Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Home-made Kentucky Fried Chicken

My dad, Mr Ribeye Sr., and I play squash on a Friday night at our club in Maida Vale, west London. It is a tradition that has gone on for many more years than I care to remember, and we meet the usual crowd of 'guys' (in reality, a bunch of clapped-out, middle-aged men, like us) for a few poorly-contested games.

After an hour or so, I leave the club and embark on the second of my age-old Friday night traditions: Buying junk food for Mrs Ribeye and myself, before settling down to the night's entertainment (in summer, that may mean meeting friends in the patio garden of a central London bar, but in winter that means TV and ice cream).

I just cannot bring myself to eat KFC. It's not the fat content (everything in moderation, cherie, even moderation - as the French say); it's the crappy quality chicken. I try as hard as I can not to subject myself, or the missus, to battery chickens. It's too repulsive.

So, with my KFC cravings getting the better of me (man cannot live by pizza and burgers alone), I have decided to start making my own version. AND IT IS FABULOUS. Dare I say, better than the original? Yes I do.It's better than the Colonel. Plus, it's way cheaper.

A kilo of free range chicken thighs are £5 at my local butcher, so this dish comes in at £2.50 per serving of 3-4 thighs each. Even if you factor in fries and coleslaw, it's still finger-lickin' cheaper.

Serves 4


300g plain flour
2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of pepper
4 tablespoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of mustard powder
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1.5kg free range chicken thighs, skin-on
500ml milk
Sunflower, vegetable or corn oil for frying.

Heat the oil to a moderate temperature in a large wok or pan. Mix the flour and spices together in a large bowl. Pour the milk into a separate bowl. Submerge the chicken in the milk and then dip the chicken in the flour mix until well coated. Fry the chicken, in batches, until crispy on the outside and cooked-through (25-30 minutes approx).

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