J. Kenji López-Alt Has Shared His 5 Tips for Perfect Crispy Chicken

J. Kenji López-Alt Has Shared His 5 Tips for Perfect Crispy Chicken

We’re big fans of J. Kenji López-Alt here. The chef and food writer is a gold mine for simple cooking tips (like better fried eggs or choc-chip cookies). And he has come through once again, with his top tips for mastering perfect pan-fried crispy chicken.

Considering how much we know you guys enjoy crispy chicken (I mean, which meat eater doesn’t), we thought we’d share the gifts of López-Alt’s guide to cooking it here. Read on for everything you need to know.

A chef’s guide to crispy chicken

Taking to Instagram, where López-Alt often shares his words of foodie wisdom, the chef explained that there are five things that help him to create perfect crispy pan-fried chicken. This is what they are.

  1. A little oil in the bottom of a pan preheated over moderate heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then start the chicken skin-side down in the pan. (It’s OK to crowd the pan here BTW – we’re going for a moderate-speed tender, not a hard sear.)
  3. Weigh it down. You can use @thechefspress like I did here, or you can use bricks or rocks wrapped in aluminum foil, a second smaller skillet, your patience and the back of a spatula, it doesn’t matter as long as the chicken skin has good contact.
  4. Don’t fiddle with it! If you feel like you smell it getting golden brown but are not quite sure, very gently try and prise one edge of skin up to peek. If it sticks to the pan, stop what you’re doing and let it go longer. When it’s ready it should lift off without much effort.
  5. Let it finish. When the skin is as crisp as you want it, flip the pieces, lower the heat to medium-low, and keep cooking until leg pieces register around 180F (82C) and breast pieces around 150F (65.6C).

Extra hot tip from López-Alt: Make a pan sauce if you’d like.

You can check out the original Instagram post on making crispy chicken below.

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