We all love fried chicken, and when it comes to crispy batter, delicious chicken and an all-round amazing fried chicken experience, then where better to go than KFC?
With those 11 amazing spices and herbs in every bucket of original recipe chicken, plus burgers and bonkers marketing campaigns, why wouldn't we spend as much time in KFC as we can? But sometimes, buying chicken from KFC isn't possible. Sometimes, you're stuck at home, and one thing that means is no KFC (unless you live in a KFC - in which case I'm a little jealous).
Whether you've got to stay to take care of sick kids or you're banned from every KFC in a five-mile radius after you ate all their supplies, there's a solution to your fried chicken-less existence. I'm sure that the Kentucky-fried desperate among you will, at one point, have tried to make your own fried chicken at home.
If you're at my skill level, that probably ended up with flour discarded everywhere, no small amount of tears... and possibly food poisoning. But if you follow this simple recipe, then you might never have to set foot in a KFC again.
First things first: you're going to need to prepare yourself the best you can. An artist is only as good as their instruments, so make sure you've got a high-sided skillet that can get that deep fryer up to 350°C, and can protect you adequately from the spitting oil. Like a Dutch oven, for example.
You'll also want a large resealable bag to help you out with the coating, and remember: you might get this wrong the first couple of times, so don't panic if it's not perfect the first time around. For this recipe, you're going to need about three pounds of chicken, three-quarters to one cup of buttermilk, plus a ton of oil for frying.
Then, for the coating, you'll have to rustle up 1.5 to two cups of all-purpose flour, one to 1.5 teaspoons salt, half a teaspoon pepper, half a teaspoon garlic powder, half a teaspoon onion powder, one tablespoon paprika, quarter teaspoon ground sage, quarter teaspoon ground thyme, as well as an eighth of a teaspoon of baking powder.
Ready? Let's begin.
First, get rid of any excess moisture on your chicken by patting it dry with paper towels, placing it in a flat dish with high sides. Then, it's time to soak it in buttermilk. Many people like to use milk and eggs for the soaking, but with buttermilk, you'll get extra tender chicken, and a tangy flavor that'll make your chicken even more delicious. Don't soak it for more than 24 hours, though: the acid in the buttermilk will turn your chicken all mushy. Not good.
Then, it's time to coat your chicken. Put all your coating ingredients in a plastic bag, shaking it to mix them up well, and then, one piece at a time, put your chicken in. Shake to ensure that every corner of chicken is coated well, and when you're satisfied, let it lie on a sheet of waxed paper to dry. The key to ensuring a good coating? Patience.
Now, if you've followed my instructions so far, your chicken is soaked in butter milk, coated in delicious herbs, and now lying on some waxed paper, ready to be cooked. So, go get your skillet: it's fryin' time.
In that cooking utensil, heat about half an inch of oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°C. Carefully, add a few pieces of chicken to the pan, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Two or three pieces at a time will allow you to fry without the temperature dropping too much too quickly, ensuring your coating remains crispy.
Cook your chicken uncovered for about seven to eight minutes on each side, turning occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink and your coating has become a delicious-looking dark brown. After frying that first batch, wait for your oil to return to the right temperature, and then get frying that second batch.
So then, you should have yourself a lovely bowl of chicken. Time to eat, right? Uh... not quite.
You see, for the best moisture distribution and crispiness, it's best to let your chicken sit for a while. So resist your chicken urges. Your time will come soon. After about 15 minutes, you'll be able to enjoy delicious, crispy chicken, just as good as anything Colonel Sanders could rustle up. Enjoy!