#Buttermilk Brined and Fried Chicken #southernstyle #juicy

Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken

After the inspiration of Charles Raymond’s Buttermilk Cereal Chicken I investigated some recipe options and made up my own version, which turned out well and proved to be a hit at our NYE lunch picnic in Sydney’s beautiful Centennial Park.

Centennial Park, Sydney

Served with Japanese Coleslaw from our local Charcoal Charlie’s chicken shop and my newly created Tequila Black Bean Salsa Saladand crusty soft rolls from Taste Providore in Woollahra, who sell some of the best bread in the Eastern Suburbs. A fabulous combination! Way better than KFC if I say so myself, but staying on the treats list rather than becoming a staple.

The brining of the chicken in the buttermilk tenderises and marinates the chicken and then acts as a brilliant “glue” for the spice crust.

Adding Panko breadcrumbs into the flour mixture makes the crust more crispy and “craggy” making for a delicious outer layer.

By putting the fried chicken in the oven, dried the crust and allows excess oil to leech off. Or so I found. Obviously you need to play around to ensure the first batch and last batch ge5 around the same time in the oven.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Black Bean Salsa Salad

Prep time including “brining”: 6-8 hours. Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Buttermilk “Brine”
  • 300ml carton of buttermilk
  • 14 “mini” chicken drumsticks (the drumettes of chicken wings” or small chicken thigh cutlets, skin on
  • 1 teaspoon good quality paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chicken spice (I use Robertson’s South African spice mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Spice Crust:

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • Wok or deep frying pan

1. Place chicken in large bowl, then add all the spices and mix well. Then cover with buttermilk and mix well again. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 6 hours.

After 6 hours of brining in buttermilk and spices

2. Put Spice Crust ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees Celsius.

3. Heat oil until shimmering. I used a wok as it creates a well for semi-deep frying without having to use as much oil.

4. Drop a few dollops of the buttermilk brining mixture into the flour mixture. This will create some clumps of flour and bread crumbs to create more “cragginess” on the chicken coating.

5. Add 3-4 chicken drumsticks to the spice crust mixture and coat thickly. This will be easy as the buttermilk coating on the chicken acts like a glue for the flour breadcrumb crust mixture

6. Put battered chicken into oil and fry on each side side for 3-4 minutes, lowering heat a little to enable chicken to cook through and the crust to go golden brown rather than burn.

7. Place first batch of fried chicken on baking paper lined oven tray and put into oven whilst you batter and fry the rest. Repeat steps 5-7 for rest of the chicken., frying the last batch slightly longer as the6 won’t have as much time in the oven.

8. Remove chicken from oven 3-4 minutes after the last batch is fried. You can remove first tow batches earlier if you like so they don’t get overcooked

9. Serve immediately with salads or wrap in foil to transport to picnic after allowing to cool slightly so crust doesn’t become soggy.

#Buttermilk Cereal #Chicken

Thinking of making something like this with black eye bean salad for our New Year’s Eve picnic. Black eye beans are a traditional Southern American NYE tradition and are meant o bring you luck, so i figured what’s the harm in jumping on the bandwagon? And then I saw the photo of buttermilk chicken which made my mouth water!,

The combination of the buttermilk chicken and black eye bean salad is very traditional, no doubt for good reason!

Now I just need to find a good recipe!! Thanks Charles Raymond for the inspiration!

Buttermilk Cereal Chicken

Buttermilk Cereal Chicken

#merry #moroccan #christmas

Our family is away at a holiday house where most of us have gathered together for a week of festivities and relaxation together.

The week we have been balancing spoiling ourselves with eating well.

Tonight’s menu focussed on Moroccan themes once again using some tried and tested recipes and adding some new!

Also with the limitations of a holiday home pantry, some ingredients are substituted but the overall outcome was just as good. That’s how family cooking should be.

Menu:

Cauliflower and orange salad

Tonight was a great example of how ingredients can be mixed and matched , depending on what you have on hand catering to to different tastes e.g no coriander, and still having lovely meal.

Chicken B’stilla
Couscous with zuchinni and carrot

Grilled #Chicken or Salmon with Spicy #Romesco Sauce

Spiced up this classic Catalan sauce and then smeared it over chicken, salmon fillets before grilling and even used as a base for a fish curry over the next few days.

Sweet, smoky, nutty and this version has a nice spicy kick with the inclusion of chilli flakes.

It’s great to have in the fridge to brighten things up.

It’s delicious as a dip on it’s own as well. The recipe makes a big bowl of it so use it as you please!

Sauce: Prep time 40 minutes

Ingredients:

· 2 large red capsicums

·       1 tomato

·       6 cloves of garlic with skin on

·       1 slice of white bread

·       ½ cup of nuts – I used walnuts but traditional is almonds

·       1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red/white wine) – I used apple cider vinegar

·       1 tablespoon smoked paprika

·       2 teaspoons chilli flakes

·       1 tsp salt

· 3 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius

Wrap tomato and garlic in foil

Place red capsicums whole in oven, alongside foil parcel

Grill turning red capsicums until blackened and char grilled on all sides

Remove capsicums and foil parcel from oven

Put bread and nuts in hot oven and grill until nuts are browned and bread is toasted on both sides – take care not to burn nuts (lower oven heat to 170 degrees or so) my walnuts got a bit dark but it still tasted good!

Place blackened capsicums in a plastic bag and seal – leave to steam and cool, remove skin and seeds – put in blender

Remove skin from tomato and peel garlic and put in blender with rest of ingredients – break toasted bread into large “crumbs”

Whizz until smooth thick paste forms, place in bowl.

Chicken Thigh Cutlets: Marinate overnight if you like, cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken thigh cutlets – skin on and bone in

1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh Thyme

Black peppper

Method:

· Rub Chicken thigh cutlets with 2-3 tablespoons of romesco sauce – leave to marinate for a while, even overnight if you can but it’s not mandatory.

· Sprinkle with black pepper, thyme and olive oil – might need a bit more salt

·       Place in hot oven 175 degrees Celsius

· Roast until skin crisps up and chicken is cooked through – about 30 minutes, then turn up to 250 degrees for 5 -10 minutes to crisp up skin

· Serve with salad, rice or roast vegetables with romesco sauce on side.

Salmon Fillets

Smear Salomon fillets with romesco sauce, grill in hot oven 180 degrees for 15 minutes or so, turn skin side up, turn up oven to 250 degrees and grill until skin crisps up for about 5 minutes, I served this with couscous and a vegetable tagine with preserved lemons.

#Parchment #Roasted #Chicken

Roasted a whole organic chicken in a “parchment“ (baking paper) parcel after tucking slithers of garlic and butter under the skin and filling the cavity with Fresh Thyme and Rosemary.

Liberally rubbed with salt and pepper.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Made a parchment “packet” by using baking paper double the length of the roasting pan, and placing a piece to overhang the pan horizontally. Then place chicken on the paper and wrap up the parcel, allowing some room above the chicken like a small tent. Make sure the grill is not on and the paper doesn’t touch the top of your oven when you put it in.

Roasted for 1.5 hours and checked that it was 83 degrees Celsius with meat thermometer. (If you like your skin super crispy, you can return chicken to oven, removing pan juices first, and cutting baking paper back so it won’t burn. Turn on top grill and grill until skin is crisped to your liking but make sure you don’t forget it in there!)

Our roast was super juicy. The juices left in the parchment made the perfect base for a quick gravy thickened in a pan with some flour mixed with water, cooked out in a pan. Serve with roast vegetables and salad. Simple and delicious.

Butter Chicken & Pea Pies #tastypies

This recipe combines 3 delicious things, my version of lite butter chicken curry, peas and puff pastry. My theory goes that skipping cream in the chicken filling recipe makes up for the butter in the puff pastry!

Lovely with just salad on the side and also great picnic food.

Prep time: 40 minutes Cooling: 20 minutes Baking: 20 minutes

Ingredients for 4 pies

  • 400g chicken thigh fillets cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 piece of cinammon bark or quill
  • 1 teaspooon nigella seeds
  • Handful of curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • I cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 3 sheets store-bought puff pastry
  • 1 egg beaten for brushing pastry

Method:

A. Begin by turning on oven to preheat to 220 degrees Celsius and take out 3 sheets of puff pastry to allow to thaw.

B Make filling and pies

1. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy based pot over medium heat.

2. Add cummin, seeds, cinnamon stick and curry leaves if using and stir until fragrant. Ensure cummin seeds don’t burn.

3. Add onions and cook gently until transparent and soft. Add ginger and garlic paste and mix through the onions.

4. Add cummin powder, turmeric and chilli powder and stir though onion mixture until just heated through. Take care not to burn the spices.

5. Add chicken, salt, nigella seeds. Stir fry until chicken is sealed, then add water and simmer for 15 minutes.

Nigella seeds add an earthy sweetness.

6. While chicken is cooking line pie tins with baking paper, then cut out circles of puff pastry to fit into bottom of pie tins, prick bottom of pastry with a fork. Line with another layer of baking paper, add pie weights or dried beans and blind bake in oven for 10 minutes until pastry is cooked and just turning golden. remove from oven and set aside.

Blind bake bottom layer of puff pastry to form cases for pies.

6. Add yoghurt and butter to the chicken curry mixture and bring back to a simmer, then add peas and cook for further 5 minutes until peas are just tender. The chicken should be cooked by now and the sauce reduced to create a moist filling without too much extra sauce left.

7. Sprinkle generously with chopped coriander and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.

8. When chicken mixture has cooled to lukewarm, remove pie weights/beans and top layer of baking paper from pastry cases but leave them in the pie tins.

9. Heap chicken mixture into pie cases to form small mounds, don’t forget to remove the cinammon stick.

10. Cover tops of pies with a larger circle of puff pastry crimping edge of uncooked pastry onto the pastry cases, prick top or make a small cut in top to allow steam to escape, use the back of a fork to Mark the edges, then brush with egg yolk and place in oven for 10-15 minutes or until tops are golden and puffed. Don’t worry if they are a bit untidy, they look nice and rustic when done.

11. Allow to cool/rest for 5 minutes or so and serve with salad. If packing for a picnic best to allow to cool for at least half an hour before packing.