Our entire household LOVES fried chicken. Both the breaded and unbreaded type. And we occasionally send out for buckets of KFC or other fast-food versions. Their versions are cooked in “pressure fryers”… a combination of fryer with lid that amps up the pressure. It keeps the meat moist and the skin crisp. A nice kitchen doodad to have at home, but obviously, totally unjustifiable in terms of cost.
I decided to experiment with our new pressure cooker to see if I could come up with a fried chicken that was crisp and moist. First, I purchased two magnolia chickens and cut them in half, removing some of the back bone. Next, I brined them in salt water for about 3 hours. Placed them in the pressure cooker with about an inch of water and cooked these at 15 pounds of pressure for roughly 10 minutes or so (after reaching the 15 psi).
We let the chicken cool for a couple of hours and patted the skin dry. We deep-fried the chicken in vegetable oil (we didn’t have enough lard handy) and this was the first piece to come out (a half of a half chicken…). It looked great, but tasted a bit bland.
For round 2 of the experiment, we brushed the chicken with some kikkoman and deep-fried that. This turned out a spectacular golden brown and the skin tasted fantastic. I don’t like the trick of brushing lechons with soy sauce because the slow cooking tends to turn the skin bitter, but in this case the quick flash fry and the soy on the skin seemed to work nicely.
Served immediately after frying, the skin was glistening, crisp and tasty. The meat was moist, but NOT as moist as it could be, I think. Overall, a definitely 8.5-9.0 out of 10 fried chicken. We never got to an intended Round 3 which was going to coat the chicken in flour and salt and pepper before frying… but maybe next time.