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Friday, June 12, 2020

Fried chicken... in an air fryer!

A few weeks ago Amazon delivered a Ninja Foodi air fryer/pressure cooker into my grubby little paws.  Since then I have had a fistful of fun cooking just about everything in it!  Hot dogs come out exactly like baseball park wieners, and I'm getting the hang of baby back ribs.  This past week a friend told me that you can cook steak in it.  I didn't believe it at first but I put a rib-eye into it a few nights ago.  The steak was cooked perfectly medium throughout, with a spot-on warm pink center.

Okay well that's all good... but what about making chicken in the air fryer?

My first attempt, had I posted photos of it to social media, would have gotten me banned from Facebook on grounds of violating community standards.  It was the worst culinary exercise that I have ever tried.  The meat itself was juicy and edible but that was only after you got past the... crud... that was supposed to have been the crispy skin.

But never let it be said that I am deterred.  Part of the fun of cooking is that you get to experiment.  And hey, even my first ever deep fried turkey came out of the pot more than a little burned.

So a few nights ago I gave it a second try.  Had a pack of eight drumsticks and that made for three experimental batches in the fryer.  I played around with technique and on the third batch... the chicken came out exquisite.  Cooked beautifully, crispy outside... and the taste was pure Southern delectable.

Batch #3 - the best product - is the two pieces on the upper right of the plate

With everything else going on right now, I thought it was time to post something more upbeat and educational and fun.  So if you've got an air fryer, here is how I made air-fried chicken:

Chicken (I used legs but you could do this with breast or whatever)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon salt

Before doing anything else, open up the fryer and spray the basket with a thorough amount of cooking spray or oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!  I discovered that this keeps the chicken crust from sticking to the basket.

Mix the flour, black pepper, paprika, and salt thoroughly in a bowl.

In another bowl mix the buttermilk and eggs (making sure you've cracked the eggs and poured the inside yolk into the bowl... just making sure you're paying attention ;-)  

Wash each chicken piece thoroughly.  Pat dry.  Then drench the piece in the bowl with the buttermilk mixture.  When thoroughly covered place piece into bowl with flour mixture, rolling it around until it's completely covered.  Place chicken piece on sheet of foil or cooking sheet.  When enough pieces have been covered in flour mixture, spray cooking spray/oil on the pieces.  Place pieces with sprayed-side down into the basket.  Close fryer and turn on 350 degreees at 16 minutes.  Halfway through cooking time open the fryer, spray chicken, and turn over.  Cook for the remainder of the time.  Remove from fryer... and enjoy!

EDIT 3:06 PM EST:  Just for the heck of it, here's a pic of the air-fried steak from the other night:


Greg said...

Looks good Chris. I have a question not related to cooking. Why is your blog called Knight Shift?

Chris Knight said...

Hi Greg :-) Well, "Knight Shift" as a pun came to me one Sunday morning years ago as I was showering to get ready for church (this was back in my investigative reporter days). I thought it was too good not to hold onto so I registered the domain immediately. A few years later I started this blog and thought that "The Knight Shift" sounded mysterious and enigmatic for its title. And in its first iteration there was a black/dark/nighttime scheme for the blog's look, complete with ghostly eerie looking title. Oh yeah, and a small pic of me wearing my fedora. But over time it became much lighter. I think it's gone through 8 or 9 different looks (including one VERY strange frames-ish scheme a few years ago that had a "swimsuit model of the week", not kidding).

As for the domain itself, I didn't start using that until about 2011 or so. It had been sitting on the shelf so to speak all that time. Now I'm glad that I registered and kept it!

I may experiment with a darker look again, so long as it doesn't look too Batman-style dark and brooding. This is a HAPPY place after all :-)

That's pretty much the story. Have a good day!

MeganC said...

Looks yummy!