Monday, May 19, 2014

Home-made fried chicken

Who doesn't love a good fried chicken? I've eaten fabulous varieties of this universally loved dish in many different places in the world, from the deliciously garlicky poulet frit of southern France to the tasty, spicy ayam goreng of Java. And I love making my own. I don't deep-fry it but shallow-fry it, so it's never greasy but deliciously crisp. It's the simplest dish possible to prepare, if a little fiddly to start with, and is always a hit with guests!
First, buy a good tasty chicken--I prefer the corn-fed ones, as they have a lot more flavour. Cut it up into pieces, then mix some plain flour with salt and pepper, put this mix in a small plastic bag, and roll every chicken piece in the flour mix so it is completely coated--easy to do it in the bag by just closing it and shaking everything up!
Meanwhile get a large deep pan ready and heat some sunflower or canola oil--I only put in enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and only about 10 mm up the side of the pan altogether. Drop the flour-coated pieces of chicken into the hot oil--in a single layer only--and cook until they go golden, then turn and do the same for the other side. Keep doing that till every piece is golden, then turn the heat down, sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken, put the lid on, and let it cook for about 40 mins, till it is cooked through. The chicken steams inside but is crisp and golden on the outside.
Take the chicken out when ready to serve, and add whatever you like to it--crushed garlic, chopped herbs, chilli. You can also make a yummy gravy with the juices and scrapings from the cooking mix, adding a little flour, wine, and herbs.

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