I’m a big fryer of chicken, and I’ve done it all kinds of ways. I’ve soaked chicken in buttermilk, I’ve flavored it with garlic powder and cayenne pepper, I’ve pan-fried it, I’ve oven-fried it. You name it, I’ve done it. This method, which is in many ways the simplest, is now my go-to method. Season the chicken with just salt and pepper, giving it some time to seep into the meat, then dip it in water, roll it in flour, and fry it in very hot oil. The water is the most unexpected and unusual step, but it’s one of those mysterious recipe things you just trust once you do it.–Adam Roberts
LC Singing Chickens Note
Shhh. Be very, very quiet. If you’re attentive, you can hear how the simmering of the oil changes its tune when the chicken is done. It’s a subtle, but certain, shift, one that’s literally music to our ears. And when it happens, we could swear there’s a singing chicken in our cast-iron skillet. Give it a whirl and let us know what sorta symphony you hear.
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 3 H, 45 M
- Serves 4 to 6
Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
Have you, like me, been searching for the secret to the BEST Fried Chicken? Simply put, this recipe with the most common ingredients is IT.
I was intrigued by the water dunk for the chicken before flouring and frying. I followed the steps as outlined. The water really helped the flour stick and therefore gave it a nice crust. I used this recipe to fry some wings, which took a long time to brown. I will admit that I decided to fry them in a new, deeper pan, not my old, faithful, well-loved frying pan. That could be the issue with the frying time. I actually took them out when they were a light brown, then decided to put them back in the oil and brown them some more, which worked. The advanced seasoning (for several hours) is something I generally don’t do, but will definitely do again in the future as I think it does “marinate” the meat well. I will try this recipe again using my old faithful frying pan.
I love this recipe. Let me tell you why. It’s the simple, straightforward way of cooking, and that makes for the best recipes. The resulting chicken was crispy and mostly (see below) juicy.
You may be thinking, “Hey, if I dunk the seasoned chicken into water, won’t all my seasonings wash away?” The answer is that some of the salt and pepper do release into the water. However, I assure you, the finished chicken didn’t need additional seasoning. I tested this by salting a few pieces fresh from the oil, and those pieces were too salty. As long as you generously season the chicken to begin with, you’re good without any post-cooking seasoning.
Even in my 4 1/4 -quart Dutch oven I could only cook 4 pieces of chicken at a time. I used a fryer thermometer and was pretty good at keeping the temp at 370 degrees. With that I’d have to recommend lessening the cooking time to around 12 minutes instead of 15. My first batch, while crunchy, was also slightly dry inside from over cooking. For my second batch I reduced the cooking time to 12 minutes. This worked better, as that batch was crispy while also juicy and moist. I’m not a fan of cutting meat open to test for doneness so I would recommend using a meat thermometer instead. Remember the chicken will continue to cook after you pull it out of the oil. I rested the chicken for about 10 minutes. Believe me, it was still steaming hot on the first bite. I’d say this recipe is a keeper!