Ever searched “fried chicken near me” and placed an order that turned out disappointing? Next thing you know, you’ve put on your chef’s hat and discovered frying chicken is more complicated than you thought. Without the right technique, it can turn out bland or overcooked.
Today we’ll share the most common mistakes people make when frying chicken. This way, you can make it better next time and even learn the secrets behind those rare, delicious variations (karaage!).
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Frying Chicken
1. Don’t overcrowd the pan
Whether you’re cooking for a large group or rushing to get dinner done, you might be tempted to fill every inch of the pan with chicken. That’s a problem. During the frying process, the chicken releases moisture which, if the pan is hot enough, will evaporate and allow the chicken to brown and crisp. If the pan is too crowded, a lot of moisture is released, lowering the temperature of the pan. Then, the liquid doesn’t turn to steam and evaporate. The chicken will begin to stew and turn soggy— the opposite of that crispy texture you’re craving. So, make sure there’s ample space between each piece of chicken.
2. Don’t flip the chicken too early or too often
Another common mistake is flipping the chicken too early or too often, which prevents the formation of a nice crust. When you place the chicken in the pan, resist the urge to touch it for at least 3-4 minutes. Once a golden brown crust has formed, flip the chicken over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. After that, you can continue to cook the chicken to your preference but resist the urge to keep flipping it.
And remember, fried chicken needs a few minutes to rest before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat so that every bite is as flavorful as the last.
3. Don’t set the temperature to too high or low
You bite into a wonderfully brown piece of chicken only to discover it’s still pink on the inside. Yikes! Or, you’ve cooked the chicken all the way through, but it’s dry and rubbery. What gives? The temperature of the oil is likely to blame.
If the oil is too hot, it’ll cook on the outside very quickly but leave the inside raw. If it’s not hot enough, the chicken will take forever to cook and could even absorb some of the oil. The ideal temperature for frying chicken is between 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider using an instant-read kitchen thermometer to check the oil before you get frying.
4. Don’t forget to marinate the chicken
Does your first bite of fried chicken taste a little blah? That might be a lack of marination, the key to locking in flavors and keeping the meat moist. To make our karaage fried chicken, we marinate it for up to 48 hours in a sauce of onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and our secret blend of herbs and spices 😉. Crispy texture + savory flavors= perfect fried chicken.
Here are a couple of pro tips for making the most of marination:
Whether you have 2 hours or 24, some marination is better than none! You’ll taste the difference when you bite in and get that extra savory pop.
For a more complex flavor, try soaking the marinate overnight, by itself, before applying it to the chicken.
Fried chicken is a classic dish that can be botched if you’re not careful. By avoiding these four mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to making perfect fried chicken: Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Don’t Feel Like Cooking? Order Karaage
No need to search “fried chicken near me”— visit or order Torisho for fresh, authentic Japanese fried chicken. We’re located in the Beaches neighborhood of Toronto and specialize in karaage, katsu, and bento boxes.
Experience the joy of fried chicken, and tag us in your meals @torisho.ca