Some time ago we were watching
So You Think You Can Cook Top Chef and they were making fried chicken… sounded interesting, so we tried it.
Start with chicken on the bone. This is important. Drumsticks and thighs work for me. Salt and pepper and marinate in buttermilk for as long as you can — all day or 15 minutes if it’s all you have.
Next up, remove the chicken pieces and put them down to drain some of the buttermilk off, before dredging them in flour with pepper, salt and about two tablespoons paprika added. Next time there will be cayenne pepper in there as well. Leave the chicken in the flour for a while so that the flour absorbs the buttermilk, giving you a sort-of batter around the chicken.
Meantime, you need to heat up your oil. 170°C is what you’re aiming for. A candy thermometer is essential here — too cold and your chicken comes out greasy, too hot and you have the excitement of an indoor fire. Fry the chicken in batches, six minutes a side. I found it works to fry two pieces, turn them over and add two more pieces, remove the first two pieces, turn the second two pieces over, add two more pieces…
Put the fried chicken on a baking tray (I used paper towels, but this sticks to the chicken, next time I’ll put the chicken on a rack over the baking tray) and when all the pieces are fried, pop it into your 180°C oven for half an hour.
Meanwhile, steam your veggies, boil your potatoes, make mash.