Southern fried chicken

It seems like no matter how many times I ask my kids what they feel like for dinner they always have the same answers: lasagne, Mexican, or pizza. So it was nice to get a different response when one came back with “buttermilk fried chicken”. Off I went to Google for some clue as to what this might involve, and was relieved that it’s basically southern fried chicken in the vein of Colonel Sanders. It’s something I used to make years ago and involves nothing more than a quick marinade then some deep frying, and while certainly not the healthiest thing it was definitely a popular choice, and one I’ll be adding back into the family cookbook.

I went with a mix of chicken wings and tenderloin strips rather than larger leg pieces as I’ve struggled in the past with deep frying chicken that’s golden and crunchy on the outside but remains uncooked on the inside. And let’s face it, I just do not cope with failure in the kitchen. If it helps at all you can serve with oven baked wedges and a green salad to counteract, however slightly, the deep fried-ness of the chicken.

what you need

  • 1 kg chicken wings, tips removed and halved at joint
  • 1 kg tenderloin strips
  • 500 ml buttermilk
  • MARINADE 1: 1 tbsp each of: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika or pimenton
  • 1  cup each of plain flour and cornflour
  • MARINADE 2: 1 tbsp each salt, pepper, onion powder, dried basil, and smoked paprika
  • oil for deep frying

what to do

  • Prepare the chicken pieces and combine with the buttermilk and marinade one seasonings, mix well to combine, and set aside for at least an hour. Overnight is good if you’re that organised.
  • Heat the oil to 180 C. While the oil heats combine the flours and marinade two seasonings in a large shallow bowl or dish. Make sure the dry seasonings are mixed through the flours well.
  • When the oil is ready reduce the temperature to about 150 C. Take the chicken pieces, and letting the buttermilk marinade drip right off {or scrape against the bowl to remove all excess marinade}, dredge each piece in the seasoned flour mix. Drop a few pieces of chicken at a time into the oil. Fry until golden and crispy and cooked through. The wings will need a bit longer than the tenderloins.
  • Transfer to a wire rack as you cook in batches, they will stay crispier than if you place them on kitchen paper.
  • Enjoy hot with wedges, salad, and a spicy sauce of your choice.

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