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Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

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National Fried Chicken Day is tomorrow!

To guarantee super juicy and super crispy fried chicken … here are 5 tips to always follow.

Don’t fry cold chicken.

Let your chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before breading and frying. Cold chicken straight from the fridge will cause the temperature of the oil to drop and your chicken won’t cook evenly.

Always brine or marinate your chicken.

A dip in salt water or seasoned buttermilk will ensure that your bird is nice and moist. For a tasty twist inspired by Chick-fil-a, I sometimes marinate my chicken in pickle juice! Whatever you decide to soak your chicken in, allow at least 4 hours … or ideally, let it sit overnight.

Season every step of the way.

Season the raw chicken, season the flour, and even season the egg or buttermilk mixture you use to help the flour adhere to the chicken. In addition to salt and pepper, add cayenne or some of your favorite herbs and spices to the flour.

Pick the perfect pan.

No need to invest in a deep fryer. Use a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven just like your grandma did. Cast iron retains heat and maintains the temperature you want better than most any cookware.

Use the right oil.

I love olive oil for almost anything, but don’t use it to cook your fried chicken. Olive oil has a low smoke point and is just not made for frying. Instead, use an oil with a high smoke point, like canola, vegetable, or peanut oil.

And always use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. You want it to stay at 350 degrees.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.