SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK - AUGUST 13: Food from Hatties Restaurant which is know for its delicious fried chicken and down home ambiance in Saratoga Springs, NY, on August 13, 2014. (Photo by Matt Moyer/Getty Images)
It Pays To Skip The Olive Oil When Frying Chicken
By Linda Larsen
Frying chicken at home requires several considerations: the chicken needs to be cut into drumsticks, breasts, thighs, and wings so that it fries quickly and cooks thoroughly before the skin gets too brown, the chicken should not be ice cold when you fry it, and naturally, the oil must be at a certain temperature. However, what kind of oil you use is just as important.
Extra virgin olive oil might feel like a healthy choice, but it isn't suitable for frying chicken given its high cost and peppery, sweet flavor that degrades when exposed to heat. It has a relatively low smoke point at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which the oil components begin to break down and smoke, and the oil will change and become bitter if it gets too hot.
While this temperature is still high enough to fry chicken, you're flirting with the upper limits as the oil temperature varies while frying. So, it's better to use cheaper oils with no flavor and a high smoke point of at least 400 degrees F, such as canola oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and avocado oil.