This Batter Makes the Crunchiest Coating Ever and You Can Use It on Everything

Michael Symon explains how to get that epic crunch.

February 16, 2020
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Michael Symon features Crispy Chicken Breast with Spicy Honey, Cilantro and Lime, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Brian David Photography

Brian David Photography

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Okay, we know we shouldn’t be eating fried food all the time, but sometimes it’s the only thing that will satisfy a craving. When you can’t wait anymore for a hot, salty crunch, this is the batter that you want to use. “This is a great batter for everything that you want super crunchy: fish, pork, vegetables. It’s the crunchiest batter that I know how to make,” said Michael Symon as he demoed his Crispy Chicken Breast with Spicy Honey on the Food Network Kitchen app. “I don’t want fried chicken - or anything that is fried - to not have that epic crunch to it.” Same.

Use Cornstarch or Rice Flour

Michael says that cornstarch or rice flour in combo with flour will give you the crunchiest batter. Even cake four will cook up crunchier than all-purpose flour because it doesn’t have a high gluten level. Michael does warn that these alternative coatings will brown less than all-purpose flour. “Play around with different spices to up the color,” suggests Michael.

Start with a Dry Dredge

Michael blends together cornstarch, baking powder and salt and uses it to coat his chicken before it goes in the wet batter. “This dry mixture is going to help your batter stick...One of the things that makes me crazy with fried chicken is when you take a bite of fried chicken and the crust goes one way and the meat goes the other.” You could even coat what you plan to fry overnight in the mixture to help the batter adhere.

Use Vodka

Vodka is the secret ingredient in Michael’s batter. “Vodka evaporates faster than any other liquid leaving you with that incredible shell-like crust,” says Michael.

Bring Your Item to Room Temperature

If you take whatever you are frying out of the fridge 30 minutes before frying it will cook more evenly, says Michael.

The best part about Michael’s demos is that his recipes are a road map. “Make it your own,” he says. “Do your thing. As I always say… I’m going to give you the technique and then after that you customize it to make them your own.” Watch the full class for his Crispy Chicken Breast with Spicy Honey for more tips and check out the schedule on the app to see when you can watch Michael live and ask him your questions.

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