Deep frying is a method of food preparation in which food is submerged in hot oil or fat (usually lard) until fully cooked. Although deep frying has received a bad rap in the past, when done right, it’s a deliciously comforting way to enjoy a variety of different foods. What Can be Deep Fried?Just about anything can be deep fried as long as it will hold its shape in hot oil. While more popular and traditional choices include fried chicken, fish, croquettes and french fries, Americans as of late have been experimenting with all kinds of different fried foods. Some dishes, like fried pickles, have staying power while some others, such as fried candy bars and even fried butter, are passing fads. Or at least we hope they are.
To Batter or Not to BatterThe hallmark of great deep-fried food is a crisp outer shell and tender interior. While some foods, like potatoes and plantains will form a natural shell when fried, others like chicken and pickles will not.
By using a coating of batter, a barrier can be formed between the oil and food, leaving the outside brown and crisp and the inside tender and moist. Batters are made of a mixture of milk, flour, eggs and water; food is dipped in the batter before being placed in hot oil.
Breadcrumbs can also be used to form a barrier between the oil and the food. When using breadcrumbs, food is dipped first in a raw egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs to ensure that they adhere correctly.