The Clever Dehydrator Trick For Game-Changing Fried Chicken Flavor

Fried chicken needs no introduction. The crispy, juicy, incredibly satisfying dish is perfect in a lot of people's eyes, but there are still a ton of tips and tricks you can find that claim to make your fried chicken even better. From the brining method to the type of frying oil you use to the kind of coating that's best, there's really no shortage of advice when it comes to this Southern staple. New York City's Root & Bone restaurant was noted for its modern take on classic Southern dishes including an exceptional fried chicken spiced with lemon. This wasn't just a squirt of fresh lemon juice, a lemon aioli, or a shower of zest. 

The restaurant's chefs, Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth told Food & Wine that they tossed their fried chicken with ground-up dehydrated lemon. It isn't noted whether this was done before or after the chicken was fried but the addition no doubt added a bright punch of flavor to the rich fried chicken. Lemon naturally cuts through greasy, fatty foods, giving a pleasant contrast in flavors and sensations. It's a trick you can easily implement in your own homemade fried chicken whether you own a food dehydrator or not.

Grind dehydrated lemon into a powder

Dehydrated citrus slices have become a fad of sorts in recent years. They happen to make great decorations and striking garnishes for food and cocktails. Once they are completely dried, you can also grind them up into a powder to use for all sorts of things, one of which is zinging up your fried chicken. Dehydrating lemon slices can be done in a food dehydrator, an oven, or even in the sun if you live in a hot, dry climate. 

An alternative to drying out whole slices is to just dry the peel which will result in just as much lemon flavor. Just like you would sprinkle chicken right out of the fryer or oven with salt, do the same with dehydrated lemon power, even mixing it with salt if you desire. The dehydrated lemon powder can also be used for all sorts of things like sprinkling on roasted potatoes, savory creamed spinach, fish, and shellfish, used in lemony baked goods, added to sauces and soups, and even mixed into butter. Using even just a little will add a wonderfully bright flavor to anything you use it on without making the dish sour.