Express yourself with the seasoning.
“Seasoning is something very personal based on regional tastes. The other important thing is the oil. I personally like to fry my chicken in cast iron—no need to submerge in oil—and I use canola oil or peanut oil at a temperature of 350°F.”—Norbert Bomm, corporate executive chef, Morrison Healthcare
Just say no to soggy chicken.
“If you’re pan-frying instead of deep-frying, the chicken has to be cooked just 90 percent of the way in the pan, then kept in a warm oven for service. If you brown it too fast in the pan then finish it in the oven, the crust will get soggy. Have patience! We always serve it here with mashed potatoes and braised greens.”—Tom Kief, professor of culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America
Reach for a packet of ranch.
“My go-to quick life hack for fried chicken is to soak the chicken in a quart of buttermilk, ¼ cup packaged ranch seasoning, about a tablespoon of chili powder and black pepper. Make sure it tastes salty to start.”—Matthew Del Regno, executive chef with Levy at the Cleveland Convention Global Center for Health Innovation
Make it gluten-free.
First, I like to brine my chicken in pickle juice, then coat it with buttermilk. Most of the time at school, we then coat it with masa to keep it gluten-free, but it’s better with flour. For seasoning, I like chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, onion powder and lots of salt.”—Edmund Wetterwald, executive chef, Groton School, Massachusetts
Pancake mix comes in handy.
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Pancake mix and flour is a great combination for your dry ingredients. First, I marinate the chicken in buttermilk, Cajun seasoning, ginger salt and pepper. Then, I drain the chicken, coat it with flour, then egg wash, then the flour/pancake mixture.”—Nazim Khan, CEC, executive chef, Bryan Medical Center, Lincoln, Neb.