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Can You Fry Chicken In Olive Oil? Should You?

Written By Susan
Updated On February 12, 2022

Our Best Guide To Frying Chicken In Olive Oil

If you are short on other oil in the house or you are just curious in general, you might be wondering if it's okay to fry chicken in olive oil. 

You can indeed fry chicken in olive oil, whether it's deep frying or shallow frying, deep frying can be expensive however compared to standard vegetable oil. Extra virgin olive oil has a pretty high smoking point so is not harmful to heat. 

To help you with frying your chicken in olive oil we have composed a short guide below which will cover if olive oil or vegetable oil is better to fry with if olive oil is toxic when heated as well as how to fry chicken with olive oil. 

Does Olive Oil Have a High Smoke Point? 

Although lower than some other vegetable oils, olive oil does have a pretty stable high smoking point for frying chicken pieces. 

Extra virgin oil in particular has a very high smoking point between 374–405°F, this means you can use this oil for even deep-frying before the oil temperature gets high enough to release smoke. 

Some dangers of olive oil at a smoking point during a frying process are - 

  • Nutrient loss - When oxidation occurs at a smoking point in olive oil it can cause flavour loss as well as a nutrient loss with some vitamins being lost such as vitamin E.
  •  Acrolein and free radicals - Letting your olive oil overheat can cause it to release oxidative by-products, this can cause bad fatty acids and inflammation in the oil. 

Is Vegetable Oil Or Olive Oil Better To Fry With? 

Olive oil tends to be more high-quality and better for the frying process than standard vegetable oil as it has low levels of linoleic acid like canola oil. Some oils such as sunflower oil should be used for dressings only as they don't have a high enough internal temperature for heavy-duty frying. 

Choosing olive oil is also healthier as it is less processed and contains healthier fats inside but it does have a slight taste, vegetable oil remains neutral in taste. 

Can Olive Oil Become Toxic When Heated? 

When heated past its smoking point just like other types of oil it is possible that olive oil can become toxic. If over its smoking threshold it can start to produce carcinogenic toxins in its smoke which can be harmful to your health. 

Luckily, you would have to heat your olive oil on very high heat when frying chicken for this to happen, so if you see your frying pan smoking excessively be sure to ventilate well and remove it from heat.

How To Fry Chicken With Olive Oil 

You can either cook your chicken deep fryer style with olive oil or use the frying oil in a shallow manner, we've listed two types of ways to fry your chicken with olive oil down below.

Shallow Frying Chicken 

Ingredients 

  • One pound of skinless chicken drumsticks.
  • One tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste.
  • Two green chillies.
  • Coriander leaves.
  • A teaspoon of chilli powder garam masala and paprika.
  • Seasoning.
  • Two tablespoons of cornflour.
  • Olive oil.

Method

  1. First, blend your chilli and coriander plus ginger and garlic paste. 
  2. Cut slits on your chicken then marinate it with your spices and let it sit in the fridge for around an hour.
  3. Coat the chicken in some cornflour and oil then heat some more olive oil in a skillet, enough for a shallow fry.
  4. Place your chicken on the pan when hot and allow it to fry for around 5 minutes, flip then cook for another 10 minutes with the frying pan covered.
  5. Open the lid of the frying pan to allow the chicken to crisp up for another 5 minutes of frying.
  6. Drain the chicken on a paper towel.

Deep Frying Chicken

Ingredients

  • Ten chicken thighs.
  • Two eggs.
  • Flour. 
  • Milk.
  • Olive oil.

Method

  1. Poach the chicken in the milk then whisk some eggs in a bowl until they become runny and mix with some chilli in a food bag.
  2. Put your chicken in the flour, then in the egg mixture and once again in the flour. 
  3. Deep fry your chicken in half a pan of olive oil until it becomes golden on each side and read 165F in the middle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Frying Chicken In Olive Oil 

Which oil do they use to deep fry chicken in restaurants? 

Restaurants typically use standard vegetable oil to fry their chicken in as it is cheaper than olive oil and has no flavour.

Are deep fry chicken wings unhealthy? 

Anything deep-fried is not the healthiest due to it being high in fat, but you can always use an air fryer as an alternative to cut back on calories.

Is breaded chicken healthy?

Breaded chicken can be had in moderation now and again but is not the healthiest due to extra calories from the breadcrumbs and eggs in the coating, baked chicken in breadcrumbs is healthier than fried as it uses less oil.

Can I fry chicken in oil without flour? 

Yes, you do not have to coast your chicken pieces in breadcrumbs or flour for the frying cooking process, the breading process is simply to make chicken more crispy and some flavour.

What is some healthy vegetable oil for frying? 

Olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil and sesame oil are all very healthy and low fat to fry with.

Which type of frying pan should I use for frying my chicken? 

You should use a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet for frying chicken as this is heavy duty and will hold up against high heat cooking.

Final Words 

Overall, chicken can be fried in olive oil with no issues thanks to its moderately high smoking point allowing you to make chicken crispy without the oil smoking and becoming harmful. Compared to other oil, olive oil is one of the healthiest to fry thanks to its good fat content.

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