One of the meals that make everyone think about home is fried chicken. If you have the memories from childhood or perhaps you have grown to love it in recent times, there is no denying that fried chicken is very delicious. It could take quite a while to make fried chicken and this is why people usually make plenty at a time. After you have made plenty, there is a need to store some of them, right? You have to know how you can properly store it and how you should use it from storage.
All the questions above are the reason why we have put this guide together so that you can know exactly those things you should know. This guide will help you to know the storage processes and options from the beginning to the end.
The Ultimate Fried Chicken Guide
We need to first show you how you can prepare fried chicken. Perhaps, you use the normal family recipe, or you bake your chicken rather than fry it, or maybe you produce your breading. All of these preparation methods have something to do with how you can later store the chicken. Check out below the different ways to prepare your fried chicken:
- Those fried in cereal, cracker breading or crushed chips
- Those fried in breading mix bought from the store
- Those fried in common homemade breading
- Those fried with a variety of sauces
- The fried chicken baked inside an oven
- Those fried in an air fryer.
- Those fried in grease or oil on a stovetop
- Those deep-fried in the electric fryer
As shown above, fried chicken can be affected by a variety of factors and it is mainly dependent on the process used to fry the chicken. The only positive thing is that the result you will get will still be fried chicken. This means that regardless of your method of preparation, the same storage process can be followed when storing fried chicken.
Fried Chicken Process
You now know that your fried chicken can be prepared in several ways. We, however, want you to know the basic steps and items you will use in the preparation process so that you will understand how storage will affect the ingredients. Let’s check out how you can make your homemade fried chicken, there are several chances that if you are adding a lot of variety to it, the process could still be the same.
- Firstly, there are different recipes, but the one we are considering here is the most popular type that is of standard batter consisting of flour, season to taste pepper, and salt.
- If you want to fry your chicken, it is better to use defrosted or thawed one. Frozen chickens are usually not used.
- Beat your eggs.
- Put the raw chicken deeply inside the coat and eggs.
- The next step is to move your egg-dipped raw chicken into the flour and mixture of seasoning, turning the chicken around so that it can be thoroughly coated.
- After the chicken has been coated, move it to your preferred frying method.
- If you are using the electric fryer or a stovetop, allow your oil or grease to heat to an approximate temperature of 375°F. Proceed to fry batch by batch with seven to eight minutes on each of the sides.
- In case you are using an oven, you need to use parchment paper to cover the pan in order to easily clean up. Allow it to cook in your oven for up to 35 minutes at a temperature of 400°F. Ensure to turn at least halfway once or at an interval of seven minutes to evenly cook.
- If your chicken was fried in very hot grease, place the end product on the paper towel so that some excess grease will be absorbed before it is served.
It is really simple to do, only that between the preparation and frying stage, it could be messy as well as time-intensive.
Prepping Fried Chicken for Storage
We have several methods that can be used to store fried chicken. The most common one is to store either in your fridge or freezer.
It is simple to store your chicken either in your fridge or freezer. You are not allowed to leave the chicken at room temperature above 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t forget that the fried chicken has to become completely cool before it gets to room temperature. You are not required to start preparing to store it immediately you take it off the fire unless you want to mess up the breading’s integrity. Follow the steps below when preparing to store the fried chicken irrespective of your storage method;
Be aware that you will most likely require some airtight containers like the glass Tupperware.
- Let the fried chicken cool to room temperature within 30 minutes after cooking.
- You can prepare for storage or wrap the chicken in several ways, check below;
- You need to seal the fried chicken tightly so that excess air will not enter.
- In case you are sealing inside a dish, you should use your swallow dish so that excessive space will not be left inside the dish.
- Use foil (preferably heavy-duty foil) to wrap each of the pieces. You can use some sort of food wrap that is reusable.
- Store your chicken in your freezer bag after individually wrapping each of the chicken and you should get ready to store it.
Refrigerating Fried Chicken
If you have your fried chicken prepared in big batches which you will use for a full dish at a later date, it is preferable to freeze it. But if you only want to store it for some days, then you must have either wrapped your fried chicken in aluminum foil or sealed it in the airtight container so that excess moisture will be eliminated and the breading will be preserved when eaten cold or reheated. Check the basic steps below to refrigerate fried chicken.
- You must have prepared for the process of storage. You could decide to ignore putting them in a freezer bag but instead, wrap each of the pieces in foil or inside your shallow airtight bag or container.
- Make sure the fried chicken gets into the fridge within two hours that you finished cooking it.
- Put the fried chicken inside your fridge
- You can store the fried chicken this way in the fridge for about five days.
Freezing Fried Chicken
As revealed earlier, if you are trying to store your fried chicken in large batches which will be used to make multiple meals, freezing is the best method. If you strictly stick to the steps we recommend, you will not have any problem with your breading or it becoming soggy. All you will be left with is your delicious and crispy fried chicken. Follow the steps below to freeze the fried chicken:
- You need to have prepared the fried chicken ahead of the storage in the freezer. You should refer back to the guidelines previously shared above. It is preferable to either wrap your chicken in foil individually or place it in the shallow airtight bag or container and put inside your freezer bag.
- You can move them into your freezer within two hours after you finished cooking.
- The recommended temperature of the freezer should be at 0°F.
- Your chicken can stay in your freezer for about 12 months provided you stored it at temperature 0°F but if you store at a temperature lower than that, use the chicken within six months.
Reheating Fried Chicken
We need to check how you can use the fried chicken after you have storage them. You can eat your fried chicken cold if it was refrigerated but this is not recommended for frozen chicken. Check below for the steps to use to reheat your fried chicken:
- Frozen fried chicken is to be allowed to defrost or thaw before it can be warmed. You can thaw it by unwrapping the chicken at room temperature.
- Your fried chicken can best be reheated either in an oven or a microwave. If you refry the chicken, it could get slightly soggy or overcooked.
- Oven – lay your aluminum foil on your baking pan or baking sheet so that the breading crisp can be kept. Put the fried chicken singly on the layer of foil and cover the pan with aluminum foil to get the best result. Allow it to warm for up to 20 minutes at a temperature of 400°F.
- Microwave – You have to wrap the piece individually in your paper towel and allow it to microwave at an interval of 30 seconds. If you are not satisfied with the warmness, turn it to the other side and warm for another 30 seconds. The breading gets preserved if you wrap in your paper towel.
Any of the methods is not bad, it depends on your preference. If you want the crispness maintained, use an oven as the best method.
How Can I Keep My Breading from Falling Off When I Fry My Chicken?
You can follow some little steps when preparing to fry the chicken which will make a difference. In case you soak the chicken inside buttermilk before breading, pat the chicken dry enough so that your buttermilk will not drip when coating. When it is coated in a flour mixture, shake off all excess flour. Most times, the excess flours cause the fall off of the breading.
How Can You Tell if your Fried Chicken Has Gone Bad?
When your fried chicken starts to get spoilt, you will notice some telltale signs. A sour smell indicates that it has gone bad. You can also know it has gone off if the appearance is of a slimy texture or the color has changed to somewhat odd. Dispose of it and clean all exposed areas to prevent any cross-contamination.