Frying has long been the preferred method of cooking in our part of the country. Even though we share a multitude of delicious chicken recipes on pauladeen.com, we would be lying if we said we liked any of them better than Grandma Paul’s Fried Chicken. There is something about frying chicken, catfish, hushpuppies or okra that just feels and tastes like home. Gosh knows it smells like home for days after too!
For safe and tasty frying, remember these tips the next time you decide to drop something wonderful into a shiny pot of peanut oil.
*Making sure the oil is at the optimum temperature before frying will help keep oil absorption to a minimum which helps to cut back on fat and calories.
*The optimum temperature for deep frying is almost always between 350ºF and 375ºF. Check the oil temperature by using a frying thermometer.
*If you don’t have a frying thermometer at your disposal, check the temperature of the oil by dropping a cube of crustless white bread in the oil. It should be golden brown in about 60 seconds.
*Use Canola oil or Peanut oil for deep frying. It is low in saturated fat, has a high burning point and does not detract from the flavor of the food you are frying.
*Nobody likes a crowd! Avoid crowding food when you are deep frying. To cook properly, food being deep fried needs to be surrounded by hot oil. Adding too many items to the hot oil at once will reduce the temperature of the oil resulting in greasy and soggy food.
*NEVER fill the pot you are frying in more than halfway with oil. This will ensure no dangerous bubbling over when your food is added.
*Towel off BEFORE going in for a swim? Drying your food well with paper towels before adding to the deep fryer will help reduce the amount of hot oil splattering out of the pan.
*Make sure the pieces of food you are frying are uniform in size. Foods the same size will cook in the same amount of time.
*To put out a fat fire put a lid over the pot. Baking soda also puts out a fat fire.
*Discard oil that has begun to smoke and start over. Smoke indicates burned oil which will give off an unpleasant odor to your fried food.
Paula’s Aunt Peggy taught her this trick. To prevent oil from blackening when deep frying, try this trick. Put a wedge of carrot in the oil. It will act as a magnet for black flecks that accumulate when frying.