One of the most commonly asked questions is, “Can I fry chicken in olive oil?” Well, the answer is a bit nuanced. It largely depends on the type of olive oil you use. Let’s explore how you can successfully fry chicken using olive oil.
The Feasibility of Frying Chicken in Olive Oil
Yes, you can definitely fry chicken in olive oil. According to experts from the USDA, it is safe to use olive oil, specifically extra virgin olive oil, for frying. However, it is worth mentioning that butter or coconut oil is not recommended for frying purposes.
There seems to be a misunderstanding surrounding fried food. Many believe that fried food is inherently unhealthy due to the frying process itself. However, the truth is that health issues arise from the type of oil used rather than the method of frying. For instance, in Spain, people regularly use olive oil for cooking, including frying, and it has not been linked to heart disease or mortality.
Deep Frying Chicken with Olive Oil
As mentioned earlier, deep frying chicken with olive oil is perfectly safe. However, it’s worth noting that I personally refrain from using olive oil for deep frying due to its relatively high cost and the larger quantities required. Nevertheless, if you have no qualms regarding expenses, feel free to use olive oil for deep frying as well.
Olive Oil vs. Vegetable Oil for Frying Chicken
When it comes to frying chicken, using olive oil is a better choice than vegetable oil. Ideally, the oil you use should have a high smoke point, preferably around 390°F (199°C), to prevent the release of toxic components during the frying process. To ensure safety, here are some oils deemed safe for frying chicken:
- Avocado oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Olive oil
Combining Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying
Yes, you can indeed mix olive oil and vegetable oil for deep frying. However, it is crucial to use olive oil with a sufficiently high smoke point. Most olive oils, especially extra virgin variants, have a smoke point above 390°F, making them suitable for frying.
Dispelling the Myth: Cooking with Olive Oil
There is a common misconception that olive oil is unsuitable for cooking or frying. Let me clear this up for you: olive oil is perfectly fine for frying, as long as you choose a variety with a high smoke point. Oils with low smoke points will release toxic smoke when heated, hence the caution. For cooking purposes, opt for extra virgin olive oil, as it boasts the highest smoke point.
Is Heated Olive Oil Toxic?
Heating certain types of olive oil beyond their smoke point can emit toxic smoke. Some olive oil varieties have low smoke points, resulting in the production of harmful compounds when heated. Breathing in this toxic smoke can be detrimental to your health. This is precisely why experts recommend using extra virgin olive oil, as it has a higher smoke point, typically ranging from 374°F to 405°F (190°C to 207°C).
How Much Olive Oil Should You Use for Frying Chicken?
The amount of olive oil required for frying chicken largely depends on your recipe and desired level of doneness. For instance, if you’re frying chicken breast without any additional ingredients like breadcrumbs, 2 to 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil should suffice. On the other hand, if you’re coating the chicken with breadcrumbs, you’ll need at least 1 cup of olive oil.
Addressing the Cancer Concern: Frying with Olive Oil
Heating any oil to its smoke point can lead to the breakdown of the oil, resulting in the production of potentially carcinogenic toxins. To minimize this risk, it is advisable to cook with oils that have higher smoke points, such as extra virgin olive oil.
Deep Frying with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Yes, you can definitely deep fry various foods, such as French fries or churros, using extra virgin olive oil. Just remember to avoid exceeding its smoke point. Mediterranean cooks have been deep frying foods in extra virgin olive oil for ages, so there’s no need to worry.
Can I Fry Chicken Wings in Olive Oil?
Absolutely! You can fry chicken wings in olive oil. Simply heat up some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan, add your chicken wings, and fry them until they turn a delicious golden brown and are cooked thoroughly. Typically, frying chicken wings in olive oil takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
Olive Oil Nutrition Facts
Let’s take a quick look at the nutritional information for olive oil, specifically for a serving size of 1 tablespoon (14g):
- Calories: 119
- Calories from Fat: 122
- Total Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 9.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 0.3mg
- Potassium: 0.1mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 0g
- Dietary Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 0g
Frying Chicken in Olive Oil Without Flour
Yes, you can absolutely fry chicken in olive oil without using flour. If you prefer, you can substitute flour with cornstarch or another alternative. Cornstarch provides a crispier coating that can withstand sauces and absorbs less frying oil.
Remember, for more exciting recipes and information about cooking with olive oil, visit Family Cuisine. Happy frying!