You Should Be Adding Vodka To Your Fried Chicken Recipe. Here's Why

What's not to love about fried chicken? Surely one of the most comforting comfort food recipes of all time, a great batch of fried chicken comes out super-crispy on the outside, perfectly moist — but not undercooked — on the inside, with both the meat and the coating packed with salty flavor.

How many times have you enjoyed fried chicken like that, though? Although the recipe sounds deceptively simple — consisting, most basically, of dredging chicken pieces in seasoned flour and frying them in hot fat until done — there are many, many pitfalls to making fried chicken that can result, variously, in soggy-crusted, raw-inside, not-very-flavorful pieces of bird.

Luckily for home cooks, there are just as many tips and tricks for delightfully perfect fried chicken from brining the chicken before dredging it to making sure your oil is at the correct temperature. Now there's another one to add to the list; including a few spoonfuls of vodka in your brine or batter pre-frying.

Vodka inhibits the formation of gluten, pushing the crunch factor to 100

Do you love crunchy fried chicken with the type of multilayered crust that evokes a flaky biscuit? Who doesn't? Well, if you've got a bottle of vodka to burn, then this type of stellar fried chicken can be yours to enjoy at home.

As explained by Serious Eats, adding a half cup of high-proof vodka to a simple batter for fried chicken (or onion rings or fried cauliflower, for that matter) can help turn out a super-crispy result. It's all about science, according to the outlet. Vodka is, obviously, a liquid, and can loosen a batter just as water or buttermilk would. But the essential martini ingredient is, clearly, much higher in alcohol than those other liquids — to the tune of 40% alcohol. Since gluten, the protein that is responsible for making bread chewy, cannot form in alcohol, using vodka (which is neutral in taste and won't affect the fried food's outcome) as your liquid in a batter for fried chicken or other fried items such as tempura or fish and chips will help ensure a light, airy, and crispy result instead of a too-thick, too-chewy one.

If you're planning on dry-dredging your fryer-bound ingredient as opposed to dunking it in a batter, vodka can still come in handy, Serious Eats notes: Just add one ounce of hooch for every cup of liquid in your marinade or brine. The crispiest fried food ever, coming right up!