This crispy fried chicken was always a real treat for dinner. It tastes great the next day too.
- 1 whole chicken
- 5 garlic cloves
- ½ small-medium onion
- ½ tbsp dried thyme
- 4 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 eggs
- breadcrumbs (8 slices of bread)
- 250g flour
- enough vegetable oil for deep-frying
The chicken needs to marinate (ideally the night before). It’s best to use a whole chicken, as cooking on the bone will make for a juicier bite. It’s also more cost-effective. Cut the chicken into 12 pieces- 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks and 6 pieces of breast. Cut the thighs and drumsticks off first, followed by the wings. Then use a pair of scissors to cut down the sides to remove the bottom part of the chicken (discard or use to make stock). Cut the breast into half and then each half into 3, to give you 6 pieces (this needs a cleaver or elbow grease to chop through the bone). I remove the skin on the breast and thighs, although this is optional. Stick the chicken pieces in a freezer or ziplock bag ready for seasoning.
For the marinade- finely chop the garlic and onion. Add to the chicken, along with the thyme, paprika, soy sauce and some salt and pepper. Massage into the chicken. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
Blitz some stale bread to make breadcrumbs. It’s good to make more then you need and keep some in the freezer for use another time. Remove the chicken from the fridge a bit ahead of time (it’s good for it not to be stone-cold for frying). Put a heavy based saucepan on the heat with enough vegetable oil to cover the chicken. Whilst the oil is heating up, get the chicken ready. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Tip the flour (any kind) onto a plate and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Get another plate ready for the breadcrumbs.
Place the chicken pieces into the flour, then egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Ensure that the whole chicken is covered evenly. Shake any excess off at each stage. Check on the oil- you can test if it is ready by dropping a few bits of breadcrumb into it- if they bubble to the top it’s ready for frying. Place the chicken pieces into the oil, placing slowly and carefully away from you to avoid the oil splashing. Depending on the size of your pan, cook the chicken in batches- two batches should do it. Have the heat on medium but turn down if the chicken looks like it’s browning too quickly. Keep a close eye on the chicken and turn every so often to ensure an even cook. It should take around 15-20 minutes but this will vary with the size of your chicken. The wings and breast will not take as long. When you think the chicken is done, remove a piece and cut through to test if fully cooked. Remove and place on kitchen towel. They should be a slightly dark golden colour.
My mum always served the fried chicken with homemade coleslaw, chips and salad. I serve with baked chips, as they can be ready in time with the chicken. If you have leftovers, they taste great the next day in a wrap.