1-Ingredient Upgrade for Crispier Fried Chicken (It's Already in Your Pantry)

My fried chicken obsession began when I moved to Atlanta about 20 years ago. Fresh out of culinary school, I believed I knew everything there was to know about frying chicken: coat the chicken in flour, then buttermilk and eggs, more flour, and deep-fry it. After all, this is standard practice in many professional kitchens.

However, the cooking school knows nothing about Southern fried chicken, with its deep spice and flaky crispy coating. Really good Southern fried chicken doesn't require any special ingredients or fancy equipment. The best are found in parking lots, church basements, and small hole-in-the-wall restaurants that don't care about degrees of cooking. And as every good Southern cook knows, the best fried chicken recipes are shared and passed down with family and friends in the kitchen.

There are many secrets from my friend Erica Council, the author. Still we rise.The owner of Bomb Biscuits in Atlanta, and the blogger behind Southern Soufflé — has taught me a lot about Southern cooking over the years, but nothing beats the smartest trick for better fried chicken: Add a little cornstarch to the flour mixture..

I've seen cornstarch used on other crispy fried foods like tempura and fritters, so using it on fried chicken isn't exactly revolutionary. Pure cornstarch is gluten-free, so it prevents gluten from developing as the chicken is tossed with buttermilk in the flour. It helps in making the bread fast and crispy after frying. Cornstarch absorbs excess oil and even moisture from the chicken, creating a less greasy coating.

Simple recipes / Sharee Hill

How to Add Cornstarch to Your Fried Chicken

Erica didn't measure the dredge for her chicken, but years of cooking fried chicken have given me a solid formula.

You don't need cornstarch in fried chicken dredge — a mixture of flour and seasonings — to reap its benefits. Add one tablespoon of cornstarch to every 1 1/2 cups of flour.. Just toss it in flour as you would salt and other seasonings and fry as usual—no special technique required. Even this small amount makes a significant difference and covers eight pieces of chicken.

You can add cornstarch to any fried chicken recipe, whether it's mixed with buttermilk and then rolled in flour or coated in batter. It also works on air fried chicken.

Simple recipes / Sharee Hill

Our Favorite Fried Chicken Recipes

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