Sometimes my mind craves chicken. I know, I hear you say, we all do! The thing about chicken is that it is a very versatile meat; there are so many ways to cook it, from cold to hot, boiled to roasted to fried, and always ending up with something wonderful.
You know what it is like walking into any of the local fast food fried chicken establishments, the mouth watering aroma that attacks your taste buds. The craving that already exists now leads to a need and I am guessing, like me, you end up ordering way too much.
Here is my own version of Southern Fried Chicken. The beauty of cooking your own chicken is that it can be as spicy or tame as you like. The trick is in the cooking and adding the perfect flavours. For a flavourful, but not too spicy, chicken, this is perfect for you.
1 whole chicken divided into 10 pieces. (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings breast split in 2 making 4)
4 cups of water
3 teaspoons salt
1 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons Season-All
1 cup regular flour
2 ½ tablespoons cornmeal
1 ½ tablespoons dried oregano
Having divided the chicken into 10 equal pieces, place them inside a large sealable container. Cover with water and salt. Place inside the fridge leave to rest overnight, typically 24 hours.
Whisk milk, eggs and 1 ½ tablespoons Season-All together in a large bowl. Remove the chicken from the fridge, drain, then place the chicken pieces into the batter mixture, ensuring they are covered completely.
Place flour, corn-meal, oregano and 1 ½ tablespoons Season-All inside a Ziploc bag. Shake well until all ingredients mixed together.
Slowly add the chicken pieces to the bag – two at a time should do the trick. Seal the bag each time, then massage well, ensuring the chicken is covered completely with flour. Once the pieces are well coated, remove from the bag and place on a wire rack to rest. Continue with this exercise until all chicken is covered.
Heat a shallow layer of oil to 360 degrees F, then slowly add pieces of chicken, trying not to stick them together. Depending on the size of your pan, this may take a couple of times. I managed five pieces then the pan was full. Place a glass lid on top and cook for five minutes.
Check the chicken, when it appears golden brown. Turn it over again for a further five minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and continue cooking for a further twenty minutes, or until cooked. The temperature of cooked chicken is 165 degrees F?
Serve with whatever you like, a salad, fries, and it could even be with pasta.
Tip, when frying, don’t let it get too dark, this dries the chicken. If it is frying too quickly turn the temperature down slightly.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications and a trained chef.