Use Canned Soup In The Batter For Ultra Juicy Fried Chicken

Would you believe it if you were told that a can of soup is the secret ingredient to a juicy batch of fried chicken? There's no need to check the date — it's not April 1st yet — and it's true. If you whisk an egg into a can's worth of condensed cream of chicken soup and then combine it with the chicken batter, you can amp up the flavor and texture of your favorite fried chicken recipe like nothing else!


This is all thanks to the fat content of the condensed soup, which helps keep the chicken moist all through its stint in the deep fryer. Additionally, the soup and egg's thickness wraps around each chicken piece and can act as a perfect binder to keep the flour and cornstarch stuck onto the exterior of your chicken. The result is some ultra-juicy chicken drumsticks, all for the extra price of a chicken soup can that's been stuck in the back of your pantry since last year.

How canned soup can help you lock in moisture

Unlike red meat, such as beef, white meat (which includes certain cuts of chicken) tends to dry out easily due to its lower fat content and lack of protein-rich red muscle fibers. Without proper care, you can easily end up with dry, leathery chicken. Over the years, chefs everywhere have devised a long list of solutions to address this issue in pursuit of the perfect fried chicken, but they all share one common element: They involve adding lots of fat.


Traditionally, people have turned to butter or cooking oil to help chicken retain moisture. Canned cream of chicken soup operates on the same principle. It's a liquid rich in fat, so when incorporated into the batter and used to coat the chicken, it infuses the meat with moisture, ensuring it stays juicy throughout the frying process.

Plus, most canned chicken soups are already seasoned, adding an extra depth of flavor to the chicken. But be careful — these soups usually have a lot of salt. So, when you're seasoning the batter, be sure to go easy on the salt.

Canned cream of chicken soup isn't your only option

If you've run out of canned chicken soup, take a peek in your pantry for some cream of mushroom soup. Its creamy texture can still work wonders for keeping fried chicken juicy, and you might enjoy the umami flavor it adds, too. Mushroom soup also serves as a great vegetarian alternative if you can't use chicken soup due to dietary restrictions. You can also try cream of celery soup, which will offer a milder, less punchy flavor than the earthy mushroom.


However, using canned cream of chicken soup can pose a problem for those who can't eat dairy (because it contains cream and milk) or gluten (due to the wheat flour). In such cases, you can swap it out for a different type of fat, like a fat-rich type of plant milk such as coconut milk, which will help you hydrate the meat. Mix it with gluten-free flour in a pan to turn the mixture into a binder for your breadcrumbs, then add a touch of seasoning. This way, you'll achieve a similarly creamy texture as well as the flavor of chicken soup without any allergens getting in the way.