Buttermilk fried chicken

The secret to a thick, crisp coating is to double-dip in buttermilk and seasoned flour.
The secret to a thick, crisp coating is to double-dip in buttermilk and seasoned flour. Photo: William Meppem

When fried chicken is good, it's very, very good. The chicken is juicy and tender, the coating crisp, the suntan golden brown and the flavour out of this world. Here's how to get it that way.

Ingredients

6 chicken thighs

6 chicken drumsticks

300ml buttermilk

1 tbsp salt

150g (1 cup) plain flour

2 tbsp cornflour

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp mustard powder

1 tbsp garlic or onion powder

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

½ tsp cayenne

1½ litres vegetable oil for frying

dill pickles for serving

Method

1. Wash chicken pieces and dry. Mix buttermilk and salt in a large bowl, stirring well. Add the chicken, coat well, cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

2. Combine the flour, cornflour, ginger, mustard, garlic or onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne in a bowl.

3. To set up your dipping station, first remove the chicken from the buttermilk, and rest it on a plate. Place in order of use: chicken, seasoned flour, buttermilk and a wire cooling rack set over a tray lined with paper towels.

4. Take one piece of chicken and toss well in the seasoned flour until coated. Shake off any excess and dip into the buttermilk again until coated. Toss in the flour once more, then rest on the wire rack (this all gets a bit gluey, but it's worth it). Repeat with remaining chicken.

5. Pour the oil into a heavy-based, tall-sided pan and heat to 180C or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 20 seconds. Carefully lower three chicken thighs into the oil and cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally with tongs, until crisp and golden brown. Remove and drain on the wire cooling rack set over a tray lined with paper towel.

6. Repeat with the remaining chicken thighs and legs and serve hot, with dill pickles.

Read more: Jill Dupleix's tips for the perfect buttermilk chicken