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garlic fried chicken

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fried chicken

KFC was never my guilty secret, my fast food indulgence, my junk fix. I am more the Burger King kind of girl as Maccy D’s have lost all vestiges of appeal with one abysmal hot dog episode (might tell the tale some time). My poison of choice is a cheeseburger (not junkie enough to know the monikers of the various burgers apart from Big Whopper), not many fries and definitely none of those smoothie-shake things which give you a sugar rash not just a rush.

I suspect much more people secretly enjoy the sugar and salt high of junk food than there are ready to admit. What’s not to like? Sugar, fat, salt, bread of sorts and not a carrot in sight – it’s what kids enjoy and what stays with us however sophisticated, adult, health conscious or vegan we become. I do anyway and – even though I don’t actually ever visit fast food burger joints – I would enjoy wolfing down a whopper with cheese.

I know, I know – it’s neither cheese nor a proper burger and I’m not advocating junk food here – I couldn’t be furthest from it. But it’s only a step further away from takeaways and I kind of agree with Ruby Tandoh (reluctantly, as many other points she makes rub me the wrong way) that better cheerfully nosh a ready meal than beat yourself up about the origin and sustainability of every single morsel we eat.

Garlic fried chicken

It’s not that easy to replicate a Big Mac at home – primarily because you will try to use real beef instead of mysterious factory-grown protein. But if I was a KFC fan, I’d be really happy with this garlic fried chicken. Of course it’s a southern American classic, but they tend to fry chicken on the bone. Mine is fast, ready and salty – and so tasty you might start looking for a red bucket to serve it in.

garlic fried chicken

Servings: 4Time: 15 minutes plus brining

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g (over 1 pound) boneless chicken breast and thighs
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 200g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 250 – 300ml (1-2 cups) groundnut oil, for frying
chicken fillet


METHOD

Cut the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces but on the large side. Mash the garlic with the salt to a paste and stir into the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss well to coat. Chill at least an hour and best overnight.

buttermilk chicken

Preheat the oven to warm, 100C/225F with a baking dish inside. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or a cast iron dish, with a lid.

Prepare a mix of the flour, pepper and paprika in a large bowl or a freezer bag. Lift the chicken pieces from the buttermilk, shake off excess liquid and drop them into the flour. Shake the bowl or bag energetically about to coat the meat.

preparing fried chicken

When the oil is shimmering (180C/350F), shake the chicken pieces off excess flour and place them in the pan – don’t crowd it, work in batches if necessary, that’s why you have warm oven at the ready.

Place the lid on the pan and fry the chicken for 3 minutes on one side. Take the lid off, turn the pieces over and fry uncovered for another 5 minutes. Lift them with a slotted spoon, drain briefly on paper towels and place in the warm oven while you finish frying.

frying chicken

Let the meat rest in the oven for a few minutes even if you manage to fry it all in one batch. Serve with green salad or coleslaw, ketchup and lemon quarters.

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