Have you ever attempted to drop a skinless and naked chicken breast into oil inside a deep fryer? I really advise against this. This is because the second that it is immersed in 400°F oil, a few things begin to happen; the water inside the meat quickly turns into steam and the outer tissues of the meat quickly dry out. In addition, the network of soft folded proteins inside the musculature start to tighten and denature that firms up the chicken and squeezes out all the juices.
When you take out the chicken after a few minutes, you will find that the meat has become stiff along with around a thick inch of meat that is desiccated that surrounds it. At this stage you will come to the realization that you should have battered the chicken first.
Great Deep Fried Beer Battered Flavours
Whenever you deep-fry food, whether it happens to be fish, onion rings or even chicken, you should always coat the food in a batter or a type of breading, as it assists to retain the moisture inside the food, while at the same time developing a golden brown and crispy exterior. When the starch inside a batter or bread turns brown the sugar inside the starch has started to caramelize, creating new compounds in flavour.
There are several ways that you are able to achieve a crispy and light batter and all these methods involve the creation of bubbles. As the food cooks, the water content inside the food creates steam, which also produces bubbles. Some individuals prefer to use baking powder in their batter.
Bubble are also able to come from liquids such as soda or seltzer water, which creates the bubbles, but not much flavor. For this reason, many people prefer to use beer. I use IPA, because I reside in the Pacific Northwest, but you can use any type of beer that you prefer such as stout, ale, lager or pilsner.
One of the other ways to make your batter is to make use of cake flour, that is lower in gluten and therefore produces lighter coatings compared to all-purpose flour. It is important not to overwork the glutens when you prepare items like muffins and pancakes, when you would like the end result to be tender and soft, and the same applies to beer batter.
For this reason, it is essential that you mix the egg-beer mixture and flour till it is just incorporated. The mixture should be lumpy and loose and make sure that the beer is cold to slow down the development of gluten.
In conclusion, you will want everything that goes inside the batter to be ready. This is because once the batter is mixed up you have to use the mixture immediately, to stop the flour from absorbing all the liquid and to make the most out of the bubbles in the beer.
For optimal results, coat the food items you want to fry in a light coating of flour before you dip the food into the batter. This helps the batter to stick onto the food items in a better way.