Thursday, March 21, 2013

Culinary Class: Pan Fried Chicken

In this class we covered another dry cooking method, pan frying. The difference between pan frying and sauteing is the depth of the oil. In sauteing, there was just enough oil to prevent the food from sticking to the pan. In pan frying, the oil should be deep enough to come half way up the food in the pan. It uses the heat of the oil to cook the food.

We made pan fried boneless chicken, using the leg and thigh. We pounded the pieces thin, and then breaded in a similar three stage process to that we used the week before. The chicken pieces were dipped in seasoned flour, then buttermilk, then seasoned bread crumbs.

Pan fried foods, just like sauteed ones, should only be turned once. It is important to carefully regulate the heat. Too hot, and the outside burns before the inside is cooked. Too cool, and you end up with pale, greasy food.

We had an Asian style dipping sauce to go with it. It was really good. It had a lot going on. Somewhat sweet, somewhat tangy, with a fair amount of heat.

We also fried up some squash sticks and onion rings. Those were battered in the same three step process. We used seasoned flour, egg, and panko bread crumbs. Panko crumbs differ in that they are courser, and lighter, than regular bread crumbs. This results in a lighter, crispier texture. The squash came out really good. I think we didn't have the heat high enough for our onion rings. They were a little greasy, and we had a hard time keeping the breading on them.

All in all, not bad. Hard to go wrong with fried chicken, though.

Dipping sauce recipe courtesy of Chef Joe Orate.

Chef Joe's Asian BBQ Dipping Sauce

3 fl. oz. ketchup
3 fl. oz. BBQ sauce
3 fl. oz. sweet chili sauce
2 fl. oz. white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
sambal to taste
Tobasco or other hot sauce to taste

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