Crispy fried chicken is something I have never tried to cook before. Until now that is. What an absolute win this recipe is. It will definitely become a regular one for us in the This Guy Cooks household.
So, in all honesty, I’ve never actually deep fat fried anything before in my life. Never. I don’t know why but it’s always seemed so daunting to me. Plus until recently it hadn’t even occurred to me that I could use my cast iron casserole to deep fry in. What a fool I’ve been! All those wasted google searches on “deep fat fryers” for beginners. Reading review, after review, after review…
As I’m writing this post, it’s day 40 of the great 2020 pandemic… I’m calling it that now because I imagine in years time when this post is still being read that this is what it will have been called. Restaurants and eateries are closed and none of the local takeaways in Salisbury do a fried chicken.
It’s not that I’m one of those die hard KFC fans that must have a 5 piece variety meal every month or the world ends (ironic considering what’s going on), but sometimes you just get a bit of a hankering.
Theodore has been waking up SUPER early now and so I spent the morning researching different recipes and planning how I was going to achieve a crispy fried chicken that meant I’d never venture to KFC again. This did not disappoint.
What to use instead of buttermilk when making crispy fried chicken.
Every recipe I read for a crispy fried chicken, called for marinating the chicken in buttermilk. But can I get it anywhere right now? No! I found a couple that mentioned milk with a splash of vinegar or yoghurt with a spoon of lemon, so I thought I would combine both methods and see how it came out.
It worked so well! Marinating the chicken in buttermilk causes the lactic acid to begin to tenderise the chicken. It also helps keep the chicken moist during the hot heat of the oil. In theory, my mix of yoghurt, milk and lemon juice should achieve the same thing! Now, although I haven’t cooked it with buttermilk, my crispy fried chicken was tender and moist underneath the crispy golden skin. Mission accomplished in my book.
What to do with your oil after deep fat frying?
This question was one of the things that put me off deep fat frying for so long. What do you do with the oil? I didn’t realise that you could decant the oil (once its cooled) into a jar or a container and keep it for next time. Run it through a fine sieve to catch any impurities and use it when you use this recipe again. Trust me, you will.
So here’s the recipe. Go and have a go!
Crispy Fried Chicken
- 8 Chicken Thighs, bone in, skin on
- 8 Chicken drumsticks, bone in, skin on.
- Salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste
For the Marinade
- 500 ml Whole milk
- 500 ml Natural yoghurt
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
For the Batter
- 3 Eggs
- 130 ml Cold Water
- 100 ml Hot Sriracha Sauce OPTIONAL
- 450 g Plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Dried oregano
- 2 tsp Smoked paprika
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 2 tsp Onion powder
- 2 tsp Black pepper
- 1 tbsp Cayenne pepper
- Rapeseed Oil for frying,
- In a bowl, mix together milk, yoghurt and lemon juice.
- Season your chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder and leave covered for 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl or zip lock back, pour your milk & yoghurt mix and cover all of your chicken. Leave in the fridge to marinate for 3 hours.Chilling overnight wouldn’t be a bad thing!
- Remove your milk & yoghurt mix from the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel
- In a bowl mix your flour, salt, dried oregano, onion powder,pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne. Make sure it’s well combined and get it as evenly spread as you can.
- In a separate bowl whisk your eggs and water. It just needs to be a loose combination. You’re not looking for volume so don’t whisk too much. If you’re looking for a spicy batter, you can add your sriracha to this mix too.
- Set up a baking sheet or tray with a wire rack above it.Take your chicken and drench in the flour then in the egg mix and back into the flour for a second drench. Use you right hand for dry mix and your left hand for egg. Trust me this keeps it a lot less claggy on your fingers.
- When you’ve finished coating your chicken, return to the fridge for an hour or just until you’re ready to use them. This makes sure that the batter sticks to the chicken.
- Heat your oil in a large cast iron casserole. You want to get it to at least 180°C – if you don’t have a thermometer to test the temperature,pick a bit of the batter and drop in (spooning back out again after) the oil is ready when it immediately starts to bubble around the test drop.
- Cooking in batches, fry your chicken for 15 minutes or until it is no longer pink. It’s leg meat so will take a little bit longer than chicken breast for example. The batter should be a beautiful golden colour and it should be crisp! Whack it onto a cooling rack to keep it crispy until you’ve finished cooking the batches.
- Enjoy whilst hot.