If you know anything about me, you’ll know I’m pretty partial to my occasional guilty pleasure, (and a desert island dish of mine) fried chicken. This time last year to celebrate Daniel’s 30th on the 4th July we celebrated with all things Stateside, and homemade fried chicken and coleslaw had to be made. It was so friggin’ tasty, today I thought, (as only a couple of days late…..) was time for some more.
Makes 12 chicken pieces
550 g boneless thighs (see note on ingredients below)
550 g drumsticks (see note on ingredients below)
450 g natural yoghurt or buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons paprika
lots of freshly ground black pepper
300 g flour
sea salt flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
Groundnut oil for deep frying
1. In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt or buttermilk, garlic salt and paprika together and season well with lots of black pepper.
2. Cut the boned chicken thigh in half and drop into the bowl with the drumsticks and turn all to coat well. Cover for a few hours or preferably refridgerate overnight.
3. On a large plate or tray, mix together the flour, cayenne, a good sprinkling of sea salt flakes and more freshly ground black pepper.
4. Lift the pieces of chicken out of the marinade and turn to coat in the seasoned flour. Leave for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice. (this helps to get a good crispy coating)
5. Heat the oil gently until, when you add a crumb of bread it takes about 20 seconds to go golden brown. (nb. I use a large wok for deep frying, because it works perfectly for me, but also use a wide large, deep saucepan or deep fat fryer if you want.) By the way, deep frying should’nt be scarey at all, just be careful and just don’t rush it.
6. Lower a few of the chicken pieces in carefully, (just fry a few at a time, because if you add too many it lowers the temperature of the oil and you end up boiling the chicken not frying!) and fry, turning occasionally until golden brown on all sides and the chicken is tender.
7. Drain on kithen paper until not so hot that it will burn your mouth and lips. (though as Petra and I did, you will probably do this anyway, as hot good food is way too tempting to ignore…)
…..and now read this brilliant piece by Jay Rayner on sharing my guilty pleasures of fried chicken and dirty rotten fast food….
Thoughts on ingredients
On garlic salt…….
On oil for deep frying…….
On chicken……Now I prefer chicken thigh for my fried chicken, as it tends to be moister than breast or drumstick.
Cooking on the bone, will also help keep things nice and juicy, but can sometimes mean your pieces of chicken are too large and cumbersome to cook and eat. I like a good ratio of meat to tasty crumb on the outside, so I would to prefer to use boned chicken thighs and cut them in half.
But, today when asking for 1kg of chicken thighs from Ginger Pig, we were told they don’t sell them separately and had to buy 4 thighs attached to their drumsticks. Why can’t they sell these separately like most good butchers, it is barbecue season for god’s sake?
So with 1300 g of thighs and drumsticks, I cut the drumsticks away from their thighs, (turn skin side down and follow a fine line of fat that’s visible and this will lead you to be able to cut between the joint.) deboned the thighs, (scrape really closely to the bone to remove it.) then cut them in half (as they were quite big) and kept the drumsticks whole because I couldn’t be bothered to debone them too.
To skin or not to skin, well that is a personal question. Last year I did, this time I didn’t. We do like a bit of crispy skin here at Studio E2……
My 1300 g of chicken thighs and drumsticks (770 g thighs with bones and 550 g drumsticks) once the thighs were boned, gave me 12 pieces of chicken.
On price, you decide. You get what you pay for…Buy the best you can…..
On Buttermilk…..Marinating the chicken in buttermilk or natural yoghurt really does help to keep the meat moist.
On Garlic salt….Garlic salt is just that, garlic (dried) with salt. It’s easily available and usually in the spice section of the supermarket. I was unsure of using garlic salt and you could try using fresh, but I think you need the intensity of the dried garlic salt to make this recipe work best.
On oil for deep frying…..It’s difficult to give an exact quantity of oil as this will depend on the size of you pan, wok or fryer. A good indication would be to say to a depth of about 3 or 4 cm with enough space from the top to allow the oil to bubble up when cooking. I use groundnut (Peanut) oil as this cooks well at a high temperature. Sunflower or vegetable oil would be ok too.