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Food Blog: Deep Fried Frydays

For several weeks now, there has been a Tefal deep fat fryer sat abandoned on top of the fridge in my flat, hidden behind a pile of miscellaneous items which have seemingly found no appropriate home in the kitchen and are thus equally abandoned in the dusty, greasy corner of the room. Why this heavenly instrument has been abandoned for so long I do not know? But a new love has been kindled this week, a love which will undoubtedly send my housemates and Ialong a downward spiral towards morbid obesity.

I fear ‘Deep Fried Frydays’ will quickly become a new thing in my house, especially after the success of our first attempt. We decided to make KFC style deep fried chicken…and it was good. Unbearably good.I spent the evening in the kitchen with the head chef of the house;unfortunately I am merely sous chef, as my fabulous flatmate just so happens to be blessed with the culinary skills of a ruddy genius. I spent the evening in anticipation, like a child on Christmas Eve, lingering around the fryer, gazing down upon the crispy creations crackling amid the pool of golden liquid. Of course, it is basically just chicken drowning in an overwhelmingly large amount of vegetable oil.But it seemed like so much more!

We chose to follow Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Buttermilk Fried Chicken’ recipe which has recently been shown on his Channel 4 programme Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking. You can check it out here:
http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/gordon-ramsay/buttermilk-fried-chicken-recipe
But I will also take you through the easy steps myself. Don’t panic if you don’t have a deep fat fryer though (I doubt many students actually do), you can use a deep pan. If Gordon can do it then so can you.

Serves Four

Ingredients:

4 free-range chicken thighs

4 free-range chicken drumsticks/wings

500ml buttermilk

Flavourless oil, e.g. sunflower or groundnut, for deep-frying

300g plain flour

1–2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1–2 tsp cayenne pepper

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4-5 large potatoes
 

  1. To begin you need to coat the chicken thighs and wings in the buttermilk and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap the bowl with cling film and leave it to chill. The chicken can be left overnight like this to tenderise the meat, but if you’re not one for planning ahead, then make sure the chicken is left for at least half an hour before cooking.
  1. While the chicken rests prepare your deep fat fryer according to the instructions. If you are simply using a deep pan then pour enough oil in so that it is at least 1.5cm deep. Then heat the pan gently over the hob. Gordon recommends that the oil should be hot enough so that when you put a piece of bread into the pan it turns brown after 30 seconds.
     
  2. While the oil heats through you can prepare the coating for the chicken. In a bowl mix the flour and spices with a good pinch of salt and pepper. To coat the chicken, take a piece from the buttermilk and gently shake off any excess liquid. Place the chicken into the flour mixture and combine until completely coated.
  1. I would recommend cooking the pieces of chicken in several batches, for example, no more than three pieces of meat in the pan/fryer at one time. Of course this does depend on the sizes of the chicken. Place the chicken carefully into the oil, skin side down to begin with and let it cook out. The chicken will take approximately 20-25 minutes and you should turn the chicken during this time. But don’t turn it until the batter has started to go crispy, otherwise you may lose some of this coating in the process.
  1. Once the chicken pieces are cooked you should place them on a piece of kitchen roll so that the excess oil can drain off the meat. At this point you can place the chicken in a warm oven whilst you prepare the chips.
  1. Peel and slice the potatoes into chip sized pieces, season with salt and pepper and place into the oil. You may also want to cook the chips in two batches depending on how much you choose to make. Ideally you want to lower the heat of the oil so that the chips don’t burn, as they need to be cooked gently so they cook in the middle. This will take approximately 10 minutes but you may want to have a taster at this point to check that they are cooked properly. If they aren’t, then keep them in the pan for an additional couple of minutes. Once they are cooked drain the chips on a piece of kitchen roll before serving.

As you can see from the pictures, this recipes makes faultlessly crispy chicken, which to be honest, slaps KFC chicken in the face. Try it out! It’s the perfect comfort meal for that Friday night away from the sticky floors of Fruity.

By Beth Marsh

 

All own images

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