I'm catering a friends wedding and he wants fried chicken on the menu. I really don't have the means to keep up with production.

Can I par-fry the chicken the bake it off and still have a quality product?

Bill F
  • Posted by: Bill F
  • May 21, 2013


Sam1148 August 17, 2014
When a guy says he wants fried chicken, he's thinking KFC.

/well most guys.
Calvin August 16, 2014
The real answer here is how fast can you chill the chicken back down. Par frying is a good practice because it allows the starch in the flour to form a gel around the outside of the chicken upon recooling. After recooling the gel will hold in the rest of the juices of the chicken so it will be less dry. As long as you can cool the chicken down to refrigeration temps approx 40 degrees in the center, then cook it so that the center is 165 for 10 minutes or 180 for 1 minute the chicken will be safe. The main concern here is actually the surface of the chicken especially creases where staph can grow and form heat stable toxins, otherwise in the center you don't really have to worry about anything similar to steak which is a lot safer to eat red than hamburger cause the surface isnt mixed in. Id say go for it cause a home refrigerator can definitely refrigerate the surface of the chicken within 4 hrs.

Voted the Best Reply!

boulangere May 22, 2013
I also don't know if you are a culinary professional or not, but I'm guessing not if you find fried chicken alarming, as you probably should. It is of course admirable that you want to help your friend and participate in the celebration of his marriage. On the other hand, what he is asking of you isn't reasonable in my opinion. Fried chicken - make that good fried chicken - is one thing; handling chicken in any manner is the greater issue. If neither you nor he has adequate means of safely prepping it through all it steps, cooking it adequately, and serving (and holding) it at the appropriate temperature, there are a couple of options. Either he agrees to a more reasonable menu, or he hires a professional with the appropriate means to execute the menu he wants. And then ask if there is something else you can do to be part of his wedding.
lloreen May 22, 2013
Tell him to choose something else. I don't know if you are a professional cook, but if you aren't, I'd worry about burns with the stress and hectic pace of cooking for large numbers. Tell him an ambulance is not a romantic intrusion in a wedding....
ChefJune May 22, 2013
First of all, I hope you're not trying to do this solo. You should always have another cook and servers and a dishwasher at an event like this. If you have the facilities to fry chicken at the site, I'd hire someone to do only that, and accommodate the groom. Otherwise, I'd discuss the need for a menu change with him. I did this kind of event for years with my catering company. When you have adequate staff, it's an absolute joy, otherwise, not so much.
pickledpossum May 22, 2013
Sorry auto spelling check; unfriendly=unfried
pickledpossum May 22, 2013
Here is a recipe for unfriendly fried chicken . You can even do it the day before and reheat in oven and it will stay crispy. Trial it for yourself.

Here is the link:

And here is the recipe:

Un-Fried Fried Chicken!

750g chicken pieces (I had two thighs, two wings and two drumsticks)
400ml coconut milk
2 stalks lemongrass, pounded with the butt of a knife to split open
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon salt
Flour and buttermilk coating

250ml buttermilk (or add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to regular milk to curdle and thicken it)
2.5 cups plain all purpose flour
1 onion (or use 2 tablespoons onion powder)
2 cloves garlic (or use 2 tablespoons garlic powder)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t want it spicy)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oil (use this after baking halfway)
Coconut rice

2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
1 cup coconut milk drained from the chicken
1 1/4 cup water
1 golden shallot, peeled and sliced
2 pandan leaves or pandan flavouring (optional)

1. Firstly wash and dry the chicken pieces. Mix the coconut milk, lemongrass, turmeric, chilli flakes and salt in a large container and mix to combine. Add chicken pieces and marinate overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Remove chicken from the coconut milk mix and place on a plate. Measure how much coconut milk you have left (set the lemongrass aside when measuring) and make up the rest of the 2 1/4 cup measure with water. Rinse the rice and add to the coconut and water mixture along with the sliced golden shallot, pandan leaf if using and lemongrass sticks and place in a rice cooker or use the absorption method on the stove top steaming the rice without removing the lid for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for another 10-15 minutes with the lid on to allow it to completely absorb.

3. While the rice is cooking, get the chicken ready. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take three bowls and in one add the buttermilk. In another, mix the flour along with the onion, garlic, ginger, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and black pepper. Mix well to distribute spices. Put half of this into the other empty bowl. You will be doing the coconut covered chicken into the spiced flour, then into the buttermilk and then the spiced flour again. This gets messy so have your tray ready to pop into the oven and I’d recommend putting the larger pieces towards the edge of the tray.

4. Bake for 20 minutes and then take out of the oven. If you have white floury parts that haven’t turned golden brush these with the extra oil and turn over the pieces and brush the other side lightly with oil (I only needed to use a small amount just on the white bits). Bake for another 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve the chicken with the rice and extra Tabasco sauce if you like it very spicy.

ATG117 May 21, 2013
If you think you can't deliver the product and ensure its quality, you should probably tell your friend. I hope a friend would understand that one person catering cannot make everything and anything happen.
Bill F. May 21, 2013
Ok here's another idea... Turkey fryer to do a heavy work load? And for the first answer I was gonna par cook it and throw I directly in the oven to finish it.
cookbookchick May 21, 2013
You could fry it the day before, refrigerate it, and serve it cold. I adore cold fried chicken, especially in the summer. If it's going to be hot where you are on the wedding day, this might work. Otherwise, imho, fried chicken is a tall order for a wedding banquet unless you have a sous chef handy to do all the work of frying!
Bill F. May 21, 2013
It gonna be around 80-85° and it's a 'southern style' BBQ poolside, in PA. I might be able to do this. I LOVE cold fried chicken too!
Savorykitchen May 21, 2013
The short answer is probably no. If by par-fry you mean partially cook the chicken, well that's likely to be very unsafe in that you'll bring the chicken into the "danger zone" ideal for bacterial growth. You could cook the chicken all the way through, and as long as you were serving it within 2-3 hours (the "danger zone" issues start to kick in at 4 hours per the FDA), you'd be ok food safety-wise. I suppose you could reheat it at that time, but I'd be concerned about the chicken drying out.
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