How and Why to Dredge
Dredging also referred to breading, means to dip food such as poultry, fish, or meat in flour, cornmeal, or bread crumbs to help preserve moisture during cooking.
Some reasons why you would want to dredge your food before frying or sauteing:
- The coating keeps the food from sticking to the pan while cooking
- The flour and other dry ingredients seal in moisture to prevent the food from becoming tough
- The coating helps to brown the food and provide a crunchy surface
- The seasoning in the coating adds flavor to your food
Prepare your the coatings in separate shallow dishes so you can dredge in an assembly line fashion. Fish and chicken should be dredged in flour first. This will help seal in the moisture and protect the chicken and fish from high cooking heat. Dip both sides if the meat in egg. The egg wash provides a sticky coating for the final coating to cling to. To help your fingers from getting more coating than you chicken, use one hand for dipping in liquid and the other for dipping into the breading. Create a thicker coating by dredging in seasoned bread crumbs, cornmeal or crushed crackers. Set aside until you are ready to fry. Keep in mind that perishable foods should not be left out for more than 2 hours.
Don’t forget dredged chicken and fish is great on the grill.