Why The Size Of Your Fried Chicken Matters

When it comes to ways of cooking chicken, deeply golden fried chicken is definitely a flavorful favorite. From being the centerpiece of Sunday dinner to a picnic staple, fried chicken's popularity is understandable. It's also one of those dishes that it seems like everyone has their own trick to make it better–juicier, crispier, more flavorful, or cooked perfectly golden and crispy.

Some cooks prefer to soak the chicken in a buttermilk brine before frying, as noted in Taste of Home. While others swear by poaching the chicken and then frying it, as Sunny Anderson's recipe for the Today Show recommends. And when it comes to seasoning, everyone has their favorite spices they like to add to the breading. Per Popular Science, some key secrets to perfect fried chicken depend on the cooking process, such as the type of fat used and frying in batches, so you don't overcrowd the pan. But there could be an even more important factor when it comes to flawless fried chicken.

Choose a smaller chicken

Most cooks take the time to select the right ingredients for fried chicken, such as the spices and breading used but can skip over the important detail of selecting a chicken that's of proper size and weight. It almost seems too simple, but could the real secret to perfect fried chicken be as easy as choosing the right bird? While many people may assume that bigger is better, according to Southern Living, a common error that many cooks make is selecting a bird that's too large.

The article further explained that the optimal chicken for frying weighs between 2 and 3 pounds. Picking out a bigger bird means that it takes longer to cook, and when it comes to fried food, that usually results in an undercooked inner layer and a burnt crust, and no one wants that. The next time you're in the mood for home-cooked fried chicken, be sure you're setting yourself up for success by picking a smaller one.