I remember the Pioneer Chicken chain from the two years I spent in Bakersfield when I was in high school. Good Chicken!
The Uncle Phaderus website http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus/
is a great place to go for an obscure or old recipe. Lots of fun to browse there. This is where I found a recipe for the chicken, but don't know it is the "real one" or not.
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 11:15 AM
Subject: Pioneer Fried Chicken
I am maybe a million people have been trying to recreate the
Pioneer Chicken recipe. Pioneer Chicken is all but dead. It
was a Southern Cal Chain that was very suddenly taken over by
Popcorn Chicken - which is nothing like Pioneer Chicken. If
you have eaten it, you know it is the best by far of all the
fast food chickens.
I believe they use a batter - it may contain corn flour?
There is a couple of restaurants still in existence one can be
found at http://www.pioneerchicken200.com
(You will see what the chicken looks like)
Unfortuneately, this restaurant is too far from where I live to
travel there for chicken.
Can you help - I really would love to make it at home for my
I've never had Pioneer chicken. We've never had it in the Southeast as far as I know. I did find one recipe that claims to be a copycat of Pioneer fried chicken. It's quite novel in that one flavors the cooking oil. See below.
Deep fry (not pressure fry) chicken pieces which
have been coated with a batter made from "Dixie
Fry - Original Recipe" seasoned coating mix and
cold water. I haven't quantified the amounts of
each. Just aim for a thin batter consistency... experiment.
(Dixie Fry is usually near the Shake-N-Bake products
at the store.)
But there's something more: the first step, before
dipping the chicken or frying it, is to FLAVOR THE
OIL you'll use, by adding approximately 1 drop of
TOASTED SESAME OIL for each ounce of vegetable
oil in the deep fryer or pot. The one drop to an
ounce measurement is approximate, as the size of a
drop can vary. I've had success simply adding 1/2
teaspoon of toasted sesame oil to one 48 oz. bottle
of vegetable oil. (You'll probably find sesame
seed oil near chow mein or in the Asian foods
section at regular grocery stores. It is OK, but
the TOASTED sesame seed oil is what's really needed
for this recipe. It probably will be harder to find.
You could try a gourmet or fancy grocery... maybe a
catalog will have it.)
Heat the oil to the proper temperature. I use about
350 degrees and cook the chicken longer, but I don't
know what the correct frying times and temperatures
should be, considering food handling safety, etc.,
and I am not advising you on that.
Dip the chicken pieces (which have been rinsed with
water and patted dry) into the thin batter. Remove
them and carefully lower them into the seasoned oil
and cook until done.