Frying chicken, especially multiple batches if you're feeding a crowd, can be a stressful dance of breading, frying, and keeping the chicken warm since each batch takes forever to fry — not to mention making sure that the chicken is safely cooked through! Here's one easy step to incorporate into the process to make the whole thing a lot more zen.
To make sure the chicken is cooked through and to reduce frying time, I learned this step from chef Susan Feniger: precook your chicken!
Why Should You Precook Your Chicken?
By precooking your chicken, you spend a lot less time frying since you only need to get the outside crispy and brown, which is great when you're doing multiple batches or have hungry guests hovering over the fryer. Also, worrying that your oil is too hot and burning the outside before the inside is cooked is a thing of the past.
How to Precook, Then Fry the Chicken
Season, brine, or marinate the chicken like you normally would, then pop it into a 350°F oven until the chicken is just cooked through, 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Finally, let the chicken cool down before frying- this precooking step can even be done a day or two in advance and the chicken stored in the refrigerator.
When you're ready to fry, let the cooked chicken come to room temperature if it was chilled, then proceed with your normal dredging or breading and frying. Fry until golden brown and crispy on the outside, it should take about 8 to 10 minutes, or half the normal time it takes to fry chicken. All you're looking for is a golden brown, crispy exterior since you know that the chicken is already fully cooked.
Now you can confidently bring a platter of golden fried chicken to your next picnic or potluck and know that every piece is cooked through and delicious!