Baking mixes are incredibly versatile, perfectly suited for making biscuits, breads, pancakes, waffles and even fried chicken. Even when it comes to fried chicken, there are a few different ways to use the mixture to achieve a tender, crunchy dish. The added ingredients in baking mixes can actually improve your chicken.
What's In It?
Baking mixes are a mixture of flour with a few additional ingredients. Shortening, a little bit of salt and sugar and a leavener like baking soda usually round of the mixture. The leavener creates tiny air pockets, causing the coating to become lighter, crispier and crunchier. Baking mixes also causes the coating to brown better, making mixes ideally suited for fried chicken. Because baking mixes are relatively plain, you may wish you season them with dried herbs and spices for a flavorful dish. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder and oregano all make excellent additions.
Dredging the Chicken
Dredging is the process of coating the chicken in flour or a baking mix before frying it. Dip the chicken pieces in liquid, like a combination of milk or buttermilk and eggs, before dipping it in the baking mix to help it adhere. If you're using boneless, skinless chicken pieces, pour a few tablespoons of the liquid ingredients into the baking mixture. Mix it together with your fingers until clumps form before dredging the chicken. These little clumps of baking mix will adhere to the chicken, giving it crispy, craggy bits once cooked. Some cooks prefer a 3-stage dredging process to ensure that the coating sticks to the chicken. First, dip the chicken in seasoned flour, then in the milk and egg mixture and finally into the baking mix before frying.
Battering the Chicken
Dipping the chicken in a wet batter is another common frying method. It works especially well with boneless, skinless pieces, but you can use batter for bone-in, skin-on pieces as well. For every 1 cup of baking mix, add 2/3 cup of water and stir to combine. Dip the chicken pieces in the batter and allow the excess to drip off before frying. If the batter is too thick or too thin, add more water or baking mix as needed.
If you're craving the crispy crunch and alluring flavor of fried chicken, but you'd rather avoid excessive fat and calories, consider "frying" your chicken in the oven. Oven-frying is also an excellent option when you're short on time. Use the dredging method and dip the chicken in liquid before dipping it in the baking mix to help it adhere. Place the chicken on a greased, rimmed baking sheet, then drizzle with melted butter or margarine before baking. Bake the chicken at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 50 minutes.