Why It's Important To Season Flour For Fried Chicken

The first bite of fried chicken is downright dreamy. The satisfying crunch on the outer crust, the tender texture of the chicken... try not to salivate just thinking about it. Fried chicken is an American soul food favorite and the key to its popularity is the flavor of both the breading and the meat. Fried chicken itself is a rather simple dish — poultry dredged in flour and fried. So what makes it so special? It's all about the seasoning.

Fried chicken has been around a long time and according to the Economist, the dish most likely came to America as a mash up of food cultures. Large numbers of Scots who emigrated to the American South had a tradition of battering and frying chicken as did the half a million West Africans who were brought to the American South as slaves. While it's unclear if one culture shared the idea first, the popularity of the dish has spread across the country since that time.

Fried chicken has had its high and low points of popularity over the years, but in the last couple of years it has reached a fever pitch. According to Bloomberg News, just last year the U.S. was experiencing shortages in poultry because the demand for fried chicken in restaurants and cooked at home was so high. If you're one of the people who has fried chicken fever, here are some important tips to remember when making it at home.

The meat isn't the only thing that needs to be seasoned

Whether you're using an oven, air-fryer, deep fryer, or a cooking pot on the stove to make your fried chicken, the most important work you're going to do comes before the meat hits the oil.

While seasoning the meat is important, Southern Living notes that you do not want to skip out on seasoning your flour. The crust is the first thing you'll taste when you take a bite of fried chicken, so if your meat is delicious but your crust is bland, it's not going to have the same impact. Some folks like to use Cajun seasonings, but Southern Living explains that you can still make traditional fried chicken by seasoning your flour mixture with a good amount of salt and pepper.

Also don't forget to brine your chicken first. According to Bon Appétit brining helps tenderize the meat and will keep it moist during the cooking process. If you're feeling creative or bold, you can even try this pickle brine fried chicken recipe. Once your fried chicken is cooked to perfection, enjoy it with some of these Southern-style biscuits.