This Is What Happens If You Season Your Fried Chicken Oil

If you eat meat, then there's nothing more classic than some homemade fried chicken. According to Fox Business, the global fried chicken market is estimated to reach over $8 billion by 2025, with over $2.5 billion due to Americans' consumption. While this may seem surprising, it's hard to resist that juicy, tender, and flavorful chicken dish that we all know and love. Whether you make your own crispy fried chicken or seek the best of the best in the South, we've already gone over one of the most basic rules when making fried chicken. 

You never want to take any shortcuts when it comes to seasoning your flour, which is crucial for the overall taste and flavor of the chicken. At the very least, adding salt and pepper to the flour will ensure you have not only flavorful chicken, but a spicey crust to crunch into. Kicking it up a notch with garlic, onion powder, paprika, and chili powder can also take your fried chicken to a whole new level. But, what happens if you forget to season your flour and you instead season your fried chicken oil?

Prepare for high criticism

Actress Paula Patton got blasted on social media because she didn't season her fried chicken flour and was instead seen seasoning the frying oil. Say what? According to a recent video posted to her Instagram, Patton was seen making her mother's recipe which came under heavy criticism. Instead of adding seasoning to the flour base, Patton instead covered her chicken with three simple spices — Lawry's Seasoned Salt, black pepper, and paprika — as the chicken was already frying in the pan, resulting in the seasoning falling off into the oil. Olympic track and field athlete Ashley Spencer took to TikTok to criticize Patton on her lack of knowledge of preparing the traditional dish, stating, "The spices fell off in the grease."

Once Patton's video was live for all to see, it continued to spark controversy on the "correct" method of preparing fried chicken, including how to properly clean and season it. "Paula Patton just ruined my day," one fan wrote on Twitter. "Paula Patton really shook unseasoned chicken in a bag of unseasoned flour while smiling," tweeted another user. Yikes. 

Is it actually wrong though?

Despite the criticism Paula Patton received for seasoning the oil instead of the flour, her approach wasn't inherently wrong. "Because Paula is not using a lot of oil to pan-fry (rather than deep-fry the chicken), seasoning the chicken in the oil can work here. Personally, I would season the chicken wings first before placing them in the flour for at least 5-10 minutes, so the spices have time to penetrate the meat fully. Paula did cook small wings, but it's likely the spices are just on the exterior of the chicken," Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Affairs at the Institute of Culinary Education said (via Today).

So, it seems there's no correct method for preparing fried chicken, but you may receive criticism for deviating from what some may view as authentic techniques. As long as you don't break the basics, you'll probably be good.