Fried chicken: the ultimate comfort food, guilty pleasure and crowd pleaser. Between the crispy breaded exterior and the tantalisingly tender interior, what isn’t there to love?
That’s why chefs from three highly-rated English restaurants, two in London and one in Cornwall, have decided to spill the beans and release their personal fried chicken recipes. Here are three different ways to make fried chicken in your own kitchen.
Salt chilli fried chicken
100g rice flour
5g dried birds eye chilli
3 chicken thighs
Combine all dry ingredients and blend in a food processor.
Dice the chicken thighs into bitesize pieces.
Coat the chicken in the dried mix.
Deep fry for 2-3 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Keralan fried chicken
By: Will Bowlby, chef patron of Kricket
“This dish came about almost by accident, and has proved to be arguably the most popular dish on our menu. When we first opened Kricket inside a shipping container in Brixton in 2015, I learnt quickly that there was to be no room for a tandoor, only a fryer. So I adapted a basic tandoori marinade, made use of our small gas fryer and Kricket’s very own fried chicken was born. It is likely to remain on the menu for some time to come!”
400g boneless, skinless, free-range chicken thighs, cut into 2.5cm pieces
1L vegetable oil, for deep-frying
100g plain flour
1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tbsp ground turmeric
Generous pinch of chaat masala per portion
20g fresh curry leaves, lightly fried, to serve
200g curry leaf mayonnaise, to serve (see below)
For the spicy marinade:
300g Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tbsp ground turmeric
3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
For the pickled mooli:
200g , peeled and thinly sliced
200ml pickling liquor (see below)
To make the spicy marinade, mix the yoghurt, buttermilk, chilli powder, turmeric, green chillies and coriander together in a bowl. Turn the chicken thighs in the marinade so it is coated, cover and leave in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
To make the pickled mooli, steep the sliced mooli in the pickling liquor for 1-2 hours at room temperature, then keep in the refrigerator until needed.
Pour the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan (skillet) or kadai, and heat until it is about 180C. The oil is hot enough when a cube of bread sizzles when dropped into it. While the oil heats up, combine the flour, cornflour, chilli powder and turmeric in a shallow bowl.
Lift the chicken out of the marinade and coat in the flour-mix, shaking off any excess. Deep-fry in the oil for about 5 minutes until the outside is golden brown. To ensure the chicken is cooked through, test the middle of the biggest piece of chicken with a probe thermometer; it should be over 75C.
Remove the chicken from the fryer and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle generously with chaat masala. Serve with the pickled mooli, fried curry leaves and the curry leaf mayonnaise.
Pickling liquor (makes 1L):
500ml white wine vinegar
500g caster sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh Indian bay leaves
Put all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before decanting into a sterilised jar. Store in the fridge until required
Curry leaf mayonnaise (makes 1L):
For the curry leaf oil:
2.5L vegetable oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
40g of fresh curry leaves
2½ dried Kashmiri red chillies
2½ teaspoons ground turmeric
For the curry leaf mayonnaise:
4 large free-range egg yolks
Splash of lemon juice
1L curry leaf oil
Caster sugar, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
To make the curry leaf oil, pour the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or kadai, and heat until it is about 180C. The oil is hot enough when a cube of bread sizzles when dropped into it. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, chillies and ground turmeric, then remove from the heat and leave to cool and infuse.
To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender. With the motor running, gradually pour in the curry leaf oil and blitz together until the mixture thickens and emulsifies.
Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, chillies and turmeric, then season to taste with sugar, salt and a little more lemon juice if you like. The mayonnaise should be shiny and just hold its shape.
Store in a sterilised jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Buttermilk fried chicken with chipotle mayonnaise
By: Paul Ainsworth
8 chicken thighs (deboned and cut in half)
20 slices of pickled green jalapeños
2L vegetable oil for frying
1 lemon and lime for zesting at the end
For the chicken thigh marinade:
5g garam marsala
5g smoked paprika
For the chicken seasoning:
15g garam masala
For the chicken crumb:
250g plain flour
10g onion powder
10g garam marsala
10g garlic powder
50g cornflakes (lightly crushed)
5 sheets of filo pastry (cut into thin slices 1in long)
For the chipotle mayonnaise:
125g plain mayonnaise
15g chipotle paste
Juice of half a lemon
1 lemon, zested
1 lime, zested
First make the marinade by whisking together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Add your thighs, cover, and place in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours
Make your mayonnaise by combining the ingredients together and leaving in the fridge until you are ready to serve your chicken
Next make the chicken coating by mixing together the all of the ingredients.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and coat each piece liberally in the chicken coating
Preheat a deep fat fryer at 175C, or in a large saucepan heat 2 litres of vegetable oil to 175C. Be very careful when doing so.
Fry each piece for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown in colour, before transferring to a cooling rack, with a plate underneath to catch the excess oil. Allow the chicken to cool
Turn your fryer up to 190C and refry the chicken until dark golden and very crispy. Drain on paper towel and season with the chicken seasoning and zest.
Serve with slices of green jalapeños and plenty of chipotle mayonnaise.