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The Crispy Secret: The Importance of Resting Your Fried Chicken

Why it’s important to rest your fried chicken

When it comes to fried chicken, achieving the perfect balance of crispy exterior and moist interior can be a challenge. However, there’s one step that many people overlook, but is crucial to enhancing the flavor and texture of fried chicken – allowing it to rest. In this article, we’ll explore why it’s important to rest your fried chicken and how this simple technique can take your favorite dish to the next level.

The Art of Perfectly Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a beloved comfort food that brings joy to meat eaters around the world. The crisp, crunchy coating paired with tender meat is a culinary delight when done right. However, achieving the ideal fried chicken can be a bit tricky. There are a few key factors to consider, such as the thickness of the coating, cooking the chicken thoroughly, and making sure the coating adheres properly to the meat.
Before you even think about frying your chicken, it’s important to prepare it properly. Southern Living recommends brining the meat and seasoning the flour to enhance the flavor. In addition, making sure the chicken is thoroughly dried before coating will help the breading adhere better and prevent it from falling off during frying (as Food & Wine advises).

The Hidden Flaw

While many people focus on getting the coating and cooking process right, there’s one mistake that often goes unnoticed – not letting the fried chicken rest. It may be tempting to dive into your hot chicken straight from the pan, but this impatience can actually compromise the quality of your dish.

The case for resting fried chicken

Resting fried chicken is not a new concept. In fact, it follows the same principles as resting other meats. By allowing the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving, you give it time to cool slightly and redistribute the juices within the meat.
There are several benefits to resting fried chicken. First, it prevents you from burning your mouth on red-hot chicken. This short resting period allows the exterior to cool slightly, making it more palatable. In addition, the redistribution of juices within the meat during the resting process enhances the overall flavor and juiciness of the chicken.
According to Southern Living, resting the chicken helps keep the delicious juices in the meat instead of spilling them all over your cutting board when you start carving. This means that every bite of your fried chicken will be moist and flavorful.

How to properly rest fried chicken

Now that you understand the importance of resting fried chicken, let’s talk about the proper technique. Instead of placing your freshly fried chicken on paper towels, which can cause the exterior to become soggy due to trapped steam, opt for a wire cooling rack placed on a baking sheet.
Once the chicken is cooked to perfection, transfer it to the wire rack and let it rest for a few minutes. This gives the chicken time to cool and the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The result? Delicious fried chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Improve your fried chicken recipe

By incorporating the simple step of resting your fried chicken, you can take your favorite recipe to new heights. The extra few minutes of patience will be well worth it when you experience the enhanced flavor, juiciness, and texture of your perfectly rested fried chicken.
So the next time you whip up a batch of fried chicken, remember to give it the rest it deserves. Your taste buds will thank you!


Resting your fried chicken allows the juices to redistribute and the crust to become crisper. It helps retain moisture and improves the overall flavor and texture of the chicken.

How long should I let my fried chicken rest?

Ideally, you should let your fried chicken rest for about 5 to 10 minutes after it’s cooked. This allows the chicken to cool slightly and the flavors to meld.

What happens if I don’t let my fried chicken rest?

If you don’t let your fried chicken rest, the juices inside the chicken won’t have enough time to redistribute, resulting in a less juicy and potentially dry chicken. The crust may also become less crispy as the trapped steam from the hot chicken softens it.

Can I cover the fried chicken while it is resting?

Yes, loosely covering the fried chicken with foil or placing it in a warm oven can help retain heat and keep it warm while it rests. Just make sure the foil is not tightly wrapped, as it can trap moisture and make the crust soggy.

Is there a different resting time for different cuts of chicken?

The resting time may vary slightly depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces. Larger pieces, such as whole chicken breasts or thighs, may require a slightly longer resting time than smaller chicken wings or drumsticks.

Can I reheat the fried chicken after it has rested?

Yes, if you need to reheat the fried chicken after it has rested, you can do so in an oven preheated to 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes. This will help maintain the crispness of the crust while ensuring the chicken is cooked through.

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