Crispy fried chicken
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus 1 hr or overnight marinating
- Serves 4
If you love Southern fried chicken you'll be amazed with this healthy makeover- some clever swaps mean taste isn't compromised
- 150ml buttermilk
- 2 plump garlic cloves , crushed
- 4 x skinless, boneless chicken breasts (total weight 550g), preferably organic
- 50g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp self-raising flour
- ½ rounded tsp paprika
- ¼ rounded tsp English mustard powder
- ¼ rounded tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- STEP 1
Pour the buttermilk into a wide shallow dish and stir in the garlic. Slice the chicken into chunky slices, about 9.5cm long x 3-4cm wide. Lay the chicken in the dish and turn it over in the buttermilk so it is well coated. Leave in the fridge for 1-2 hrs, or preferably overnight.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick frying pan and tip in the panko crumbs and flour. Toast them in the pan for 2-3 mins, stirring regularly so they brown evenly and don’t burn. Tip the crumb mix into a bowl and stir in the paprika, mustard, thyme, chilli powder, pepper and a pinch of fine sea salt. Set aside.
- STEP 3
When ready to cook, heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Line a baking tin with foil and sit a wire rack (preferably non-stick) on top. Transfer half the crumb mix to a medium-large plastic bag. Lift half the chicken from the buttermilk, leaving the marinade clinging to it. Transfer it to the bag of seasoned crumbs. Seal the end of the bag and give it a good shake so the chicken gets well covered (you could do all the crumbs and chicken together if you prefer, but it’s easier to coat evenly in 2 batches).
- STEP 4
Remove the chicken from the bag. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, then add the chicken pieces and fry for 1½ mins without moving them. Turn the chicken over, pour in another ½ tbsp of the oil to cover the base of the pan and fry for 1 min more, so both sides are becoming golden. Using tongs, transfer to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining seasoned crumbs, oil and chicken.
- STEP 5
Bake all the chicken on the rack for 15 mins until cooked and crisp, then serve with the Crunchy coleslaw (see 'Goes well with', below right).
The hot chilli powder gives a nice bite to the coating mix – but if you prefer it milder, add just a pinch of hot or mild chilli powder. Or leave it out altogether.
Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese dried bread flakes, used traditionally in coating chicken in katsu curries. When fried, they absorb less fat than regular breadcrumbs and stay light and crisp once cooked.
HOW WE MADE CRISPY CHICKEN HEALTHIER
By using lean, skinless chicken breasts; By using buttermilk to provide a low-fat coating for the crumb mix to stick to; By frying the chicken in rapeseed oil then cooking in the oven.