Southern Fried Chicken

Today, I was asked by the nice people at Breville, to participate in some research – for my task I was required to cook some deep fried food as they watched on. What a delicious task! I don’t cook a massive amount of deep fried food, but if asked – will deep fry anything. I won’t need to be asked twice. This is one of my favourite fried items – who couldn’t fail to love fried chicken?! I made mine a little less fattening, by removing the skin – there’s nobody who loves chicken skin more than me, but I also know it’s where all the bad fat is, so getting rid of it is a good idea. I know it’s not especially authentic and will probably get some emails from disgruntled Americans, but take it from me, this fried chicken was fabulous! And I am truthful, when I say – I didn’t miss the skin. This is the reason I chose thighs – the meat stays juicier than breast when cooked – and I chose off the bone to make it easier to eat without scalding your fingers. Give this a try people – it’s a superb little fried treat!

INGREDIENTS:
500g chicken thigh fillets (skin on or off) (cut into halves)
300ml buttermilk
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 tablespoon cajun spice mix
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

canola oil (for frying)

DIRECTIONS:
Cover the chicken with the buttermilk and leave overnight in the fridge.

In a large bowl, combine the flour with the tarragon, dill, cajun spice mix, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs and set aside.
Beat the egg in a large bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 130ºC

Take a piece of chicken and shake off as much buttermilk as you can. Dip the chicken in the egg and coat, then place into the seasoned flour. Press the flour into the chicken to coat well. Shake off the excess gently, then place on a plate. Repeat this process with all the chicken. Leave for 15 minutes so that the coating sets slightly. This will stop it falling off during frying.

In a large, deep, non-stick frying pan, heat about 5cm of oil until hot but not smoking. Place a bread cube into the oil and if it sizzles straight away, you’re good to go.

Gently place about six pieces of chicken into the oil and let it sizzle, without moving for 4 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 4 minutes – turn a final time and cook for 2-3 minutes more until the chicken is dark golden. Remove and rest on paper towels on a plate in the oven. Repeat the frying process with the remaining chicken until it’s all cooked.

SERVING:
Serve hot. I served mine with a simple salad and delicious potato salad.

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