Fried chicken

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.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • 4 hrs marinating
  • Serves 4
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  • 2 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces on the bone
  • 200 millilitre buttermilk, well shaken
  • 150 millilitre hot sauce, plus extra to serve
  • 100 gram coarse polenta (eg Ceres brand; available at organic shops or specialist food stores)
  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour (100g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • vegetable oil or lard, for shallow-frying
  • thinly sliced spring onion, to serve
  • tangy coleslaw, to serve


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.
  • 4
    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.

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