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I thought the point of fried chicken is to have enough oil to deep fry it, but I've seen a lot of recipe discussing to fry the chicken for x-time, then flip over and fry for y-time.

Does this mean for recipes that involve flipping chicken in fryer we don't want the oil too high (height-wise), or does it make a difference even when completely covered in oil to cook on each side.

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Deep fry and shallow fry both work. At home, when using oil in a wok (safest way because of the sloping sides), I flip whether the oil is deep or shallow. This is just to ensure even browning. For shallow, I would use an amount of oil that is at least half the thickness of the chicken.

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Fried chicken does not mean a (deep fat) fryer. It just means fried in oil. You could fry it in a pan with just a small amount of oil and turn the chicken or immerse it in a deep fat fryer (or deep pan). Immerse needs a lot of oil so at home it is common to use a pan (or wok) and turn.

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As far as height goes, I try to use as little oil as possible because it feels wasteful to me (personal preference). What's worked for me with shallow-frying in the past was adding enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then a bit more. More specifically, about 1-2 cm of oil.

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