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If you were to do a search on the Internet for "Southern Fried Chicken" you would probably find all sorts of controversial debate about the history of this dish - and how it should be cooked. It seems that it probably originated in the southern USA (obviously) - but by Scottish settlers in the 19th century. Whereas the English generally preferred to boil, bake or roast their Chicken - the Scottish apparently used to like to fry theirs.
Anyway - regardless of the history or the method - here is the Route 79 21st Century London Indian style method of cooking KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). It's really simple and only takes around 40 minutes in total.
These are the ingredients: For the batter:
- 6 to 8 chicken thighs - skinless (make sure they are skinless and are thighs - see a previous recipe on chicken for the reasons why.)
- a bit of plain flour (say a couple of tablespoons)
- same amount of cornmeal (coarse version - otherwise known as polenta)
- and whatever spices you have at hand - e.g. garam masala, tandoori masala - whatever.
- some salt and pepper
- one egg - and a glug of milk
What you do first is to prepare the coating for the Chicken - which is in two parts: the spicy flour is just a combining of the flour and cornmeal with a mixing in of a couple of heaped teaspoons of spices each - e.g. garam masala, tandoori masala, chilli powder - and then a teaspoon or two of salt - and some crushed black pepper too. The second part of the coating is the liquid bit - just beat an egg and add the glug of milk and beat it some more.
Then you simply coat the Chicken pieces in the egg/milk mixture. By the way - you don't need to do this at all - I just find that it comes out better. If you do this - then don't be afraid to get your hands "dirty" - just pick up the Chicken pieces with your fingers and turn them around a few times in a dish to ensure that they are well coated.
The next step is to coat the pieces in the spicy flour. Once again - use your hand: pick up each Chicken piece - dip it into the spicy flour mix bowl - turning over several times and then arrange onto a flat plate ready to be fried in the next stage. Whilst you are coating the Chicken you might want to heat the oil (4 or 5 tablespoons) in the largest frying pan you've got. Also put the oven on 200 Celsius - so that it preheats whilst the Chicken is frying.
Now add the Chicken pieces to the frying pan - if the oil is hot - the pieces should start sizzling stratight away - and some of the Chicken juices may start to evaporate - that's fine. Just let them stay still in the frying pan for around 5 minutes - and then turn them over - and leave them frying for another 5 minutes.
Then finish the Chicken off by taking them out of the frying pan and putting them into the hot oven - for a further 25 minutes or so - turning halfway again.