The Food Lab: Batter and Breading Basics for Frying

It’s never a good idea to put a skinless chicken breast into a deep fryer because it becomes very dry. The solution to this is to batter the chicken first. Typically, a good chicken batter is made from wheat flour, rice flour, or cornstarch, along with eggs and baking powder for binding. Usually, it’s best to coat the chicken with three layers so that the batter sticks to the meat and provides the outside with texture. While there are different methods of breading, the overall goal is to achieve the perfect balance of crispiness and taste without drying out the end product.

Key Takeaways:

  • Batter is made by combining some sort of flour with a liquid
  • Better helps insulate the food against the heat of frying this ensures your item will be cooked well
  • There are many types of batter panko, beer batter, and tempura are just a few you can try

“In the ideal world, a batter or breading becomes perfectly crisp just as the food inside—say, a slice of onion or a delicate piece of fish—approaches the ideal level of doneness. Achieving this balance is the mark of a good fry cook.”

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