I’m not particulary fond of fried food, air-fried is always my go to choice. There are some recipes though that require a combination of both methods to achieve a “KFC” equivalent result. Or as my almost six year old daughter tells me something that tastes like we are eating out at a restaurant. “A KFC home equivalent”.
I came across this Southern Fried Chicken recipe by Jamie Oliver and decided to tweak it, making it gluten free, dairy free and less calorie dense.
Jamie’s recipe starts with a brining process that salts, flavours and tenderises the chicken. The brining is done overnight and then there is another soaking in buttermilk for another 8 hours!
I did follow the brining process and used my own mix of herbs, I adjusted the salt and sugar proportions in the original recipe too and made my own buttermilk using soymilk and vinegar for the additional soaking in buttermilk, however I did that for only another 1 hour.
I fried my chicken pieces in coconut oil instead of regular peanut or groundnut oil that can contribute to more allergies (especially for those who have peanut allergies).
Here’s why you should deep or shallow fry with coconut oil – apparently it’s the healthiest oil for deep frying, studies have shown that even after 8 hours of continuous deep frying at 180C it’s quality does not deteriorate. In other words, coconut oil is highly resistant to oxidation at high heat. This makes it the perfect choice and healthiest contender for deep frying.
Why can oxidised oils can be harmful? – Lipid oxidation, my friends occurs when the oil reaches the point where it becomes unstable and breaks down due to high heat. That’s why it’s very important to choose an oil that is highly resistant to oxidisation at high heat. Eating of oxidised oils is very likely accountable for damage to cells, increased inflammation levels and risk of cardiovascular disease.
That’s the toasting of the black peppercorns and making of the brine! It’s quite simple actually:)
Make sure it comes to a boil, and then turn off the heat, add the cool 400ml of water to further cool the brine.
That’s what the chicken looked like after soaking in the brine overnight!
Further one hour of soaking in homemade soy buttermilk, after draining out the brine.
My own gluten free blend of rice crumb, potato starch seasoned batter follow the recipe for the full instructions!
Post fried chicken, shallow fried in coconut oil for 2.5 minutes each side, and then baked in the oven at 190C for 15 minutes doesn’t it look delicious!
The verdict – This one recipe is a must try, my husband and daughters loved the chicken! I was surprised the coconut oil didn’t leave an overpowering flavour or scent. On hindsight, Sakura chicken would have done better than the kampong it was a little too skinny/lean for my taste. My batter with rice crumbs and potato starch came out crispier than I expected and texture wise it was an improvement on regular plain wheat flour!
The sweet potato chips came out a little too soft, next time I will presoak them in water, dry them out and then air-fry them – which I think will be key to helping them get crispier! I loved the sheep yogurt and spring onions, it added a tang and creaminess to my sweet potatoes, I also had it with some thai sweet chilli sauce for an asian flavour.
It was overall finger licking good! If you make this tag your creation at #taystesg
Southern Fried Oven Baked Chicken (GF, DF)
Adapted from Jamie Oliver Recipe
Inactive time: one day
Active time: 1.5 hours
1 kampong or sakura chicken (cut into pieces)
For Brining chicken overnight (or at least half a day)
90g raw sugar
1 tablespoon roasted black peppercorns (roasted with one teaspoon of grapeseed oil)
4 sprigs fresh oregano
4 sprigs fresh sage
5 pieces dried bay leaves
5 cloves peeled garlic
800ml cold water (split into two portions of 400ml each)
Second soaking of chicken pieces in homemade soy buttermilk before cooking
2 cups of bonsoy mixed with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar – soy milk or dairy free alternative (use milk if you have no allergies to dairy)
Gluten Free Batter for Coating
100g rice flour crumbs
100g potato starch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
ground black pepper – a few rounds or 1/8 teaspoon
Oil for shallow frying
2 cups extra virgin coconut oil
4 to 5 sweet potatoes sliced using a mandoline for extra thin pieces
1/3 cup sheep yogurt
2 tablespoons of finely chopped spring onions
Make the brine
Toast the peppercorns in a non-stick pan, with one teaspoon of oil till it becomes fragrant.
Add all the brine ingredients into a separate pot with the toasted peppercorns and the first 400ml of cold water bring to a boil and then cool it down further by adding the other 400ml of water.
Cut your chicken into pieces (or better get your butcher to do so at point of purchase) and then using a small paring knife, slash the chicken to the bone so the brine marinade will go deep.
When the brine has fully cooled, place in chicken pieces and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight.
After the first brine, when the chicken is ready throw away the brining liquid and place the pieces into your soy buttermilk (see ingredients for method to make buttermilk), let it sit it the liquid for at least an hour over longer if you want to tenderise the chicken further. (Jamie’s recipe recommends 8 hours, I only soaked mine for about an hour).
Make the gluten free batter and heat your coconut oil for shallow frying
Combine all the ingredients for the gluten free coating in a bag and mix well.
In another larger pan, coat the now soaked with soy buttermilk chicken pieces as evenly as you can using the mix you just made.
In a cast iron pot, heat your 2 cups of coconut oil till it reaches about 160C internally.
Shallow fry your chicken pieces
When your oil is ready, it should be hot but not so hot that it smokes if that happens turn off the flame for 5 mins before placing the chicken pieces in, you can cook 4 to 5 pieces at a time.
Cook the chicken in the hot oil for 2.5 mins each side, and remove and place on a wire rack.
After cooking the chicken in batches each time, you have to turn up the heat again before cooking the next batch. This is because the oil cools down everytime a new batch of chicken is thrown in.
Parcooking the chicken this way before it goes into the oven, makes the external skin very crispy and quickens the cooking time in the oven.
Heat your oven to 190C
Once all your chicken pieces have been fried in the coconut oil, place them all on the wire rack.
The oven should be heated to 190C, and the chicken cooking time varies.
Kampong chicken is leaner so 10 to 15 mins additional oven time is sufficient.
For fatter more fleshy chickens like Sakura, cook for another 20 to 30 mins in the oven.
Make your sides whilst the chicken cooks
Slice all your sweet potatoes with your mandoline, coat with a drizzle of oil and either use an air fryer to cook them at 190C for 10 mins.
Alternatively, you could also place them on below the wire rack and cook them together with your chicken in the oven.
Spoon out your yogurt, prep your spring onions as the garnish on the yogurt and plate up your cooked chicken with your thin slice sweet potato chips!
Add some sweet chilli sauce or tabasco for extra kick to your yogurt!
To make sure the chicken is fully cooked, test with a satay stick, the juices from the chicken should be clear.
For a different flavour to the brine, try using coriander leaves, spring onions, coriander seeds or cardamon pods even!