Fried Chicken Aga Style

Gotta admit this deep frying chicken was more of a struggle than I anticipated. Or was it? I did purchase two whole chickens so I had my doubts. In the restaurant world I have deep fried many things without a fryolater. Set an oven at the desired temperature, fill a pot with oil and into the oven.  When it was needed  pull the pot of oil from the oven and onto a burner with a medium flame to hold the oil at temperature while frying. My plan for the Aga was no time on the Boil or Simmer Plate. I would need to use the oven.

My first few attempts involved a non responsive digital thermometer, a heavy cast iron skillet and the Baking Oven. No bueno, the oil cooled too fast and never really came back up to temperature. Soggy chicken, may as well have steamed it.

I settled on the floor of the Roasting Oven, a stainless steel flat bottomed 3 liter deep pan and an old school deep fry thermometer. 

Now my goal here was not a fried chicken recipe but a technique for frying chicken. I used a simple dry wet dry coating and minimal seasoning. Flour, buttermilk, celery salt, cayenne, white pepper and sea salt. You can add your own family secrets.

Let's see how this went down in the Aga Kitchen

Gather up these tools and ingredients and please read the whole recipe first. It really helps with the planning and thinking ahead thing.  

  • A flat bottomed stainless steel pan large enough for deep frying. The pan needs maximum surface contact with the floor of the oven. I used a 3.5 liter pan with 5 cups of vegetable oil in it 
  • deep frying thermometer, you should be able to pick one up cheap at your local hardware store
  • 5 cups vegetable oil, peanut oil is preferred    
  • cut up young chicken, I used the thigh and drumstick bone in
  • a meat thermometer to check internal temperature of the fried chicken
  • a heavy fork to move the chicken, no tongs they will tear the crust
  • a set up for your dredge, I went with the seasoned flour to buttermilk to seasoned flour. Do what you like here 

Put your pan with the oil and fry thermometer on the floor of the Roasting Oven to heat up the oil

Set up your dredge and cut up the chicken the way you like it. 

When oil is at 340 degrees (about 30 minutes in my Aga) dredge your first batch of chicken. If you pre dredge your chicken the crust will not adhere to the bird.  My pan only held two pieces of chicken at a time

When oil is at 350 to 360 carefully add your chicken. Start with the larger cuts. I removed the rack  so I have room for my hands above the oil.

The oil will drop in temperature immediately but will come back up. 340 degrees is the optimal temperature. I let the temperature go past 340 for the initial drop so it rebounds quicker.

The bone in thighs took about twenty minutes. The chicken will float when it's thoroughly cooked. I checked the temp on mine and hit 172 degrees, well above the recommended 165 for poultry.

Drain on paper towels on a rack in a warm place.

Let temperature fully rebound and repeat with remaining chicken.  

When you are finished let the oil cool then strain and save in an airtight container for another use. 

fried chicken crispy and juicy

This is a work in progress. I'll keep you posted as I revisit this technique. Right now I don't think I can get my wife to eat any more fried chicken.

Cook like you mean it, G