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Wanting to deep fry just the outer surface of chicken, I prepared a mix of dry wheat flour, maida (Plain flour/All-purpose flour), pepper powder, red chilli powder and salt. Since the curd-marinated chicken pieces were wet after cooking in a pressure cooker, I rolled the pieces in the flour mixture as shown in a recipe, heated oil in a deep non stick container and placed the chicken pieces in the oil when the oil was hot.

After the first batch was fried, I noticed a lot of the flour had collected on the bottom of the container. Is this normal? I'm assuming this would happen even if the coating was made of stickier stuff. The problem is that this layer of flour on the bottom keeps increasing with every batch of chicken I put. Is there a right way or a better way to do this and avoid all this residue? I want to be able to re-use the oil.

  • How deep was the oil? Deep enough for the pieces to float freely, or were they resting on the pan bottom? – Tetsujin Jan 25 at 11:00
  • The oil covers half the chicken piece when the piece rests on the pan bottom. I figured this would be an appropriate amount of oil to use. – Neha Jan 25 at 11:59
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    No, it needs to float, even to reach the degree of 'recyclability' that moscafj's answer suggests. Shallow frying your coating is additionally going to rub off against the pan base. – Tetsujin Jan 25 at 12:05
  • I know for three-part breading, many people recommend letting the item rest a bit between breading and frying so the crust adheres better ... but I assumed it was egg drying around the crumbs, so I don't know if that'd help in this case. I would suggest shaking (and possibly banging together) items before putting them in the oil to knock off any loose flour – Joe Jan 25 at 13:15
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When deep frying, there is no way to avoid residue collecting at the bottom of your pot. You can shake off excess flour before frying to reduce this effect, but you will always have some residue. The main difference between deep frying in a pot on a stove, and a dedicated, restaurant-style deep fryer is that the restaurant-style fryer is deep, and has the heating element well off the bottom. That produces a cold zone where debris collects, but does not burn. It is the burning bits that are left over that cause the biggest degradation of your frying oil. Restaurant-style fryers allow oil to be reused for quite some time, then filtered and used further. Depending on the amount of debris, the length of time you are using, and, most importantly your temperatures, you can filter and reuse oil from your home set-up, but probably not more than once or twice. If it begins to smell "fishy" you've gone beyond the opportunity to reuse.

Your new comment suggests that you are shallow frying. In this case I would suggest not reusing the oil. Temperature control is difficult at best, and the ratio of oil to chicken means that it will likely be quite degraded by the time you are finished.

  • Oh...I thought "deep" and "shallow" indicated the amount of time the item is fried. I'm surprised the amount of oil makes a difference. – Neha Jan 25 at 16:23
  • "Deep frying" is essentially a "bath" of oil that the food can float freely in. – Tetsujin Jan 25 at 18:36
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There is a great tool for filtering the small particles from the oil that I always use when deep-frying. I've questioned myself the same thing after I started breading and deep-frying various dishes. If you look out for a fine-mesh strainer, I'm sure you'll be able to find one. You can use it immediately when you see the oil is becoming cloudy and grain-particles start making it smell and appeal less clean.

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