Can I achieve the same results from frozen chicken as fresh chicken when frying it? And is frozen chicken healthy?
Yes, you are able to fry frozen chicken in the same way that you are able to fry fresh chicken.
Fried chicken is the ultimate comfort food for many people, especially when paired with crispy chips. But that does not mean that it is the healthiest meal as it is the method you use to fry that chicken that determines how healthy your chicken turns out.
Do I need to thaw my chicken?
Regardless of how you cook frozen chicken breast, it is recommended that you let frozen chicken thaw out before you prepare it.
This is not just to save cooking time but to also help your preparation of the chicken run smoother.
It is harder to get seasoning, species or coating to stick to frozen chicken and you will often find that if you try to fry it, the coating will simply fall away and burn in your fryer.
Therefore, while it is not necessary to thaw frozen chicken in terms of health, it is easier in the long run.
It is also important that you increase your cooking time by at least 50% of what you would normally cook the chicken to give it time to cook all the way through the frozen part. Nobody wants undercooked chicken.
Of course, if you are using already breaded pieces of frozen chicken then you can ignore the thawing step altogether.
Which frying method to use?
There are two main ways in which you can fry your chicken: either in an air fryer or in a deep fat fryer.
An air fryer uses a heated device and a fan to circulate hot heat around your food, delivering a crispy piece of chicken. This is only possible through the use of an air fryer an no oil is required.
If you want a more authentic, restaurant like a fried chicken meal then your best bet is deep fat frying. This is done by submerging your chicken in boiling hot oil until cooked through and golden brown.
How best to deep fry frozen chicken
Depending on what frying method you use depends on how you fry your chosen frozen chicken.
If you are using breaded frozen chicken then there is little to do but prepare your fryers then place the chicken pieces in far enough apart that they do not clump together while frying.
If you are using plain, frozen chicken then you may want to season it first otherwise you are going to have pretty tasteless fried chicken.
Once you have seasoned, you are going to want to coat your chicken in either an egg and flour combination or egg and breadcrumbs to get that crispy, restaurant feel.
Once you are ready, make sure your fryers are hot enough and place a few pieces of chicken in at a time.
An air fryer will take longer to fry your chicken than a deep fat fryer would but it is best to check your food often no matter what method you use.
If you are using oil to fry you chicken, make sure to place your fried pieces on a plate with some kitchen roll otherwise you will be serving greasy, oily chicken which no body wants.
What oil to use
Some chefs argue that the best results of fried chicken rely on the type of oil that you use.
You want to use an oil that has a high smoke point – the maximum heat that oil can burn at. The higher hot smoke point, the crispier you can make your chicken.
The best oil to use is canola oil which is the type of oil that all fast food restaurants use to fry their chicken. Not only is this type of oil cheap but it is also the most effective and is the type of oil that deep fat fryers work best with.
However, the issue is that canola oil is certainly in no way the healthiest oil but you may not get the same crispy results from other types of oils.
How to season frozen chicken
Chicken is one of the few proteins that can work with pretty much any season combination, but to get fried chicken like from your favourite fast food restaurants you will need:
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 1 chicken stock cube crumbled up
You can change these measurements depending on how spicy you like your chicken and what flavours you like best. Do not forget to also season with salt and pepper.
Make sure to generously rub and coat your chicken in these ingredients for the tastiest results.
How to get that golden brown coating?
As for the crispy coating often associated with fast food chicken, you will need a half and half combination of plain flour and cornflour to hand as well as a few eggs broken into a bowl.
First, you need to cover your chicken in the egg then transfer it over to the flour combination until coated, tapping away any excess.
Repeat this until you have thoroughly covered your chicken. Then they are ready to fry.