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What Are the Best Tips for Frying Chicken Thighs?

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  • Written By: Andrea Cross
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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Chicken thighs are a good choice for frying, often producing a richer, juicer product than other cuts. They are also more economical and are great when you are cooking for a large amount of people. There are a number of tips that you can use when frying chicken thighs to help you get the best result, including how to prepare the chicken and how to cook it.

When frying chicken thighs, leave the bones in. If you want a richer fried chicken, leave the skin on the meat. For some people, however, this can be both too rich and high in calories, so you can also remove the skin before cooking for a leaner product. To get particularly juicy thighs, you can leave the chicken for a few hours or overnight in a brine. It is also always better to season the meat as well as the coating as this enhances the final flavor.

No matter how you prepare the meat, frying chicken thighs always requires that the chicken has a coating in order to protect the meat and help keep it moist. Use whatever coating you prefer because they tend to work best according to personal taste. Generally, most recipes call for two or three coats — a seasoned flour, a wet dip such egg or buttermilk, and sometimes another dry coat, such as seasoned breadcrumbs. Experiment with several different recipes, and see which you prefer. Make sure you season well any coating that you do use.

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Before you begin cooking, get everything organized. To help cut down on rushing, you can season and batter your chicken first and then allow it to briefly rest. This reduces the amount of dishes you have on the go and also allows the chicken to absorb more flavor from the seasonings. When frying chicken thighs, use an oil that is not too strongly flavored and that has a high smoking point, for example, peanut oil, vegetable shortening, or even lard. Make sure that you use clean, fresh oil if possible as used oil can transfer unwanted flavors to your chicken.

You can use either shallow or deep-fat frying for frying chicken thighs. If you are shallow frying, use a cast-iron pan to produce a good, even heat, and only put in enough oil to cover the thighs halfway. With both methods, make sure that the oil is very hot; otherwise, the chicken takes longer to cook and may be greasy or soggy. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to both put the chicken in and remove from the fryer — and stand well back, so you don't get splattered with oil and burned.

With shallow frying, put the chicken in skin-side down because this gives you the crispiest result. Both methods of frying chicken thighs require you to cook the portions in small batches; overcrowding decreases the temperature of the oil. Fry the meat until it is golden brown and has an internal temperature of approximately 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius), which you can test with a meat thermometer. Once cooked, make sure you drain the chicken well on a rack or paper towel to keep it from becoming too greasy.

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anon951757
Post 2

And if you don't have a thermometer?

Viranty
Post 1

As the article says, it's always important to remember that cooked chicken needs to be 165 degrees Fahrenheit (internally). Anything below that can be a hazard, and may even lead to food poisoning. In fact, this doesn't just apply to chicken, it can apply to other meats as well. However, telling how finished it is, is different for each, such as beef and pork.

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