Have you ever been struck with the question, “Can I fry chicken in Olive Oil? If yes, this article is perfect for you.
When selecting oil to fry your food, you might not consider olive oil first.
Among other reasons this might be the case, olive oil is notably more costly. Because of the price, you usually go for something that is less expensive and can do the job.
But the question is: Is it possible to substitute olive oil for vegetable oil when frying? Can olive oil be used for frying? The far and near answer is yes.
Olive oil is well-suited for high-heat cooking, and this is because of its high smoke point. The high smoke point of olive oil enables it to endure high heat without smoking or burning.
Olive oil is also a good choice for frying because of its health benefits, like anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and components.
As you read, you will find out more about olive oil, its benefits, and how to fry with it. Look out for the olive oil variations highlighted so you can make an informed decision.
Olive Oil: An Overview
Olive oil is oil pressed from olives. Its use dates back 6,000 years, originating in what are now Iran, Syria, and Palestine before making its way to the Mediterranean with its well-known olive groves.
The history of olive oil goes back 6,000 years. Deriving olive oil from pressing olives traces back to regions like Palestine, Syria, and Iran before spreading to the Mediterranean, where its iconic olive groves are popular. At first, olive oil was used in medicinal practices and religious rituals. It has become a very important part of cooking in many regions.
There are three varieties of oil available for purchase in the States: light oil, refined olive oil, and extra-virgin oil. Light olive oil is great if you want something with a neutral flavor and without the distinct peppery olive oil taste for baking and cooking.
Refined olive oil is the regular type, which is versatile for various cooking methods. Extra-virgin oil is the most sold in North America, constituting 60 percent of olive oil sales in the region. Extra-virgin is also versatile as it can be used in cooking, cold applications, and finishing touches.
Can I Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?
The answer to the question, “Can I fry chicken in olive oil?” is yes. However, before you do that, you should have some things in mind. While olive oil has a high smoke point, it is lower than other cooking oils like canola and vegetable oil.
After heating oil for a while, it begins to smoke. This smoking results from the breaking down of the oil by heat. The temperature at which it smokes is called its smoke point. At this point, it might introduce an undesirable taste to the food and may diminish some of its nutritional value.
This lower smoke point of olive oil does not take anything away from the fact that it can be used to fry chicken successfully by maintaining proper temperature control.
Depending on how much frying is needed, extra-virgin oil can be used for its robust properties, while light and refined olive oil can be used for deep-frying because its smoke point is higher than that of its extra-virgin counterpart.
The Best Olive Oil for Frying Chicken
- Refined Olive Oil: As the name goes, this olive oil undergoes an intensified refining process, yielding a subtler flavor and an increased smoke point. Refined olive oil also offers a neutral taste that preserves the nutritional advantages of olive oil, making it perfectly suited for frying chicken.
- Light Olive Oil: Like refined olive oil, this variety undergoes extensive refining, leading to a gentle flavor profile and an elevated smoke point. It can endure higher temperatures without producing smoke or overwhelming the dish with its taste, making it an excellent choice for frying chicken.
- A mixture of olive oil and another oil with a higher smoke point: Mixing olive oil and another oil with a higher smoke point can help harness olive oil’s flavor and health benefits while properly frying your chicken without the risk of reaching the smoke point prematurely.
People love to use extra-virgin oil because of its characteristic taste but are fearful because of its smoke point. The good news is that even if you do not fry with extra-virgin olive oil, you can still use it for operations that do not require heat, such as dips and dressings. To think about it, it is advantageous to use extra-virgin oil this way as you will save costs while enjoying its iconic taste.
How to Fry Chicken in Olive Oil
Before you start frying your chicken, the first thing to do is to ready the ingredients and utensils you intend to use. Doing this will leave you to coat the chicken and fry it.
Preheat your oven to 200 F or your preferred warm setting. Prep a baking tray with a cooling rack. Alternatively, you can prep plates with paper towels.
The following are the steps on how to fry chicken in olive oil:
- Heat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit before you start, or set it to your preferred warming temperature. Prepare a baking tray by placing a cooling rack on it. Or you can prepare plates by lining them with paper towels.
- Begin by cutting the chicken into consistent pieces. Afterward, gently pat all sides dry to minimize the risk of olive oil splashing. Mix your preferred flour and seasoning in a bowl. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can use a dredging station for this purpose.
- Select your preferred frying pan and pour half an inch of olive oil. Heat the pan over medium heat. Allow it to heat for one or two minutes, then sprinkle a small amount of flour into it – if it sizzles vigorously, you’re ready to start frying. Or you can use a thermometer to monitor the temperature accurately.
- As the pan heats up, coat the chicken with the flour mixture or opt for a thorough dredge. When the pan is hot, carefully place the chicken into the oil. Exercise caution to avoid splashing.
- When the small to medium-sized bubbles that have formed around the chicken begin to get bigger, you should reduce the temperature. Allow the chicken to fry for a few minutes on one side. Then, flip the chicken and repeat the process until it achieves a golden-brown color.
- Transfer the fried chicken from the pan to the baking tray with a cooling rack or to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil and let the chicken remain in the oven to remain warm.
Repeat this process until all the chicken is perfectly fried and ready to be enjoyed!
How Long Does It Take to Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?
After answering the question, “Can I fry chicken in olive oil?” you might also want to know how long it takes to fry chicken in Olive Oil.
Depending on the size of the chicken, while a thick piece of chicken might require up to four or five minutes per side, a thinner piece will only need one to two minutes on each side. To know if your chicken looks golden-brown, as this is an indication that it is ready.
However, remember that bone-in dark meat will require a longer cooking time than boneless white meat. To prevent overcrowding the skillet, fry only a few pieces at a time.
Wings should be ready in around 12 minutes of cooking time, while drumsticks might take about 16 to 18 minutes. Thighs will typically need approximately 18 to 20 minutes to cook thoroughly, with the exact timing depending on their size.
The most reliable method to determine chicken’s doneness is by using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is fully cooked and ready to be enjoyed.
While frying is a widely used cooking method to prepare chicken, the choice to fry chicken with or without the skin depends on individual taste. Each approach comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
When frying chicken, leaving the skin on adds a layer of heat protection and aids in locking in the fluids. This could make the chicken juicier.
When frying chicken, keeping the skin on provides an extra layer of heat protection that helps retain moisture within the meat. This can contribute to a juicier and more succulent result.
Not removing the chicken skin before frying can help retain some moisture within the meat, thus giving you a more succulent result. However, this can cause the skin to become oily and sticky if not properly done. But if done correctly, this method has the potential to yield a wonderfully crispy and crunchy crust.
Benefits of Frying Chicken in Olive Oil
- Opting for olive oil over canola or vegetable oil is a superior choice for frying. Olive oil boasts a rich content of antioxidants and includes heart-healthy fats such as mono and polyunsaturated fats.
- Many people love the unique taste of chicken fried in olive oil. The oil has a fruity and mildly bitter taste that complements the savory profile of the chicken, creating a filling flavor combination.
- While olive oil generally has a lower smoke point than canola or vegetable oil, it can withstand medium-high frying temperatures without smoking and burning.
Frequently Asked Questions – Can I Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?
How Long Does It Take for Chicken To Fry in Olive Oil?
After heating the olive oil with medium heat, the next thing to do is to season the chicken with pepper, salt, or any other seasoning in your recipe. Once this is done, you can fry your chicken in the skillet until each side becomes brown. This frying process can take up to 10 to 12 minutes in total.
Does Olive Oil Make Chicken Crispy?
Deep-frying chicken in olive oil can make the chicken crispy on the outside while maintaining its soft texture on the inside. This process requires carefulness as you could overcook your chicken while trying to make it crispy. Hence, make sure to monitor the temperature of the oil with a cooking thermometer.
Is Chicken Healthy if Fried in Olive Oil?
Frying chicken in olive oil is a healthy way to cook without compromising its taste. While you can deep-fry or shallow-pan fry your chicken in olive oil, it is best to shallow-pan fry.
Conclusion – Can I Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?
As mentioned and explained, you can fry chicken in olive oil. Frying chicken in olive oil can provide some health benefits and has a great taste, too! However, it is important to note the importance of using olive oil with very fine quality and not overheating the oil, as this can cause smoking, thus compromising the taste of the chicken.