What’s better than biting into that salty, crisped skin that gives way to juicy chicken? Our obsession, one that spans the globe, proves that many people agree — fried chicken is God’s gift to mankind.
Click here for the How to Make the Perfect Fried Chicken slideshow.
While the delicacy may have a distinctly American feel — with all the deep fried
love it gets — fried chicken, in its many forms, is celebrated around the world. In Japan, it’s called karaage
. Nugget-sized pieces of white meat are marinated in ginger, soy, and garlic before being dunked in a batter and twice-fried. In Germany, schnitzel
reigns supreme. The butterflied and pounded chicken is dredged in flour and egg before coming to a crisp in vegetable oil.
Then there is how we serve our chicken. Thai-style fried chicken comes with plenty of cooling cilantro and sticky rice to calm the heat from the spicy marinade. Senegalese Chicken is more often served with plantains, and our own Southern fried chicken comes with biscuits smothered in gravy.
Fried chicken is a universal dish that has come to symbolize comfort, and it is a meal best served fresh, hot from the fryer with family and friends surrounding them.
Check-out some of our favorite fried chicken recipes below:
Cold-Smoked Fried Chicken
This is the best fried chicken
ever. The smoke permeates the meat, seasoning it from the inside out. Combined with the crunchy exterior and juicy meat, it is revelatory. Just remember to let it rest before eating. It’s almost impossible not to dive in immediately, but when the chicken is too hot you can’t fully appreciate the texture and flavors. — Ideas in Food
For the Cold-Smoked Fried Chicken recipe, click here.
Korean Fried Chicken Wings
Before anyone points out that my last book was on healthy eating
and I now have Korean fried chicken
on the menu, I’m not suggesting you eat this every day. I don’t even eat it once a month. But when I do, I bloody love it. Hot, sweet, dark, messy, and wickedly good. I am not a fan of deep-frying—I get the children to stand by with a fire blanket when the fat gets to that rolling stage—but sometimes it is worth the effort (and I did try various “oven-baked” versions to make life easier for you, but they didn’t cut the mustard). This is Friday night food, but it’s not for cooking when you’re in a hurry. Best if two of you can share the deep-frying duties. Get the beers in, guys. — Diana Henry, author of A Bird in the Hand: Chicken Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood
For the Korean Fried Chicken Wings recipe, click here.
Nashville-Style Hot Chicken
It’s fiery. It overtakes your taste buds and burns your mouth in just the right way. Nashville hot chicken allegedly born out of infidelity is nothing less than a Music City tradition — spicy, greasy, and indulgent.For the Nashville-Style Hot Chicken recipe, click here.
This recipe sounds like it might be a joke, but it’s really dynamite. Chicken drumsticks with a potato chip crust—what could be bad? Crunchcrunchcrunch, with tender succulent chicken under the crunch. After I tasted it at my friend Dorothy Lee’s house, I had to get the recipe. It’s fun to make, fun to eat, and as addictive as potato chips. And, of course, kids just love it.
You have to use rippled potato chips, and not low-salt or no-salt. Then you’ll salt it all again—but don’t worry, it’s not too salty in the end. — Dora Charles, author of A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen
For the Potato-Chip Chicken recipe, click here.
Sitty’s Fried Chicken
My grandmother Sitty’s secret recipe for fried chicken
is all about the dredge, which uses basic seasoning, flour, and water. Simplicity is the key—after all, the star of the show is the chicken
. Mama said that my grandfather Giddy, who was a butcher by trade, taught Sitty that the best chickens were those that weighed around 3 pounds. These days, it’s almost impossible to find a chicken that size, so opt for a free-range or organic chicken because those birds are usually the perfect size. Preparing the chicken in the following manner will yield a very thin, crisp coating and juicy, tender chicken beneath. Sitty’s secret is finally out. — Matt Moore, author of A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen: Adventures in Cooking, Eating and Living in the New South
For Sitty’s Fried Chicken recipe, click here.
Click here for more on how to fry chicken.
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.