4 Levels of Fried Chicken: Amateur to Food Scientist | Epicurious


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We challenged chefs of three different levels – an amateur, a home cook and a professional chef – to make their versions of fried chicken.

And then we brought in a food scientist to review their work. Which fried chicken was the best?

Browse thousands of recipes and videos from Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and more. Find inventive cooking ideas, ingredients, and restaurant menus from the world’s largest food archive.

4 Levels of Fried Chicken: Amateur to Food Scientist | Epicurious

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How does the Home Cook level of fried chicken preparation differ from the Amateur level?

Fried chicken is a beloved comfort food that has been enjoyed for generations. However, not all fried chicken is created equal. There are different ways to prepare fried chicken, and each level of preparation requires different skills and techniques. Epicurious, a food website and magazine, has classified fried chicken into four levels: Amateur, Home Cook, Cook-In-Training, and Food Scientist.

The first level, Amateur, is the most basic way of preparing fried chicken. It involves dredging chicken pieces in a seasoned mixture of flour and/or breadcrumbs and frying them in oil until they are golden brown. This level is perfect for those who are just learning how to cook or are intimidated by more advanced techniques.

The second level, Home Cook, involves more advanced techniques such as brining the chicken in a mixture of spices and buttermilk, and letting it sit for a few hours or overnight. This results in a juicier and more tender chicken. Home cooks also experiment with different coatings, spices, and frying techniques to get their desired texture and flavor.

Cook-In-Training is the third level of fried chicken preparation. This level is for those who are serious about cooking and want to elevate their fried chicken game. Cooks-In-Training may experiment with sous-vide techniques or use specialized equipment like pressure fryers to achieve their desired texture and flavor. They also pay close attention to the science behind fried chicken, such as the Maillard reaction, which affects the flavor and color of the chicken.

The final level of fried chicken preparation is Food Scientist. This is for those who strive for perfection and precision in their cooking. A Food Scientist may use laboratory equipment, such as pH meters or digital thermometers, to ensure their chicken is cooked to exact specifications. They may also experiment with molecular gastronomy techniques, such as using liquid nitrogen to create a crunchy coating.

In conclusion, fried chicken is a versatile dish that can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. Epicurious’ classification of fried chicken into four levels gives an idea of the different techniques and skills needed to prepare great fried chicken. Whether you are a beginner cook or a professional chef, there is always room to improve and experiment with this classic dish.

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