While everyone is going American food crazy, fancy fried chicken restaurants are popping up everywhere, especially in Sydney and here in Melbourne. I’ll admit, I rather fancy these, being a total KFC fiend in childhood, encouraged by my equally obsessed Dad.
Breaking down a chicken, brining/buttermilk soaking it overnight before coating and frying it seems like a lot of work for home, so here is the easiest way to make tender, crisp and flavoursome fried chicken at home that doesn’t even require any knife work.
The key is to use the always cheap cut of chicken, the chicken ribs. This could work with wings and drumettes too, but because chicken ribs are smaller they cook much faster without the risk of that not-quite-cooked part next to the bone that you will often get with wings. An overnight marinate would be best, but you can also just let them sit for a couple hours.
You will need 1kg of chicken ribs per family of four. These are lovely served with mashed potato and coleslaw, rice and green veg or even just with some fresh bread, carrot, celery stick and some dipping sauce.
Fridge and Freezer
Uncooked marinated chicken can be frozen. To cook, defrost chicken completely and allow to sit at room temperature for half an hour before cooking, coat in the spice and starch mixture and fry. Fried chicken can also be frozen once cooked. Defrost completely before placing on a baking tray and reheating at 200 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes.
4kg chicken ribs
10 tablespoons soy (use GF soy sauce if coeliac)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoon garlic powder
4 cups potato starch (GF) or you can use regular white wheat flour
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon pepper
About 1 litre of neutral oil for frying, such as rice bran oil (this same oil can be cooled, strained and stored to be re-used for future frying)
- In a large bowl combine soy and sugar. If you can’t fit all 4kg of chicken ribs in this bowl, divide the marinade between two bowls and then divide the chicken between the bowls,
- Toss the chicken in the marinade and allow chicken to sit in marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight if you can.
- Combine the potato starch (or white wheat flour), paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in another large bowl.
- At this point the coating can be stored and the marinated chicken frozen.
- To Cook: Allow the chicken to sit for half an hour at room temperature before cooking.
- Heat the oil in a medium size pot with a heavy bottom. Try not to use a large pot, which tempts you to overfill it, or a small pot where the oil will be too close to the edge.
- The oil should be at 180 degrees Celsius to be ready for frying. You can also test this by dropping a cube of bread into the oil. If it turns completely golden brown in 15 seconds it’s ready. Any longer and it’s too cool or too fast and it’s too hot.
Do adjust as necessary because oil that is too cold means soggy rather than crisp chicken. Oil that is too hot results in chicken that is cooked on the outside but raw near the bone. However this is quite difficult to do with chicken ribs, so between 180-190 is OK.
- Fry ribs for 2-3 minutes or until completely golden brown on both sides. Cook about 4-5 at a time and no more.
- Drain and cool on a baking rack over a baking tray lined with paper towel.
- Repeat with the remaining ribs.
- Serve immediately or allow to cool completely before diving and freezing.