Fried Chicken > Can I make fried chicken with milk

Can I Make Fried Chicken With Milk?

Fried chicken is a beloved comfort food in many parts of the world. The crispy exterior and juicy interior make it an irresistible treat. While buttermilk is traditionally used to marinate fried chicken, you may wonder if regular milk can be substituted. Let’s take a look at the role milk plays in fried chicken and whether you can use regular milk instead of buttermilk.

Can I Make Fried Chicken With Milk?

Yes, you can absolutely use regular milk to make delicious fried chicken. While buttermilk is often called for in fried chicken recipes, regular milk works wonderfully as long as you add a splash of acidity.

The key benefit to soaking fried chicken in milk is that the milk proteins help retain moisture and prevent the chicken meat from drying out. Milk also has a mild flavor that absorbs beautifully into the chicken. Additionally, the proteins in milk aid in browning and crisping up the exterior coating when fried.

To use regular milk for marinating fried chicken, simply add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk before soaking the chicken. The acidity helps replicate the tang that buttermilk provides. Allow the chicken to soak for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight in the fridge so the milk can fully penetrate the meat.

Related post: Can I have fried chicken on whole30?

When ready to cook, dredge the milk-marinated chicken in flour seasoned generously with salt, pepper, and any other spices you desire. Let the floured chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before frying to allow the coating to adhere tightly. Then fry at 350°F until golden brown and cooked through.

The milk-marinated chicken will turn out incredibly juicy, flavorful and crisp. So while buttermilk may be traditional, regular milk can absolutely be used with great results when making fried chicken. The added acidity gives it just the right tang.

Why Soak Chicken in Milk?

Soaking chicken in milk before breading and frying helps achieve a tender interior and crispy coating. The milk acts as a marinade, seasoning the chicken and keeping it moist. The proteins in milk also help the coating stick to the chicken. When fried, the coating browns beautifully and seals in the juices.

Using Buttermilk vs. Regular Milk

Buttermilk has traditionally been the milk of choice for marinating fried chicken. It has a thick texture and acidic tang that regular milk lacks. The acidity of buttermilk causes the proteins on the surface of the chicken to loosen up and bond better with the flour coating. This allows for a craggy, crispy texture.

Regular milk can be used as a substitute, but it won’t provide the same tangy flavor or aid the crispiness of the coating. To compensate, you’ll want to add some acidity to regular milk. Stir in a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or vinegar before marinating the chicken.

You can also use evaporated milk. It has a creamy, thick texture similar to buttermilk. Evaporated milk on its own lacks acidity, so add some lemon juice to it as well.

Other Tips for Crispy Fried Chicken

Aside from choosing the right milk to marinate in, there are other tricks to getting perfectly crispy fried chicken:

    • Soak for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight. More time allows the milk to deeply season the chicken.
    • Use boneless chicken thighs for the juiciest, most tender fried chicken.
    • Use a flour dredge seasoned generously with salt, pepper, spices, and herbs.
    • Let the breaded chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before frying. This helps the coating adhere.
    • Fry at 350°F for even browning and an ultra crispy crust.
    • Drain fried chicken on a wire rack or paper towels to allow excess oil to drip off.

The Takeaway

While buttermilk may be traditional, regular milk can substitute for marinating fried chicken. Just be sure to add a bit of acidity by stirring in lemon juice or vinegar first. For best results, also give the chicken enough time to marinate and follow other crispy frying tips. This ensures you achieve the juicy interior and shatteringly crispy exterior that make fried chicken so satisfying.

FAQs
Can you use regular milk for fried chicken?

Yes, you can use regular milk to marinate chicken before frying. It won’t provide the same tangy flavor or aid crispiness as buttermilk, so add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or vinegar to add some acidity.

Can you use milk for fried chicken?

Regular milk can be used to marinate fried chicken. It helps keep the chicken moist and tender. Milk proteins also enable the flour coating to stick tightly and fry up crisply. For best results, add some acidity to regular milk by mixing in lemon juice or vinegar. Buttermilk and evaporated milk also work well.

What does milk do when frying chicken?

Milk acts as a marinade when frying chicken, keeping the meat moist and tender. Milk proteins also help the flour coating adhere tightly to the chicken skin, allowing for a crispy exterior after frying.

Why put chicken in milk before frying?

Soaking chicken in milk before dredging in flour and frying helps the chicken stay incredibly juicy and tender. The milk seasons the chicken and the proteins help the coating stick to the chicken and brown beautifully when fried for a crispy crust.

Can you use milk instead of buttermilk for fried chicken?

Milk can substitute for buttermilk in fried chicken, though it won’t have the same thick texture and acidic tang. Add lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk before marinating to provide some acidity. Evaporated milk also works as it has a thicker texture similar to buttermilk.

Do I need milk for fried chicken?

You don’t absolutely need milk to make fried chicken. However, soaking the chicken in milk or buttermilk beforehand allows it to absorb tons of flavor. This helps keep the interior incredibly juicy. The milk proteins also promote crispy browning of the flour coating. So for the juiciest, crunchiest fried chicken, marinating in milk is highly recommended.

Can I use evaporated milk instead of buttermilk for fried chicken?

Evaporated milk is an excellent substitute for buttermilk when making fried chicken. It naturally has a thick, creamy texture similar to buttermilk. For added tanginess, you can stir a bit of lemon juice or vinegar into the evaporated milk before marinating the chicken.

Can you use egg for fried chicken?

Eggs are not typically used when making traditional fried chicken. However, some recipes do have you soak the flour-coated chicken in egg before a second dredge in flour or breadcrumbs. This can promote extra crispy results. The egg helps adhere the coating tightly to the chicken.

 

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