Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Wishbone Chicken, Brixton Village & DIY Fried Chicken Recipe

I tried to explain the idea of posh fried chicken to someone at my work the other day, but further than saying they used nice, well reared free range chicken and flavoursome sauces I did get a bit stuck. Yes, it is still deep fried, yes it is still messy and yes it will still make you fat. But, god it has to be one of the best guilty pleasures. And this is coming from someone who’s never even sampled KFC.

I was in London last weekend with buffalo wings and korean fried chicken firmly in my sights at the recently opened Wishbone Chicken on Market Row in Brixton Village. Given I was in London for all of two nights and had specifically requested a Brixton night out with the idea of getting chicken as well as many other things in my belly, I was more than a little disappointed to find Wishbone had had a power cut and weren't serving any food. So instead I decided to drink all the cocktails and all the wine. And then some of the beer too, just so I definitely felt like death the next day. 

Wishbone specialise in sours which were all dangerously drinkable, even a port and egg sours. I mean if there's ever been a old man perverts cocktail it has to be that. I stuck to the more classic combo of gin and pisco, no egg, on the rocks. We did manage to sample a rather tasty jerk chicken scotch egg, and in retrospect probably should have smashed a few more of them in before starting on the white wine at Seven, a lovely tapas and cocktail bar opposite. If you find yourself in London and want a relaxed night out, heavy on both good food (well not for me) and good drinks, Brixton Village is definitely worth a look. 

Anyway, so after my chickenless night out I had to go about making my own. And when I say make my own, get the other half to make it to cheer me up on a dreary tuesday night once I was back north. You have to give yourself a little bit of prep time and get over any paranoid fears of burning hot oil, but aside from that its not too tricky. 

DIY Fried Chicken 

Serves 2 
6 free range chicken thighs
200ml buttermilk
1 tsp salt
150g flour
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano

1. You need to start at least 5 hours in advance by marinating your chicken in buttermilk and 1 tsp of salt to make it tender and juicy. Make sure the chicken is well coated and leave in the fridge for up to 8 hours.

2. Mix together the spices, herbs and flour until evenly combined. When the chicken has marinated and you are ready to cook, wipe off any excess buttermilk then coat thoroughly in the flour mixture.

3. You will need to heat up oil. I am a nervous deep fryer but so far nothing has gone wrong *touches all the wood*, take a large, deep sided pan and heat until it reaches 170 degrees. This can be difficult to judge so it really is best to get a cooking thermometer (we didn’t and used bread to judge which isn’t ideal).

4. Put the chicken in one layer in the pan, you don’t want to over crowd it so doing this in two batches might be best, depending how meaty your thighs are. Cover, turn the heat down to low and cook for 6 minutes, turn and cook for a further 6 minutes.

5. When the chicken has evenly browned on either side, remove from the pan and place on a rack in an oven on a low heat for 5 minutes. This will let it dry and get super crisp.

We served ours with coleslaw and paprika wedges and lots and lots of kitchen towel. 

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