We all have our own tried and true methods of making delicious fried chicken, but you may be missing one key ingredient – vodka.
According to a tip from Business Insider‘s Serious Eats writer Kenji López-Alt, adding a dash of the clear liquor can make your chicken crispier and tastier than ever.
“[Vodka] is much more volatile than water (which is the main component of buttermilk, pickle juice, or pretty much any other fried chicken marinade you’ll be using),” López-Alt explains. “As such, it evaporates much more rapidly and violently. This helps drive moisture off the crust of the chicken faster, while also creating bigger vapor bubbles, adding surface area to the crust. Both of these things mean crisper, lighter fried chicken.”
Higher-proof spirits like vodka help to develop gluten, which adds a chewy quality to foods. Since you still want your chicken skin to be fairly crispy, only two tablespoons of vodka are recommended for every cup of marinade used.
Once you’re done cooking up a storm, why not use the rest of your vodka to make yourself a Sriracha bacon bloody mary? If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, simply tuck your bottle away in case of emergency and enjoy the best fried chicken you’ve ever tasted.