WASHINGTON, DC- MARCH 25, 2015:  Popeye's fried chicken photographed in Washington, DC (Photo by Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post).
Potato Starch Is The Secret To Getting The Crunchiest Batter-Fried Chicken
By Heidi Chaya
To achieve the crunchiest exterior of your fried chicken, you'll need to call upon an ingredient you may already have in your pantry: potato starch. Made from crushed raw potatoes and dried to create a product similar to flour, this particular starch helps keep the chicken moist, promotes steady cooking, and ultimately builds the perfect golden crust.
Potato starch can withstand high temperatures, and it even has some meat tenderizing capability. To create the ultimate crispiness when frying chicken, the grains of starch take in water from the chicken and the hot oil, causing them to enlarge and dissipate, eventually creating a matrix that's holey but still holds together.
Start by dredging your chicken in a mixture of starch, salt, and pepper, but ensure you keep a light coating to avoid soggy, doughy, or underdone chicken. The science behind the potato starch method can be used not only for Southern-style fried chicken but also Korean fried chicken, Japanese karaage, fried fish and shrimp, and tons more of crispy, fried goodness.
For the best flavor and tenderness, brine your chicken in salted water, buttermilk, or even pickle juice for at least 8 hours before dipping it into the batter. Make sure you pay close attention to the temperature of your oil, avoid crowding the pan, fry the chicken twice, and let it rest on a wire rack for the fried chicken of your dreams.