Michael Symon may be a guru of all things pork, but at the 2014 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, he switched the focus from pig to chicken as he demonstrated to a standing room-only crowd the fundamentals of fried chicken. “If you learn the technique, you can make a thousand dishes,” he said, explaining his philosophy in the kitchen, which surely applies to the batter-fry process of chicken. He offered sun-soaked fans on the beach a how-to for making the crispiest, juiciest fried chicken yet — a set of must-know strategies that will yield consistent results every time. Read on below to learn Michael’s secrets, then after mastering his approach, update the process with your own ideas to accommodate your tastes.
1. “Buy the best chicken that you can afford.” The overall taste of the dish will be affected by the quality of ingredients that you use, and he says of the meat, “If it can be organic, great.”
2. Proper and frequent salting is key to any recipe. Not only does it add bold flavor, but it also acts as a tenderizer. “Make it rain,” he suggests of this crucial seasoning.
3. He opts for “a quick brine” of buttermilk to offer moisture and enhanced taste when making his fried chicken. This process is different from a traditional long brine, which many do to Thanksgiving turkeys, as this will not break down the meat too much.