Chicken R and D

Posted on October 25, 2013

Research and Development. Probably our accountant’s 3 least favorite words to see on a profit and loss statement. It costs money and we don’t make any money off it. But it is critical to our success. And for a food loving, chicken hungry chef like me, R and D is lots of fun! So Last week, at a top secret location (ok it was a test kitchen in Denver), we gathered to check out a pressure fryer and some of our fried chicken recipes. I had Llohan, my right hand man in the kitchen, Jamey Fader, our culinary director, Dq, our fearless leader, and even our intrepid brewer Bryan Selders tagged along. Selders admittedly came by because he hadn’t had breakfast yet and was really hungry.

Our main order of business was to test out a Winston Pressure Fryer. Our new friend, Gary Wycoft, from Winston had this piece of equipment specially shipped in for us to try. The concept of the pressure fryer is it uses hot oil and high pressure to cook the chicken more quickly than a conventional fryer. You need to be very careful operating one of these because extremely hot oil and steam usually are not a good mix. Gary gave us all the important tips so that we weren’t eating a piece of chicken on the way to the hospital burn unit. Once we had the basics down it was time to work on the chicken.

My main recipe goal for the day was to settle on which flour I want to use. I pretty much have had the breading procedure down, we just needed to pepsi challenge these 2 flours. It may surprise alot of you that both of these flours are gluten free! Yeah, Celiacs rejoice! We have found in our research that the gluten free flours brown a little slower and absorb less oil once they are cooked than wheat flour. Also, of course there are many folks avoiding gluten. At Goodbird Kitchen and the Post Brewing Co we want to be equal opportunity fried chicken providers, we don’t want anyone to miss out.

So once we had our chicken breaded it was time to play w the fryer. The cool thing about this fryer is the different digital settings it has. We can set the exact time and temp we want our chicken to cook. Once that is set you just seal the lid, press a button and you’re good to go. This will help us once we open because the chicken will be cooked at the exact same setting every time. So far 300 degrees for 16 minutes seems to be the winner.

Finally (said Selders) it was time to eat some chicken. Both of the crusts were quite good, although we all agreed one was a bit better. Very unusual to get a consensus from everyone. This crust stayed crispy, stuck well to the bird and held up when it sat in the warming unit for a few minutes. Just to be sure, after we tried the gluten free breadings, we fried up some chickens with wheat flour. Once again everyone thought the gluten free was better, thank goodness. Everyone rolled out of there a couple pounds heavier for sure.

So it was a successful day of R and D. We settled on our flour and we decided to buy 2 Winston Pressure Fryers. Yes, 2 fryers, we are assuming that Lafayette and Boulder County are really hungry for some tasty bird. Our next round of R and D will be a trip to Dallas to hit a few chicken joints in November. Another difficult assignment for sure, but as a man of the people I am willing to make these sacrifices to bring you the best fried chicken possible!

Until next time,
Head Birdman

Posted in: Kitchen

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