If there’s one mistake that you’ll see over and over again from newbie cooks in Dunedin’s student flats, it’s awful chicken. You know the kind – cubes of grey-ish white, bland, tough meat that nobody enjoys. Chicken is fucking delicious, but if you’re frying it into grey chunks it just becomes a flavourless protein portion. It becomes a chore to eat rather than the best part of your meal.
If the chicken you’re frying ends up whitish-grey rather than a nice golden brown, there’s a simple reason why: you’re not frying, you’re boiling.
Chicken breast is loaded with water, and if you’ve overfilled your pan, haven’t pre-heated your pan, or don’t have a good amount of oil, that water is all gonna come out and you’re just going to end up cooking it in its own juices.
Here’s how to get the perfect fried chicken for stir-fries and pastas every time:
- Cut your chicken into strips. Try aim for about 1-2cm thick.
- Lay them out on a chopping board and dab them with a paper towel to get all the excess moisture out.
- Season with salt and pepper and/or whatever spices you’re going for. Rub it down to really get the flavours worked into the meat.
- Put your pan on a medium-high heat and LEAVE IT until it’s hot. Use the ‘sizzle test’ to check if it’s hot enough by flicking some water on and seeing if it sizzles. Once it’s hot, add a good hearty helping of oil (don’t bother with anything fancy, canola will do the trick).
- Put a few pieces of chicken in the pan, but don’t overload it (you may have to do this in two or three goes, but it’s worth it). Try to refrain from touching them for a few minutes; just let the oil & heat do their thing.
- Once there’s a good brown underside, flip them and do the other side. Remember it won’t take quite as long to do this side.
- Once you’ve got a nice golden brown crisp, set the chicken aside on a separate plate. Now cook your veges and carbs, and add the chicken in at the end.
Thank me later.