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People now have become obsessed with their health and the healthy life style. I’m not saying this is a bad thing just the opposite really. But who doesn’t like fried chicken? My mother-in-law made awesome fried chicken. But all that grease! The alternative: Frying in the oven! It’s healthier and easier too. So although it is really baking by using the oven, with some tips and experimentation you can have that fried taste but made in the oven.
This is the most important step to getting that fried taste. Double dipping! You cannot use batter based topping. It will just not work. But double or even triple dipping works wonders. Here is what you do: Dip the food into flour then into either buttermilk or egg. Then dip into bread crumbs. I use regular old bread crumbs. I do not have much success with panko bread crumbs as they are a light delicate bread crumb and I do not get the browning effect to my satisfaction. Just my preference but by all means use panko bread crumbs if you prefer.
This is where the experimentation comes in. Play around try the different bread crumbs. Do half the food in one type and the other half into the other. See which one you prefer. But I am getting off track here. Place the food in the pan then spray it with some cooking spray.
To get the browning you want you will need a high temperature. Pre-heat your oven to either 375 or 400 degrees. Again you can experiment here. But remember the higher the heat the browner the food. Just don’t have the temperature too high. You don’t want to burn it. Also, remember to preheat your oven. This will mess with your cooking time. You do not want to put your food into a cold oven. Otherwise, it is sitting in a cold oven and will start to cook as the heat rises leading to uneven cooking.
You want to make sure your pan is large enough so that the food has plenty of space between each piece. If not you will not get the results you are looking for. Such as being crisp and/or browned. Food close together tend to steam instead. You need enough air to circulate around the food.
I use a pan with a baking rack. Just remember to spray the rack or the food will stick.
I place the rack over the pan and then I place the food on the rack. I then spray the food with cooking spray. I use the “drippings” in the pan to make gravy. There are many sizes of pans with racks, from small to “oven fry” a few pieces to large where you can “oven fry” a bunch
The End Results!
You have that fried taste without all that grease. If you have become more health conscious, with some experimentation you can just about fry anything in the oven. But I do want to add a note regarding air fryers. I love new gadgets for the kitchen. Then I heard about air fryers I admit I was curious. So what did I do? I went out and bought one. I wanted to see how chicken made in the air fryer would turn out.
The air fryer was great but the problem is you can only air fry up to 4 pieces of chicken maybe 5, depending on the size of the chicken pieces. The air fryer took up a lot of counter space and then you have the problem of storing it when not in use. Air fryers use air of course and you still have to coat the food with oil such as cooking spray. It does make a lot of noise when in use. But on the upside, it does cut down on the heat in the kitchen.
I am not against the air fryer just the opposite. I use mine when I am only cooking for my husband and myself. But when I am cooking for my kids and grandkids, I stick with the oven. I get the same results with whichever one I use!
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