PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - MAY 05: Jacques Pepin attends the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Center on May 05, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
The Super-Fine Flour Jacques Pépin Constantly Uses For Fried Chicken
By Kalea Martin
When making fried chicken, using too much flour or letting it cool on paper towels can make its skin soggy, but celebrity chef Jacques Pépin says a simple ingredient substitution can prevent this. While most cooks use all-purpose flour, panko, or cornflakes, Pépin makes fried chicken using the quick-mixing or instant flour Wondra.
Unlike all-purpose flour, instant flour has a lower protein content which undergoes pre-gelatinization — a process that steams the flour, dries it, and pulverizes it until its consistency becomes finer than regular flour. Wondra's low protein content makes it perfect for fried chicken, as the less protein flour has, the less moisture it'll hold, creating crispier chicken.
Since it's less prone to clumping, you won't end up with any pockets of gummy breading that can be created when the flour soaks up too much moisture. Also, Wondra, unlike regular flour, doesn't char, burn or brown as readily, meaning you can fry it for much longer to get it perfectly crispy, and Pépin prefers the Wondra brand over generic ultra-fine flour.