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Fried chicken | Source: Getty Images
Fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

Can I Fry Chicken in Olive Oil? Tips for Achieving the Perfect Crisp with This Healthy Alternative

Milla Sigaba
Jan 15, 2024
12:30 P.M.
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You can deep fry chicken, and you can shallow fry chicken. You can fry chicken with or without coating for a crispy outer layer, and you can fry it in vegetable, canola oil, and more. But can you fry chicken with olive oil?

Fried chicken has arguably become a signature and beloved part of American cuisine, with well-known chains like KFC and Popeyes specializing in this crispy and delicious comfort food.

Its origin can be traced back to colonization when the enslaved Africans' seasonings and cooking techniques were combined with Scottish immigrants' tradition of deep-frying chicken.

Fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

Fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

If you've ever wondered whether or not you can fry chicken with olive oil, you have come to the right place. So, continue reading for the best olive oils for fried chicken and some helpful tips.

Can You Fry Chicken in Olive Oil?

Yes, you can use olive oil to fry chicken. In fact, olive oil is healthier and won't interfere with this comfort dish's taste.

A man eating fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

A man eating fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

The olive oils most suitable for frying chicken have a high smoke point. Smoke point refers to the temperature at which oil starts to break down and produce smoke, imparting an unappetizing flavor to the food and losing some of its nutritional properties.

Olive oil doesn't emit smoke when heated nor does it release toxins that can be bad for your health when they reach a high enough temperature.

Fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

Fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

Tips for Frying Chicken with Olive Oil

1. Make sure you use the right kind of olive oil: Light olive oil and refined olive oil are great options for frying chicken, as they both go through an extensive refining process that allows them to have a mild and neutral taste and a higher smoke point. You can also blend your olive oil with another oil with a higher smoke point for an oil mixture with the perfect balance.

Olive oil | Source: Getty Images

Olive oil | Source: Getty Images

2. Set the oil to the right temperature: When frying chicken, allowing the oil to reach the right temperature is essential. The olive oil needs to be very hot but without the risk of burning. Olive oil has a smoke point of 374 F - 407 F, so anything below 374 F is perfect.

Frying oil | Source: Getty Images

Frying oil | Source: Getty Images

3. Shallow fry over deep frying: You want to shallow fry your chicken when using olive oil, as opposed to deep frying, as this method is healthier because it uses less oil.

A plate of fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

A plate of fried chicken | Source: Getty Images

In conclusion, while frying chicken with olive oil is perfectly safe and healthy, use light or refined olive oil for the best results. Allow the olive oil to reach just the right temperature before frying, and opt for shallow frying over deep frying.

Remember to be very cautious when handling hot oil, as you want the olive oil to reach over 300 F to get the perfect crispy and golden coat. Now, you can enjoy this comfort dish anytime the craving hits and pair it with Snoop Dogg's Mac and Cheese. Here's the recipe.

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