I think it would be foolhardy to say that this is the best fried chicken recipe ever, but it’s pretty @&^$%#@()*&@!!’en good. I heard Sean Brock, the American chef famous for his lowland cooking out of Charleston, South Carolina; say that the secret to good fried chicken was good flour, lard, a good iron skillet and cooking it low and slow. So this recipe employs these perhaps sacred tennets to good effect.
The first thing you’ll need to do is soak your chicken overnight in buttermilk and a little salt. In this recipe I use chicken nibbles ie. wings that have had the tips removed and been cut in half. The ratio of crunchy coating to juicy chicken leans more heavily to the former which in my opinion is what we’re all craving. In this recipe I used:
600g chicken nibbles
1tsp of salt
Stir it all together and then whack it in the fridge overnight. The next day get your coating together.
Fried chicken coating:
2tbsp of white peppercorns
1tbsp of dried onion flakes
1tsp of roast cumin seeds
Grind these three ingredients together nice and fine in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and then add them to:
2 cups of stoneground flour (the more artisanal and of impressive provenance the better)
Mix these together as well as possible and then dredge the drained chicken nibbles heavily in the coating mix and then lay them out on a plate ready to fry.
Select the biggest, heaviest iron skillet you’ve got and then put it over a medium low heat and add 3 tbsp of pressure cooked lard in it. When it’s fully melted, place your chicken pieces gently into the fat. You may need to do this in two batches or use two frying pans to get all the chicken cooked. Don’t play with the chicken, just let it slowly brown. You’ll be able to see the progress quite clearly around the edges in contact with the fat. When it looks golden and delicious, gently turn the chicken with tongs and repeat the process until the chicken is brown all over and cooked all the way through. Place your finished chicken on a paper towel lined tray in the oven while you continue cooking. It’s important to season the chicken while it’s fresh out of the fat, otherwise the salt will just tumble straight off your beautiful crispy coating.
At this point you can put it in a gingham lined basket and take it to Boss Hog for his lunch or try it with these unorthodox accompaniments:
Fermented hot pepper dressing
1tbsp fermented pepper paste (this is a Korean product, it rocks)
1tbsp rice vinegar
1tbsp sherry vinegar
Mix all these ingredients together thoroughly and then drizzle over the fried chicken and scatter it with sliced spring onions.