My brother came to celebrate Christmas with us and as a treat I asked him what he wanted, he said fried chicken and silly me thought he meant KFC or Popeyes until he sent me this recipe from Sohla El-Waylly (if you haven't checked her out then you should she is amazing!).
Although the ingredient list was a bit intimidating at first, it is a relatively simple recipe and includes the nice additions of honey butter and spice dust which work well on many other dishes and can be reused if you have leftovers. We put the spice dust on bacon and mixed some walnuts into the honey butter.
Let us know if you try this one, can confirm its a goodie!
Serves: 4 people (people can have seconds)
Prep time: 8 - 12 hours
Cook time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty level: Medium
1.1 to 1.6kg chicken
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup hot sauce - we used the one from Chicken Licken
1 teaspoon (5g) garlic powder
1 teaspoon (5g) onion powder
1/2 teaspoon (2g) freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons (8g) kosher salt
5 cups sunflower oil
2 1/2 cups (375g) Italian 00 flour (see note)
2 teaspoons (8g) kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
For the Honey-Butter Drizzle:
1/3 cup (120g) honey
2 tablespoons (30g) water
3 1/2 tablespoons (50g) unsalted butter
For the Spice Dust:
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
2 pieces (2g) star anise
1 black cardamom pod (2g), inner seeds only
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon (2g) cumin seeds
1 tablespoon (5g) Sichuan peppercorns
Start by breaking down the chicken (watch here to see how). Next mix all the ingredients for the brine together. Place the chicken in the brine, cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours or over night.
To make the honey butter: Place a medium on a medium heat and add the honey, watch it carefully as it turns from golden hue to a dark maple colour. Turn off the heat and add the water. Return to a low temperature and add the butter, stir until the butter melts and you are left with a caramel looking sauce. Set aside.
For the spice dust crush the star anise, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds and Sichuan peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until you get a fine powder. Add the chilli and cinnamon powder mix well and set aside.
Prepare the frying station:
Heat oil in a shallow cast iron pan, use a thermometer to ensure the temperature gets to 163 degrees Celsius.
Place the 00 flour and salt in a shallow dish and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the brine mixture. Mix the brine into the flour so that it forms clumps. This steps will ensure you get those crispy crunchy bits all over each piece of chicken.
Line another dish with paper towel to absorb excess oil and next to it place a cooling rack over separate dish, this allows the air to circulate around the chicken as it cools and prevents the underside from getting soggy.
Starting with the drumsticks and thighs, place each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and coat generously with the flour. Place in the oil (note that the temperature will drop but it will come back up again) and let fry and keep flipping until the chicken is a dark golden brown or a the internal temperature is 74 degrees Celsius.
Remove from the pan and season all over with salt immediately and then place on the cooling rack.
Complete step 5 with the wings and breasts.
Once all the chicken has been fried, pile on a plate and drizzle generously with the honey butter and the spice mix.
Serve with coleslaw, pickles or vanilla waffles .
Happy Cooking! x