now. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, this famous recipe is inspired by Prince’s Hot Chicken, a now-legendary institution that first served up the deep-fried, spicy bird in the ’70s. Nashville hot chicken is characterized by its spicy, deep-red glaze, traditionally made with cayenne pepper. Although the level of spiciness varies, it’s almost always served on top of white bread—plain white bread, the cheaper and sweeter the better—with some pickles on top. If you haven’t made this at home yet, it’s well worth the effort. Just double or triple the batch. It’ll go quick.

Simple Fried Chicken Breast Cutlets

The Spruce

Hot sauce and Cajun seasoning flavor these fried chicken cutlets. If you can’t find chicken cutlets, slice chicken breasts (average size) horizontally to make the thin cutlets, and then pound them gently to an even thickness.

Reheating the Air Fryer Chicken

You might think that it’s best to pop the air fryer chicken back in the air fryer for a few minutes to reheat it, but I don’t recommend that, actually. You run the risk of burning the exterior of the fried chicken.

If you have leftovers and need to reheat them, a 300°F oven is your best friend. Here’s what to do:

  • Lay out the pieces on a baking sheet, and bake them in the oven until they are warmed through. This will keep the crust relatively crispy and heat the pieces evenly.
  • Reheat for 8 to 10 minutes.

The First Fry

Before you start cooking the chicken, you need to do a few things. First is pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Second is add the oil to a large cast iron pan or large straight sided skillet. I like the cast iron.

You can see that it’s not a huge amount of oil at all.

A bit over a cup of oil.
A bit over a cup of oil.

Put your pan of oil on the stove over high heat. This should be heated to about 375 degrees (which is 50 degrees hotter than a normal fried chicken cooking temperature). The idea is that we cook it really hot in a little oil and it creates a really browned crust to seal in the flavor/moisture. Then we finish the cooking in a hot oven.

It works great. Except for the massive amounts of smoke that billowed from my oven.

I started by heating my oil, and when it was hot, I added as much chicken as I could comfortably fit (I had to do two batches), skin-side down to the oil. I let it cook for about five minutes and then gave it a flip.

Perfect!

Fry you bird!
Fry you bird!

Another 3 or 4 minutes on side two and then I moved the pieces to a wire rack on which they would finish baking in the oven.

This was my set-up and looked basically identical to the Cook’s Illustrated model.

Ready for the oven!
Ready for the oven!

Can I Use Regular Breadcrumbs?

No, I don’t recommend using regular breadcrumbs for this oven fried chicken recipe. Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and flakier than regular breadcrumbs, and they’re what make this baked fried chicken so crispy.

Can I Use Boneless Thighs or Chicken Breasts?

I personally prefer the bones because they add flavor, plus they take longer to cook with bone-in so you end with a really crispy coating that has a nice golden brown color. But boneless thighs or chicken breasts will work fine too.

Cooking

Once your chicken pieces are coated, you’ll gently place them in hot oil and fry them until golden brown and gloriously crunchy. A few tips: Use tongs to turn the chicken a few times while it cooks. And, crucially, do not crowd the pan. You want plenty of oil surrounding each piece of chicken, but not so much that it spatters everywhere. (In warmer months, if you don’t want to mess up your kitchen, cook outside, using a gas grill and a pan set on the grate above the burner.)

Life of Dozer

He was booted out while I was deep frying. But other than that, he was firmly planted next to the shoot table for every second while I was filming and photographing this chicken!!!

How to make chicken nuggets

Once you have gathered your ingredients it is time to get started. Begin by preparing your chicken well in advance of when you plan to eat. Since the chicken requires at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours in the brine, plan accordingly. Simply cut your chicken into evenly sized pieces, place them in a bowl with your brine, cover, and refrigerate.

1. I brined it overnight in the refrigerator. To make the brine solution, whisk together ¼ cup yogurt with 1/3 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Then pour 1 ½ cups water and mix. Cut the chicken to 1 inch pieces and add them to the bowl. Chicken looks pale after it is soaked in buttermilk.

2. Once you have brined your chicken for at least 3 hours, remove it from the brine. At this point, season your chicken with your spices, coating them evenly.

3. Next, is the breading procedure. It will help to have three bowls ready: one with egg, another with seasoned flour, and the last with the breadcrumbs. Beat the egg well with a fork. If you want to skip egg you may use the buttermilk brine in place of egg in the recipe.

4. Dredge the chicken nuggets with the flour.

5. Next dip into the egg.

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6. And then finally into the breadcrumbs.

7. Continue until all of the chicken has been breaded, allowing the nuggets to sit while you begin heating your oil for frying.

Prepping Cooking Smarts

  • Always remember to tenderize protein for tender, juicy results. Watch our video below on how to tenderize meat.
  • This shake ‘n bake recipe is so easy, you can make more at one time without taking extra time out to do so. Once you bake, the “fried” chicken can be frozen and then reheated for a delicious after-school snack or added to salads or wraps.

The Brine

To brine a chicken means to submerge it in a solution of salt and water, sometimes flavored with other ingredients, in order to add moisture and flavor to the meat. You can certainly fry chicken without brining the parts, but we recommend against that. It’s very little work, and adds tremendously to the finished flavor.

What to serve with Snoop Dogg’s Fried chicken

Chicken wings are one of the best dinner party dishes, especially when it’s recommended by a hip hop legend. Chicken is ready and you can serve it with your favorite sides, here are some interesting ideas:

  • just with hot sauce
  • over buttermilk waffles
  • with rice and broccoli or roasted cauliflower
  • with French fries or baked potatoes
  • with sweet potatoes
  • with onion rings
  • with homemade macaroni and cheese
  • with edamame or green beans
  • with Bacon pasta salad
  • with avocado Fries.

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