Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Paul Merrett's perfect fried chicken with potato wedges and coleslaw

Be a winner in the kitchen with these recipes from the Good Food Channel’s cooking contest

What you'll need

For the chicken

4 chicken thighs

4 chicken drumsticks

1 whole head of garlic, cut in half

Couple of sprigs of thyme

100g flour

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp celery salt

1 tsp English mustard powder

300ml milk

1 litre vegetable oil

For the coleslaw

Light green heart of savoy cabbage, finely shredded

1 large gherkin, sliced and shredded into matchsticks

2 carrots, sliced and shredded into matchsticks

1 red onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced

100g mayonnaise

For the potato wedges

4 baking potatoes, cut into equal size wedges

Light olive oil

2/3 tsp cracked pepper

1 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

Serves 4

Place the chicken thighs and drumsticks in a pot of boiling water with the garlic and thyme and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the stock and drain, then chill in the fridge overnight.

When the chicken is ready, mix the flour, cumin, cayenne pepper, celery salt, mustard powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Toss the chilled chicken in the seasoned flour (the skin can be removed if preferred).

Pour the milk into a shallow bowl, dip the chicken pieces into milk one by one and then dip them back into the seasoned flour. Set aside.

Then mix all the coleslaw ingredients together and season with black pepper.

To make the wedges, preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5/375°F and put a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

Put the potato wedges into a bowl and pour over some oil, then add all the seasonings and toss together.

Empty the wedges onto the heated tray, spread out evenly and bake for 25 minutes or longer, depending on their size. Remember to turn them half way through the cooking time. While the wedges are cooking, pour the vegetable oil into a deep fat fryer (or deep saucepan, but make sure it’s never more than half full) and heat to 170°C/325°F. Test the oil temperature by dropping a cube of white bread into the oil — it’s hot enough when the bread turns golden brown in one minute.

Fry the chicken in batches, carefully lowering them into the oil with a slotted spoon and remove when crispy, golden and cooked right through – about five minutes. Serve the chicken with a dollop of coleslaw and wedges.

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