Be it in the form of KFC or a cloned recipe, Fried Chicken has literally taken this world by storm. What can we say? It is finger lickin’ good and we all love to indulge in some from time to time. For most of us though, we’d prefer making it at home.
I’m in love with the extra-crispy recipe that KFC has and have tried hunting for a good clone for ages. Unfortunately, all the recipes that I have tried so far don’t quite come up to par with the original. After all the experimentation with what works and what doesn’t (corn-flakes and a wet-batter are a definite No-No), I’ve come up with this one recipe, and even though it’s not as good as the original, it is pretty a decent version that is loved by kids and adults alike. I know it’s cliché but I decided to call this Yousuf’s Fried Chicken (abbr. YFC).
So without further ado, let’s get into the technicalities of what goes into making succulent YFC:
- 2 chicken breasts (with skin) cut into 3 pieces each OR 6 drumsticks [TIP: You can choose any 6 medium-sized pieces for this recipe and remove the skin if you wish; the skin just gives support for the breading and gives the fried chicken a crispier cover]
- 3 cups water with 1½ tsp salt (a.k.a. Brine)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp MSG (a.k.a. Chinese Salt and Ajino Moto)
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (I have used Laban to achieve similar results)
- Oil or Ghee for deep frying [TIP: Ghee works better]
- Soak the chicken for about 8-10 hours in brine (ideally) and put it in the refrigerator. I have made the chicken after soaking it in brine for just half-an-hour and it gets good results too.
- In a bowl, add all-purpose flour, cornstarch, oregano, MSG, paprika, black and white pepper, and salt; mix in all the ingredients so that the ‘dry batter’ is nice and consistent.
- Take out the chicken from the brine and dry each piece using a towel.
- Dip a piece of chicken into the buttermilk (or Laban) ensuring all its sides are properly covered, take out the piece and let all the residue drip back into the bowl.
- Dip this piece immediately into the dry batter, making sure to coat all sides evenly; give the chicken a slight shake to remove the excess batter before setting it aside on a platter.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 till all the pieces have been coated.
- Let all the pieces air-dry for about 5-10 minutes so that the coating is hard and dry; this will ensure that the oil doesn’t splatter once you put the pieces in for frying.
- In a deep pan, add oil or ghee and heat it; the oil has to be just the right temperature and to ensure that, add a piece of bread into the oil and it should be brown in about 50 seconds. If you have a candy thermometer, the temperature has to be around 180° to 190° centigrade.
- Carefully start putting in the chicken pieces one at a time, skin side down (as it takes slightly longer to cook); make sure not to over-crowd the pan and leave some room for the pieces to breathe (or not – all pun intended).
- Flip the pieces half-way through the cooking process so that the other side gets some cruch and color too.
- Fry the chicken for about 7 to 10 minutes, till it has a crisp golden brown cover.
- Take all the pieces out on a paper towel to drain the excess grease.
- Serve immediately with a side of French fries, chili-garlic sauce and mayonnaise (that’s the way, ahan, ahan, I like it, ahan, ahan!!).
Please do try this recipe out and let me know how it was; I’d really appreciate your honest feedback. Also, I intend to keep trying to find ‘THE PERFECT FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE’ and once I do, I will definitely share it with you; till then, you’ll have to settle for this recipe.