Crisp and juicy fried chicken
by Norma Chikiamco
12 pieces cut chicken (legs, thighs and wings)
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
4 cups Baguio Vegetable Oil
¾ cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken with salt. Beat egg in a large bowl and sprinkle ½ cup of the flour on a sheet of waxed paper (reserve remaining flour for later). Dip each chicken piece in the beaten egg then dredge in flour. Arrange chicken on a tray or large pan. Cover tray or pan and let chicken rest 1 to 2 hours or up to 8 to 10 hours in refrigerator.
When ready to cook, heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Put remaining ½ cup flour on waxed paper. Arrange bread crumbs on a separate piece of waxed paper. Season chicken lightly with salt. Dredge chicken in flour then coat lightly with bread crumbs. If necessary, press bread crumbs on chicken to make it adhere.
When oil starts to shimmer (a sign that it’s hot enough), turn down heat to medium. Fry the chicken pieces in the hot oil, about 4 pieces at a time.
Cook chicken pieces about 8 to10 minutes each side, or until golden brown, turning once. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve with desired sauce such as ketchup, applesauce or honey-mustard sauce.
Since chicken has to “rest” in refrigerator after the first coating of egg and flour, be sure to allot enough time for preparation. You can do the first coating early in the day, for example, then finish cooking the chicken just before dinner time.
When frying the chicken, don’t overcrowd the pan— overcrowding the pan steams the chicken rather than fries it. An average size frying pan can hold only 3 to 4 pieces of chicken at a time.
If you prefer white meat, use chicken breast instead of chicken legs, thighs or wings. For easier frying, cut the chicken breast in half before dredging in flour. Or use deboned chicken breast.