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#foodbeast Culture Features FOODBEAST Hacks

How To CRUSH Making Fried Chicken At Home

Experiencing fried chicken, when done properly, is like scoring the winning basket against a rival team in an ’80s coming-of-age film without your teen wolf powers. As Amy Holland put it: You’re shooting for the moon and finally make it.

I’ve tried making fried chicken several times at home, and each time it was just enough to fill my cravings. Never once, however, did it blow me away. So what had I been doing wrong?

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Because I firmly believe making proper fried chicken is something I’ll need to know before I can venture into my 30’s, I sought out every juicy nugget of wisdom I could find.

This includes as many tips and tidbits from friends, professionals, and the Internet, that I possibly get my hands on.

If you’re ever looking to fry up a batch of chicken at home, perhaps you’ll want to stick to these fried chicken tips.


Fry in small batches

The number one thing to know about cooking fried chicken, according to chef Josh Elkin, is to fry in small batches.

“The more crowded the pot or fryer, the less even the chicken will fry and the longer it will take,” Elkin told Foodbeast.

“Making fried chicken is a bitch,” he adds, “But it’s fried chicken, so that’s the payoff.”

It’s all about the temperature

Never deep-fry cold chicken. When you’re about to cook, let your raw chicken sit out for a least 30 minutes until it gets to room temperature. The reason is that cold chicken will affect the cooking oil and dramatically lower the temperature once the pieces are thrown in.

This also causes the oil to soak into the skin — creating soggy, greasy chicken. Chef Linh Nguyen of Fleenor’s on 4th recommends a temperature around 335F.

Chicken skin is essential

According to simplifried, frying chicken pieces at a high temperature lets you know that there is no more fat sitting between the meat and the skin once it’s golden brown.

Because the fat works to fry the skin, removing the skin directs the fat towards the meat when cooking in high temperatures. This results in greasy chicken. Keeping the skin on acts as a barrier.

If you choose not to eat the skin, that’s up to you. If you’re doing fried chicken, though, it’s at least half the joy behind it.

Cooking oil is also essential

Put those fancy-flavored oils away. You’re going to need a fat with a high smoke point and a neutral taste. Canola oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, or even lard are all ideal. Avoid extra-virgin olive oil at all costs.

Don’t be afraid to brine

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A well-seasoned buttermilk brine makes a world of difference for fried chicken. While salt and pepper are essential you can also add some paprika, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to give that chicken some heat.

Letting your meat brine overnight, or at least 8 hours, yields some fantastic results.

Take a fork and… what??

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay once shared with Foodbeast that you need to puncture the chicken to the bone with a fork before brining it. This way, the buttermilk seeps all the way into chicken and tenderizes the meat.

Season the flour

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You’ve seasoned your brine, but don’t forget to also season your flour.

Again, you’ll need at least salt and pepper. After that you can be creative with the spices you use.

“Buttermilk brine and cornstarch mixed with the batter to make it super crunchy,” says Chef Aron Habiger of Cooking on the Lam.

It’s OK to double dip

Once you have your chicken coated in seasoned flour, you’re good to go right? Sure, but if you want that extra crispy skin, you can also let that chicken sit for a few minutes on a wire rack so that any excess liquid absorbs. Then, dip it into your seasoned flour a second time before frying.

The result: crispy, crunchy chicken.

Wire rack > Paper towels

We’ve often heard that laying down some paper towels will absorb the excess oils of the chicken. However, the steam created from the moist paper towels will then lead to soggy fried chicken. Instead, lay your fried chicken pieces on a wire rack so the excess oil falls off.

The Spyrou Finisher

Former recipe blogger and gatekeeper of dad jokes, Constantine Spyrou, had this little technique to share if you’re ever worried about burning your chicken.

“The longer the chicken sits in the frying oil, the more can get inside,” he said. “I like to get it to the right color on each side and then finish it off in the oven.”

He says he runs the oven to 350-degrees for both the oil and oven, so the chicken spends about 5 minutes in the oil and the rest of the cooking time in the oven —10 or so minutes.

“It keeps the chicken moist, keeps it from overcoloring, and prevents too much oil from breaking into the meat and making it greasy.”

The leftover cooking oil?

Your fried chicken is cooked, you’ve eaten your fill, and now it’s time to clean up. After finishing those dishes, your oil has now probably cooled a bit. I can’t stress this enough: NEVER dump your used cooking oil into the sink.

If you’re looking for ways to dispose of the oil, here are some options.

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Features Hit-Or-Miss

5 Ways To Properly Throw Out Cooking Oil After Frying

Bacon-Stk-001

Working at Foodbeast all these years, we’ve dealt with our fair share of frying. A common problem we’ve run into when working with oil or fat in the kitchen is how to properly dispose of the liquid after you’re done making a Southern-fried mess.

We’re pretty sure anything more than a quart of oil is illegal to just dump in the trash. Don’t even think about pouring it down the sink, either.

With those disastrous shortcuts nixed, here are a few different methods to disposing of used cooking oils and fats.

Paper Towel

A video posted by Isai Rocha (@izzy_serious) on

If you’re simply frying a couple of eggs, you’re probably not using that much oil to begin with. Just set your pan aside to let it cool and wipe it down with a paper towel once the oil isn’t searing hot.

Then, simply check that piece of paper into the trash.

Re-use

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If you’re cooking with animal fat, you won’t want that precious resource to go to waste. Pour the excess grease (filtering out the food bits) into a glass or plastic container once it cools down a bit, then store it in the refrigerator for future use.

Animal fats add tons of flavor to whatever you’re cooking.

Sealed Plastic Bag

If you have about 3/4 cups or less of leftover cooking oil you don’t plan on reusing, let your cookware cool and dump it into a sealed plastic container (or sandwich bag) and throw it out in the trash.

Just make sure that container is airtight.

Gelatin

Serious Eats tested a pretty cool oil hack that incorporates the use of gelatin. Once you’re done with your oil, set it aside to let it cool. While you wait, heat up some water and mixed in some powdered gelatin. Combine your gelatin mixture with your oil and set it in the fridge overnight. The gelatin will sink to the bottom and take all the gross food remains with it, leaving the purified oil floating perfectly at the top.

There will be some water droplets that remain in the oil, but that’s alright as it will cook off once the pan is heating up. You could probably re-use this process once or twice before thinking about starting with some new oil.

You can then just wrap that piece of food-packed gelatin up and toss it in the trash.

Oil Drums

Mostly for restaurants, but if you’re cooking with a massive amount of oil on a daily basis you might want to invest in an oil drum or trap. Just simply pour whatever oil you don’t want to re-use into the vat and properly dispose of it at a waste center every time it’s full.

Though if you’re frying up that much stuff at home, you might want to get your cholesterol checked. Just saying.

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Health Hit-Or-Miss Products Technology

This Innovative Plate Will Make Healthier Eating Effortless

Let me make sure to clear up the immediate question everybody has right off the bat, that way we don’t waste any time:

No, this plate will not automatically make your food healthier.

Metro reports that the plate was created through a collaboration between advertising agency BBGO Thailand and the Thai government health board, this creation was made in order to help curb the growing obesity problem in Thailand. With grease and oil playing pivotal roles in the typical Thai cuisine, it comes as no wonder that this problem would eventually arise.
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The plate, known as the AbsorbPlate, removes all the excess grease from meals by draining the food once it’s been placed onto the plate. The AbsorbPlate sucks up a good chunk of grease, saving you from eating an average of 30 extra calories.

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While this may not be revolutionary in terms of weight loss, it certainly could have noticeable affect over time. Furthermore, the biggest takeaway from this product is the fact that you don’t have to diet. Everybody wants to lose weight but nobody wants to give up burgers and pizza. So why not give up the equivalent to a bite or two instead?

The plate comes riddled with 500 holes made to drain the grease from the food. Much like blotting a slice of pizza with a napkin, the plate works to remove as much oil and grease and possible without jeopardizing the integrity of the food.


While this plate in no way will make any dishes you make healthier, it will at the very least make it slightly less greasy, and that’s better than nothing. The AbsorbPlate is currently still in a concept design phase, but will hopefully be sent into mass production soon.

 

 

Photo Credit: Metro

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Hit-Or-Miss

Watch This Chef’s Intense Method For Seasoning A Carbon Steel Wok

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There have been many suggested ways to season cooking equipment. In order to create a non-stick surface, a proper combination of heat and oil must be incorporated to correctly season a pan, skillet, or even a wok.

Watch this chef’s intense technique when it comes to seasoning a new carbon steel wok. Definitely not something we can do at home, but still fascinating to watch.

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Health

Can the Mediterranean Diet Make You Less Depressed?

Mediterranean-Diet

Apparently, the science of “healthy fats” and something called BDNF, a protein that controls certain brain functions,  has been linked to mental disorders like schizophrenia and depression. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like fish and nuts, staples of the Mediterranean diet, which also includes more fresh fruits and veggies than an American diet, and a surplus of beans, whole grains, and olive oil) can make all those BDNF proteins kinda chill out.

There’s also the idea/theory/fact that eating, say, an apple is better for the mind and body than a Big Mac. So, you know. There’s that.

The study itself, however, seems a little sketchy. 96,000 people monitored their diet over the course of a year. At the end of the year, 20,000 people were randomly selected to fill out a PANAS (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule) survey. Only 9, 255 survey results were included in the final study, and all surveys were self-reported, leaving plenty of room for iffi-ness. Also, and for whatever reason, surveys were given only to black or white non-smoking members of the Advent church living in America, over the age of 35.

The point is if you’re having a rough day, treat yourself to a little lemon pepper fish. You’ll perk right up. Unless you smoke, are non-black or non-white, under 35, and not Adventist. If that’s the case, you’re SOL.

H/T Greatist + PicThx The Berkley Diet

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Products

Sunrise Salad XL Dressing Dispenser

Finally! The laws of science working in harmony with technology! …at least when it comes to dressing your salad.

Taking advantage of the physical properties of Vinegar and Oil, the Salad Sunrise XL dispenser allows you to pour out each of the fluids from the same container. The Oil, being less dense rests at the top of the container and can be poured from the top spout while the denser Vinegar can be poured from the lower spout. For such a simple and elegant design, the Salad Sunrise XL manages to come in at a somewhat XL price for my tastes. You can buy one for about $79.

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Recipes

Brownie S’mores Whoopie Pies

Know the saying, “The best things in life are free”? Yeah, that’s been proven to me once again.

A few days ago, I found a package on my doorstep. I opened it up, (with a whole lot of hesitation – damn that unabomber – I’m still haunted), and was so happy to find all these delicious goodies in there!

Not long ago I won a giveaway that was hosted by Michelle over at Fun and Fearless in Beantown. The giveaway included all the ingredients that you would need to make S’mores Whoopie Pies and Oreo Brownie Bites – YUMMO! (Bomb not included – phew). Thank you, Michelle and Signature Brands!

I didn’t know what I wanted to try first; I love both of these desserts equally! I resorted to a game of Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. :/ The Whoopie Pies won!


Imagine a round brownie sandwich stuffed with Hershey’s S’mores icing – oh yes, siree, that’s exactly what this is. And I got it for free! I love freebies! Especially when they are also delicious!

Brownie S’mores Whoopie Pies

Makes 8 pies

You will need:

1 box Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix with Hershey’s Syrup

2 eggs

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup water

1 pouch Hershey’s S’mores Icing, Traditional Flavor

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

In a deep bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of Hershey’s Syrup, water, oil, and eggs until well combined.

Spread the batter in a thin layer onto the prepared cookie sheet.


Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the brownies spring back when touched.

Let cool for 10 minutes.

Use a 2 inch circle cookie cutter to cut out the pie halves.

Allow brownie circles to cool completely.


When cooled, apply about a tablespoon of S’mores Icing onto half of the circles and place the remaining brownie circles on top.

Please stop by Diethood for more delicious recipes!

Categories
Cravings

Mozzarella Bruschetta

These thing would go great with a bowl of pasta or just by themselves! Get some oil, tomatoes, basil, garlic, vinegar, sea salt and peppers and mix it up in a bowl and place it on a slice of ciabatta bread! Place a piece of mozzarella cheese and toast them in the oven to your preference! In the worlds of Rachael Ray “Yum-O”! (Thx FTLOC)