Noble Savage (he said): ‘Murica. Land of the free. Unless you weren’t born there. But for those having been born there, probably the most important celebration is the 4th of July, a.k.a independence day. On the 4th of July 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted, which marked the US’ independence from the UK. Since then, their history has been a mixed bag of successes and failures. One success is most definitely fried chicken. So with the help of Jamie Oliver, I attempted to make it for the first time. It’s a pretty involved recipe, so bear with me.
First off, the chicken needs to be brined. This recipe is ideally suited to four thighs and four drumsticks. For the brine, you need:
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 4 Bay leaves
- 4 Garlic cloves
Start by toasting the peppercorns for about a minute, then add all the above plus 400ml cold water. Bring to the boil, then allow to cool down after adding another 400ml cold water. Cut the thighs a few times to the bone; this will allow the brine to really draw in to the meat. Cover and chill in the fridge at least 12 hours.
Remove the chicken pieces from the brine, and discard the brine. Pour over 500ml buttermilk, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Now you’re almost ready to fry the chicken. Preheat your oven to 180 celsius. In a sturdy pot, fill about 8 cm deep with sunflower oil. Do not fill the pot more than half, as you could set yourself on fire. On medium heat, heat up the oil slowly to about 180 celsius. While this is happening, dip your chicken pieces in the flour mixture. You’ll need:
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Dip the pieces in the flour mixture, ensuring everything is covered, and set aside for about 5 minutes. When the oil is hot enough, start with 2 thighs. They need to fry for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through.
Once done, follow up with the remaining two thighs. Once the thighs are done, pop them into your preheated oven. The four drumsticks can go in in one go, also for 5 minutes. Once done, add to the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
I decided that some loaded fries would go great with the chicken. Fry your potatoes as per normal, then add some crispy bacon, and a cheese sauce to the fries. Pop in the oven for a few minutes, just to warm up everything evenly, and you’re done!
The chicken was supremely crispy!
I’m definitely trying this again, but will experiment more with the flour mixture. It had a nice enough taste, but I would try something with a bit more kick.
BoozyFoodie whipped up some 4th of July themed drinks for us (As if you need a reason! Celebrating the 4th of July sip by sip) , and cornbread (see here: Martha’s Cornbread for the 4th of July)