KFC is poinsonous. Our family no longer eats it. We have ommited all seed oils from our diet as it is not fit for human consumption.
So no fried food? Hell, no! Introducing tallow (beef fat). I render this and have a steady supply. I keep a pot of it in the fridge, ready to whip out and deep fry at a moments’ notice.
Start with a good quality chicken. Dissect it into pieces. I remove all the skin and use it to make “chibacon” (pan fried crispy chicken skin) as a salty snack, close but not quite as good as bacon.
The chicken goes into a brine of 6.5% salt (65 grams salt per litre of water) and 3.5% sugar, with a few cloves of garlic (It might make a difference it might not, haven’t scienced it yet). I brine for a couple of hours and it gets salty enough. If you’re going to brine longer, reduce the salt.
After a couple of hours, I wash of the chicken (I believe this will get rid of some salt). I also sliced a litte and fried it in a pan to taste for saltiness. If its too salty, you can let the chick soak a bit in water.
The Chicken THEN the Egg
Next the chicken goes in an egg wash prepared earlier. I use 1 egg, and about a cup of buttermilk, maybe a bit less, exact amounts shouldn’t matter. Dunk all the chicken in. Maybe soaking for a while helps, I don’t know yet. I’m not fussed. I also have doubts that buttermilk is necessary. I’m sure an egg and some milk, or even water will do. It’s the protein and wetness that’s required so flour can stick to it.
Parman’s ONE Secret Herbs and Spices
Next the chicken gets floured. The flour mix is about a cup of flour, a tablespoon of ground black pepper, a teaspoon of white pepper, teaspoon salt, and tablespoon of mustard seed powder. I haven’t looked up the KFC spices, but this ended up tasting close enough to it. The main ingredient to get right, in my opinion, is the ground black pepper. Everything else, I beleive, is just to make the spice mix seem mysterious and difficult to copy. It’s the pepper that is the start of the show, in my opinion.
After a few minutes, the flour coating the chicken begins to get more soggy. This is your chance to dunk it back in to the flour to pick up some more.
No Fries? Don’t be Ridiculous.
I like to have fries with the chicken. Get some potatoes that you know will fry well, we like Russet potatoes. Cut them thin, by hand (of course), and keep them in a low-salt brine as the chicken is brining (a table spoon to a litre or so). You need to drain them well before frying, or spectacular oil explosions to the face.
Frying is probably better done outside, or your house is going to stink. I have a laser thermometer to help get consistent results. The pot of tallow is heated to 160C (320F), then fries and chicken are added.
Not all obviously of the food at once; in small batches – you have to judge how much your pot and tallow will take in one go. Volume ratios affect how oil-heat changes as you add food, and how long it takes for the temperature to come back up. There are many variables, so repeat and take notes for your conditions and improve each time.
For me, the chicken and chips reduces the oil temperature to around 120C (248F). It takes 5 or 8 minutes to come back up to about 140C (laser surface reading), at which point the fries are beginning to get firm, and there is some slight browning on the chicken. I remove them and place on a tray. The oil termperature without food then reads 160C (I think the sudden change has to do with the innacuracy of the reading due to steam being released when food is in the oil; maybe, I don’t know).
The 160C temp is perfect for immediately adding the next batch of fries and chicken.
Once all the food has been through cycle 1 of frying, I let the oil temp get to 190C (374F), and add in some chicken and chips. It takes a minute or two to get to the perfect level of crisp, so keep an eye on it and don’t burn. If the temperature is going above 200C too quickly, turn off the heat as you contine to fry, turn it back on as needed.
When serving, the fries need salt, but the chicken shouldn’t.
Don’t serve pink chicken. If you find it’s not cooked enough, back into the oil, and adjust your method for next time.
What to do with the Tallow?
Tallow is reusable. Much will become part of the delicous food, but what’s left in the pot can be refrigerated. I put the whol pot in the spare fridge. If crusty pieces are floating around, filter them out through cheesecloth.
Instead of flour, you could make a schnitzel.
You’d still brine for best results, dunk in flour the first, then eggwash (reverse order to main recipe), then dunk in bread crumbs, then deep fry that. This turns out FAR more crispy. I haven’t experimented with the spice proportions – you could add spices to the flour and/or the bread crumbs.
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