I was going to open with the phrase I love fried chicken, but then I thought, whats the point? Surely everyone does right?
Fried chicken at home is one of those things - it seems daunting, and seems like you can only get good results with a deep fryer, but you can actually get great results shallow frying them in a frying pan and with the oven. This recipe does use a deep fryer, but can easily be done in a pan instead, as long as you check the internal temperature to make sure its cooked you can’t really go wrong!
The key here is to get the chicken relatively thin, and as much as possible, an even thickness throughout. We will all be familiar with the vaguely oval shape of a normal chicken breast, tapering at the end and quite thick at the middle - one easy way to sort this is to buy them pre-prepped - many supermarkets sell chicken breast steaks, which are pre-cut chicken breast slices (Sainsburys for example, calls them chicken sizzlers). If you only have regular chicken breasts, then just trim and flatten them as much as possible - you can put them in a ziploc bag and flatten them with a mallet/rolling pin a bit too.
With normal fried chicken pieces, the challenge is ensuring the centre is cooked through whilst the outer is crisp and not over-cooked. A thicker chicken breast will take longer to be safely cooked through, and to get the batter nice and crisp that needs to be cooked very hot - which is why we are trying to make sure we have a thin, evenly shaped piece of chicken for frying. With these chicken breast steaks we can just throw them in super hot oil, and they are thin enough to be cooked perfectly in the same amount of time as the batter needs.
If you get the chicken not too thick, I find that 4 minutes in the fryer at 190 degrees centigrade is enough to cook the chicken to 75 degrees centigrade, but make sure you spot check the chicken breast steaks before eating.
- 2 double fried chicken burgers
- 10 minutes (and ideally a few hours brining if not overnight)
- 4 - 10 minutes
- 4 flattened chicken breast steaks - around 1 cm thick
- 150ml buttermilk
- 5 teaspoons spice rub - you can absolutely make your own, but BBQ rubs are great for this. In this particular cook I used Dick's Smokehouse Original Rub.
- 100 grams flour
- 2 brioche buns
- 1 small gem lettuce
- 4 slices american/plastic style cheese
- 1 jar pickled gherkins
- mayo, burger sauce, ketchup etc
- A deep fat fryer with enough oil, or a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan to shallow fry
- Preheat the fryer to 190 degrees centigrade
- Mix 1 teaspoon of the dry-rub with all the buttermilk and submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk. Leave to brine for at least a few hours, ideally overnight
- Mix the remaining dry rub with the 100 grams of flour
- When you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the brine, trying to remove excess liquid, and dredge in the batter mix
- To get an extra crispy coating, you can _double dredge_ the chicken - that is, once you have battered it, return it briefly to the buttermilk, and again remove making sure not to take too much liquid and dredge in the batter a second ultimate
- Making sure not to crowd the fryer, gently lower in the chicken breast steaks (at least two at a time - as that makes one burger)
- Gently toast the inside of the brioche bun
- After 4 minutes, remove the chicken and check the internal temperature, it should be comfortably at about 75 degrees (but it will depend on how thick you cut the chicken)
- Once cooked, layer bun - mayo - lettuce - chicken - cheese - ketchup - chicken - cheese - gherkins burger sauce - bun (or however you prefer to construct your burger)
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