Fried chicken, the ultimate guilty pleasure
Deep-fried foods are a guilty pleasure for so many of us; no shame in admitting it. I personally love deep-fried everything, but particularly deep-fried chicken. And yes, I do own a deep fryer, but I also know that I can’t eat fried food all the time.
When I get the craving, though, I will deep-fry as many things as I can for a week or two straight. Eventually I realize it needs to be put away, and so it goes back on the shelf for another few months. The beauty of deep-frying is that almost everything tastes better. With a bit of ingenuity, all foods can be crisped up. For my money, fried chicken is the ultimate.
Whether it is plain or battered, chicken somehow manages to get extremely crispy without overcooking, and when I make it at home, the crunchier the better. Batters (or simple coating) help in the process tremendously, and my favourites always include buttermilk and a double coating of flour. This creates a nice thick crust that holds up well to both frying and being coated in a sauce.
Don’t be timid about deep-frying foods; I know that there are healthier options for cooking, although there are none that are faster. It is okay to indulge every now and again. Plus, I am a proponent of the saying “all things in moderation, including moderation.”
sweet soy fried chicken
2 cups flour
2 tbsp each salt, pepper, smoked paprika
2 cups buttermilk
8 chicken thighs (or any large chicken pieces)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp whole dried chilies, crushed
2-3 l vegetable oil (enough to cover half chicken for frying)
Fill large cast-iron pot with oil over medium-high heat (if using deep fryer, place oil in fryer and set to 350°F).
In a large bowl combine flour, salt, pepper, and paprika and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, pour the buttermilk. Dredge half the chicken in flour mixture; shake off all excess flour. Place in buttermilk and cover evenly. Place chicken back in flour mixture for second layer of flour.
Carefully place chicken in oil, ensuring it is fully covered. Cook for 15 minutes, or until fully cooked through. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove from oil onto paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
While chicken is cooking, combine soy, honey, garlic and chilies in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook till all honey is melted and chilies have infused (the longer it cooks, the spicier it becomes).
Once all chicken is cooked, place it into soy mixture, turning to coat. Remove to serving dish and drizzle extra sauce.