The Fried Chicken Breading Mistake You Seriously Should Avoid

The glory of crunchy fried chicken lies in its coating. You can either use potato starch for a brittle texture, add some liquid to your flour dredge, or simply avoid this mistake: underbeating your egg. Such a trivial thing — yes, yet it determines whether you'll wind up with unevenly coated pieces or the most consistently fried chicken you've ever sunk your teeth into.

A common error with breading chicken is applying an uneven coating, which is often attributed to a botched flour or breadcrumb layer. But an inconsistent egg film is just as much of a culprit. When you go a little too easy on the eggs and underbeat them, you end up with a blotchy mix of egg whites with streaks of yolks that aren't fully incorporated. Your eggs should be beaten until a uniform yellow color forms and this should take a few seconds, at most.

Don't make the mistake of skipping the viscosity test. With your whisk or fork, pick the eggs up and observe their texture as they fall back into the bowl. They should be smooth and running thin, almost as fluid as water, if well beaten. Otherwise, the eggs will remain with uneven globs hiding beneath the deceptively consistent yellow surface.

Underbeaten eggs won't stick evenly

When you beat your eggs well, the yolk breaks fully while the egg white loosens, so that they flow effortlessly together and are thoroughly incorporated. Without whisking carefully, you can't apply an even layer of the eggy mixture to the surface of your chicken. Instead, the egg coating will be rough and irregular, and you may notice that once you've fried your chicken, it has an inconsistent, patchy texture due to the breadcrumbs not sticking well to its surface. This is why thinning your eggs is an efficient concept in the kitchen. The lighter mixture has less fight and applies itself easily to chicken, fish, and other meats. 

Apart from beating your eggs well, you can add water or milk to make them more liquid. This is better known as making an egg wash and you may have come across it in a recipe that calls for the right egg wash for your pie crust. The eggs will still retain their sticky nature even after adding a liquid element, but this property is what helps breadcrumbs adhere to the meat and is what makes eggs one of the best binding agents. The end product should be a thin egg mixture or wash that films uniformly over the chicken, allowing for even breading and consistent, crunchy bites.