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

This trick promises crispy breading that's not greasy.

<p>Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill</p>

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

My fried chicken obsession began in earnest when I moved to Atlanta almost 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 the standard process in many professional kitchens.

However, culinary school knows nothing of Southern fried chicken, with its deep seasoning and shatteringly crispy coating. Really good Southern fried chicken doesn’t require any specialty ingredients or fancy equipment. The best are found in parking lots, church basements, and tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants that care nothing for culinary degrees. And like every good Southern cook knows, the best tricks for making fried chicken are shared and passed down from family and friends right in the kitchen.

There are many secrets that my friend Erika Council—author of Still We Rise, owner of Bomb Biscuits in Atlanta, and the blogger behind Southern Soufflé—taught me about Southern cooking over the years, but none stick out more than 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 pakoras, so it isn’t totally revolutionary to use it on fried chicken. Pure cornstarch is gluten-free, so it inhibits gluten development as the chicken is tossed from buttermilk to flour. This helps make the breading snappier and crispier after frying. Cornstarch also absorbs excess oil and even moisture from the chicken, making for a less greasy coating.

<p>Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill</p>

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

How To Add Cornstarch to Your Fried Chicken

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

You don’t need a lot of cornstarch in fried chicken dredge—the mixture of flour and seasonings—to get its benefits. Add one tablespoon of cornstarch for every 1 1/2 cups of flour. Just whisk it into the 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 recipe for fried chicken, whether it’s brined in buttermilk and then dredged in flour or batter-coated. It even works on air-fried chicken.

<p>Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill</p>

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

Our Favorite Fried Chicken Recipes

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.