Fried chicken in a spicy, crunchy coating makes a delicious treat every once in a while, also a perfectly comforting side with an added punch.
- 2 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 L water
- 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces on the bone
- 200 ml buttermilk, well shaken
- 150 ml hot sauce, plus extra to serve
- 100 g coarse polenta (eg Ceres brand; available at organic shops or specialist food stores)
- 2/3 cup self-raising flour (100g)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
- pinch cayenne
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- vegetable oil or lard, for shallow-frying
- thinly sliced spring onion, to serve
- tangy coleslaw, to serve
- Stir salt and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until salt dissolves, set aside to cool, then refrigerate until chilled. Add chicken, ensuring pieces are completely submerged, and refrigerate to brine for at least 2 hours.
- Stir together buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl. Remove chicken from brine, drain well, add to bowl and mix to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Combine polenta, flour, spices and dried thyme in a large plastic snap-lock bag and season to taste with salt. Drain chicken from buttermilk, shake off excess and, working with a couple of pieces at a time, add to bag, seal and shake to coat well.
- Heat 3cm oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat until just shimmering, then shallow-fry chicken, turning occasionally, until golden brown (10-12 minutes). Drain on paper towels, season to taste, scatter with spring onion and sprinkle with extra paprika. Serve hot with hot sauce and coleslaw.