Delicious hot crispy fried chicken on a fork.
The Easy Step To Guarantee Your Fried Chicken Is Juicy
By Elaina Friedman
Soon after Popeyes' 2019-launched fried chicken sandwich sold out across the country, dozens of American fast-food chains added the item to their menus to suit customers' demand. That demand is fueled by nothing but crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside chicken, which is quite easy to make if you follow J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's tip for ensuring your meat doesn't dry out.
In a YouTube tutorial for "Five-Ingredient Fried Chicken Sandwiches," J. Kenji Lopez-Alt pours the brine from a jar of jalapeños over raw chicken as a marinade, noting that pickle brine works just as well. He explains that the salt in the brine breaks down the chicken's muscle proteins so that they "[don't] squeeze as tightly," allowing the chicken to retain moisture as it cooks.
If you don't have any kind of briny jarred liquid around, you can also use plain old salt water, or many classic Southern fried chicken recipes use buttermilk, whose acids and enzymes function like a brine. Your chicken can relax in its briny bath for as little as an hour, or up to 12 hours; in the latter case, you'll want to pop it in the fridge.