Deep-fried chicken with garlic and peppercorns

Neil Perry
Saturday: Neil Perry's deep-fried chicken with garlic and peppercorns.
Saturday: Neil Perry's deep-fried chicken with garlic and peppercorns. Photo: William Meppem

Serve this chicken with a Thai-style sauce such as nam jim for the perfect balance of hot, salty, sweet and sour.


350g skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillet, cut into strips about 2cm thick

1 tbsp fish sauce

pinch sugar

2 coriander roots, scraped and chopped

pinch sea salt

1/2 tsp white peppercorns

1 head garlic, cloves separated

500ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying

60g plain flour freshly ground white pepper, to serve

coriander leaves, to serve

chilli sauce, to serve


Marinate the chicken strips in the fish sauce and sugar for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pound the coriander roots, salt and peppercorns in a mortar with a pestle.

Add the garlic cloves and pound to a coarse paste, removing the garlic skin and hard base as you go.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until smoking (180°C), then toss half the chicken in flour until well coated.

Shake away any excess.

Deep-fry the chicken, stirring regularly, for 3-4 minutes or until golden.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken pieces, drain on paper towel.

Repeat with remaining chicken.

Scoop out any debris from the oil.

Add the garlic mixture (be careful; it will spit).

Move the garlic around in the oil until it is golden, then remove and drain on paper towel.

Place the fried chicken on a serving plate, sprinkle with crisp garlic, white pepper and coriander leaves.

Serve with your favourite chilli sauce.