In Part I of the breading chicken guide, I went over two techniques: dredging and soaking. In this part of the guide, I'm going to show you how to put those two techniques together to make fantastic breaded chicken.
There's more than one way to make breaded chicken. You have a bunch of ingredients to choose from when picking your breading or your liquid base. That makes a lot of different ways of breading chicken.
But that's not all there is to it! You can also combine the dredging and soaking steps in a few different ways. And each of these ways changes how your chicken turns out. Here are three ways to put it all together:
Remember, there's no right way to make breaded chicken. The best way is the one that you and whoever you're cooking for likes best! So try them all out, and see what works for you.
Here we go!
It's easy to guess. This process has three steps!
This is the method I prefer. The flour base helps the liquid stick to the chicken, and you end up with a great coating on the chicken that turns out really crispy once you cook it.
It's also nice because it works so well even if you start planning your meal 30 minutes before you make it. No marinating time required!
This method can get a little messy. Your hands can end up coated in flour, breading, and whatever liquid mixture you're using. You can minimize the mess by using one hand as your dry hand, and the other as your wet hand. The dry hand takes care of step 1, dredging the chicken in flour. The wet hand takes care of steps 2 and 3, soaking and breading chicken pieces. This makes the chicken a lot easier to handle, and keeps your flour clean.
This one is a two-step process.
This method is the best one to pick if you plan on marinating your chicken. You can add lots of seasonings to your liquid, giving you an extra juicy, tender, and flavorful breaded chicken
If you're not planning on marinating the chicken, I'd go with the 1-2-3 Method. That extra flour coating really helps get a better breading.
The 1-2 Method is a great opportunity to use fresh seasonings. Fresh herbs in the breading change its texture and can give weird results. But if you put them in the liquid mixture and marinate, the flavors have plenty of time to infuse the chicken. Then they're tossed out with the mixture and don't interfere with your breading!
This is really the simplest method of all for breading chicken.
You can also use another type of breading, but without a liquid base, it won't stick as well as flour.
The 1 Method is the traditional way of making fried chicken. Lightly breaded chicken, pan fried in half an inch to an inch of oil.
If you're going for the 1 Method, I'd recommend brining the chicken beforehand. Brining helps keep the chicken moist and makes it more flavorful. This is important. With the 1 Method, you have a much thinner breading on your chicken. That means less crisp, and less protection from drying out.