Are you interested in taking your fried chicken to the next level? Fried chicken is one of the most popular meals around. However, if you want to elevate your fried chicken recipe, we recommend adding some duck fat.
Duck fat offers a subtle, rich flavor that can enhance any dish, especially fried chicken. If you’re wondering how to make duck-fat fried chicken, read below.
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What is Duck Fat?
Duck fat is a byproduct of duck meat often used as a substitute for vegetable oil or butter. You can render the fat from the skin, meat, and abdominal fat of various species of ducks.
Duck fat has a similar fatty acid profile to olive oil, as it’s rich in unsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid and linoleic acid. These fats are regarded as healthy because they contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can reduce your risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, and insulin resistance.
Many people use duck fat as a healthy alternative to other meat fats because it has low saturated fat and a high unsaturated fat profile.
Additionally, duck fat has a unique flavor profile that can help elevate various dishes, such as roasted potatoes, stir-fried vegetables, and seared meats. While you can render duck fat at home, it’s much easier to purchase it online.
Tips for Frying Chicken
Before we delve into our recipe, let’s review some tips for frying chicken. While fried chicken is a top-rated recipe, it can also be difficult to make. Here’s what to remember when frying chicken:
Consider tenderizing it beforehand if you want that juicy chicken that melts in your mouth. You can use a needle tenderizer to drive metal spikes through the meat, so it turns out nice and juicy. Tenderizing also helps prepare the chicken for bringing so it can have plenty of flavors.
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2. Use Room Temperature Chicken
Many people make the mistake of frying their chicken right out of the fridge. However, frying your chicken cold will result in it cooking unevenly. To ensure an even cook, let your chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before you get to work.
3. Use Precise Temperature Measurements
Don’t attempt to eyeball the temperature when frying chicken. Just because the chicken looks done on the outside doesn’t mean it’s done on the inside.
To avoid a raw chicken disaster, use a meat thermometer when cooking. The internal temperature of the duck-fat fried chicken should be about 165 degrees. Generally, it takes about 15-20 minutes to fry chicken, but keep in mind that dark meat cooks slower than light meat.
4. Use a Wire Rack to Cool Your Chicken
Think twice before you reach for a roll of paper towels to help cool your chicken. Letting your fried chicken sit on a paper towel will cause it to turn out soggy. Instead, allow your fried chicken to drain on a wire rack set atop a baking sheet. This setup will allow the chicken to be crisp, cool, and dry all at the same time.
5. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan
Overcrowding the pan is one of the most common frying mistakes. If you add too many pieces of chicken at once, the temperature will drop, and you’ll wind up with soggy bready. While it takes extra time to fry multiple batches of chicken, it’s well worth it for that crispy, crunchy taste.
6. Use a Dutch Oven
A Dutch oven results in a much easier cleanup than a traditional frying pan.
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How to Make Duck Fat Fried Chicken
Here’s how to make duck-fat fried chicken!
- 4 - 5 jars of cage-free duck fat
- One whole chicken, cut into ten pieces
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Two eggs
- 8 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to make:
Step 1: Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Step 2: Whisk eggs and whole milk together in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk the flour with 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt.
Step 3: Dredge the chicken in the all-purpose flour piece by piece. Shake off the excess, then dip it in the egg/milk mixture. Then, dredge it once more in the flour. Lay flat on a baking sheet.
Step 4: Heat the duck fat in a large dutch oven at 325 degrees F. Fry a few pieces of the chicken in the duck fat at a time. Turn the chicken over every few minutes. Depending on the piece, it should take about 15-20 minutes to cook. Fry chicken until the skin becomes crispy and turns to a deep golden color. Use a thermometer to ensure the chicken cooks to 165 degrees.
Step 5: Carefully spoon out one cup of the duck fat from the dutch oven and add it to a medium-sized bowl. Quickly mix in the garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and brown sugar.
Step 6: Brush the duck-fat fried chicken with the above spicy sauce to complete your recipe.
Step 8: Serve and enjoy!
If you wish, you can turn this meal into a sandwich. We recommend pairing your duck-fat fried chicken with a toasted sourdough bun, pickles, mayo, and coleslaw. It also tastes fantastic with a side of mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, or potato chips.
You can also pair your duck-fat fried chicken with this tasty Red Belly Hot Sauce!
As you can see, it’s relatively easy to prepare duck-fat fried chicken. Now, it’s time to make this delicious recipe. Your taste buds will be soaring, and your friends and family will be impressed!
If you’re looking for more ways to prepare your fried chicken, check out our rubs and spices!