Southern Fried Chicken

Southern fried chicken is never going to be considered health food, There is, however, something so satisfying about it, that it could be considered soul food; a different kind of nourishment, but surely just as important. Such a dish as this should be an occasional treat rather than a regular indulgence, because made with love, it is one of the most delicious dishes going.

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The key to the success of this dish is to shallow fry the chicken, over a low heat, under a lid rather than deep fry it. This allows the heat to penetrate to the centre without over cooking the crust. Once cooked remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook on all sides until it is golden brown and crispy.

Southern Fried Chicken – Serves 4

350ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
zest 1 lemon
4 corn-fed chicken drumsticks
4 corn fed chicken thighs
200g Plain flour – sifted
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch chilli powder
rapeseed oil

Stage 1

  • In a large bowl mix the buttermilk with 1 teaspoon of salt & the lemon zest.
  • Add the chicken and give it a good stir around.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 6 – 8 hours.
  • Remove from fridge an hour before you need it to allow the chicken to come to room temperature. This step is important as it ensures the chicken is cooked evenly and safely.

Stage 2

  • Sift the flour into a large flat dish and mix in 2 teaspoons of salt & the spices.
  • Heat 2cm of rapeseed oil in a wide, straight-sided pan until very hot.
  • Wipe as much buttermilk off the chicken pieces as possible then toss them in the seasoned flour until thoroughly coated.
  • Gingerly place the chicken in one layer in the pan and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  • Turn the heat to low & gently sauté for 6 minutes, then turn the chicken pieces over, cover again and cook for another 6 minutes.
  • Turn the heat up and fry the chicken until it’s a deep golden colour on all sides.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and blot with kitchen paper.
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