Saturday, January 30, 2010
We made it: buttermilk chicken
There's something incredibly tempting and moreish about fried chicken. We know it's not healthy for us, but a crispy fried chicken, lightly spiced, is a thing of beauty. But it should be home-made and as light and drained of fat as you can make it (and not resembling the chicken served up from corporate food chains).
Jill Dupleix's buttermilk fried chicken in the Dec/Jan issue of delicious magazine caught my eye for this reason. Her feature was about simple summer food, good for a picnic, and this dish looked just the ticket to be the next dish in the "We Made It" challenge that Suzie from Munch+Nibble and I are running in a quest to actually use our food magazines, rather than just bookmarking them. Suzie had also made this dish and raved about it, so I took the plunge and made it as well.
The end result was mixed. The buttermilk does tenderise the chicken and the baking does dry it out so that the fried crust is not too fatty. But perhaps I skimped on the spices a little (not wanting to scare the children) and Adam and I both found the end result a little bland. Next time I would add more spice - I think it perhaps loses some sizzle in the frying process.
Jill Dupleix's buttermilk fried chicken
Recipe from December 2009/January 2010 issue of delicious
4 chicken marylands
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
1 3/4 cups (265g) plain flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
Sunflower oil, to shallow-fry
Cut the chicken marylands through the joint to separate the drumsticks and the thighs.
Wash the chicken pieces, then dry well with paper towel. Toss in buttermilk, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the flour, cayenne, paprika, cumin and 1 tsp salt into a plastic bag (or zip-lock bag). Add drained chicken, 2 pieces at a time, shaking well to coat in the spice mixture. Remove and shake off any excess, then repeat with remaining chicken pieces until all coated.
Heat 1 cm oil in a large heavy-based fry-pan over medium-high heat to 180 degrees (a cube of bread will turn golden in 30 seconds when the oil is hot enough). Cook the chicken pieces, in batches of 4, for 4-5 minutes until well-browned. Turn and cook on the other side for 1 minute, until golden, then transfer chicken to the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through, then remove and allow to cool. Serve at room temperature.