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How to Use Cornstarch to Coat Chicken

author image Zora Hughes
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.
How to Use Cornstarch to Coat Chicken
Cornstarch is the key ingredient for crunchy Korean-style fried chicken. Photo Credit: rez-art/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to coating chicken for cooking -- particularly for fried chicken-- flour is the common go-to, but if you want very crisp, crunchy skin, cornstarch is the better option. Cornstarch is a pure starch often used as a thickening agent for sauces and soups, and is commonly used in Asian cooking for stir-fries. When used to fry chicken, it helps with browning and creates a super crisp crust that seals in the juices of the chicken. If you want a thicker, traditional batter, use cornstarch as a protective barrier before battering and cooking the chicken.

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Step 1

Photo Credit: Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images

Rinse the chicken pieces under cold running water. Pat each one dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Step 2

Photo Credit: vikif/iStock/Getty Images

Pour cornstarch into a large bowl and season to your taste with salt and pepper, and additional seasonings as you see fit, such as garlic and chili powder.

Step 3

Photo Credit: Aleksandar Pulios/iStock/Getty Images

Add the chicken pieces to the bowl of cornstarch and toss to coat them thoroughly. All sides of the chicken pieces should be fully covered in the cornstarch coating before cooking.

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