The Water Trick You Shouldn't Skip When Frying Chicken

Fried chicken can be the hero of comfort food. While mastering the art of frying chicken may seem daunting, making finger-licking homemade chicken that effortlessly outshines supermarket and fast-food versions is easier than you think.

But what makes a perfect fried chicken? Simple: a flavorful blend of crispy, crunchy goodness on the outside and moist, juicy meat on the inside. But how do you get a perfect fried batch of chicken? Boiling is the lesser-known water trick you simply don't want to skip. Some may argue that boiling before frying is an unnecessary step, but boiling beforehand is the secret to achieving the most tender, moist, and juicy inside.

Whether you're working with thighs, drumsticks, or quarters, this clever trick ensures your chicken is cooked all the way through while also saving you precious time in the kitchen. By pre-boiling your chicken, you can be sure that every morsel is perfectly cooked and ready to take a crispy plunge into the hot oil. This time-saving technique guarantees a tender chicken, leaving you with only one concern — achieving that irresistible crisp golden finish.

Does boiling chicken before frying affect flavor?

Boiling chicken can be a hit or a miss. Done right, it yields super tender meat that easily falls off the bone — perfect for frying breasts, wings, and thighs. But if you use overly hot water, you'll end up with flavorless, bland meat that won't hold the crust. Too much heat and haste can result in a slippery texture, making it hard for your breading mixture to stick to the chicken skin.

The best way to achieve perfection is to boil the chicken gently over low heat, maintaining its moisture and ensuring even cooking. Tenderizing the meat while preserving its juiciness, this pre-fry boil enhances the innate tastes of the meat, allowing its natural symphony of flavors to shine through. You can add more flavor by seasoning the water when boiling the chicken.

To check if your chicken is done boiling, plunge a knife into the tender flesh. When the succulent juices flow clear, and the center stands free from any hint of pink, victory is yours! Give the chicken ample time to cool before frying to lock the juices for a crispy outer layer, complemented by succulent, mouthwatering tenderness within. Happy cooking!