I should be working (in fact, there are a lot of things I should be doing) but what I want to do is tell you about is what I had for dinner last night. This recipe comes by the way of my foodie friend Mo who gave me her version of Homemade KFC some time ago and it changed a lot of
lives dinner times in my world ever since.
We all have our foibles in life, bad habits, vices – call them what you will. I don’t smoke, I drink in moderation, I attempt to exercise enough to prevent food blogging turning me diabetic and hypertensive but Hungry Hubby and I do like the occasional KFC. I know – it’s shameful. It’s filthy. But don’t pretend you don’t have your own dirty little delicious secrets…
Before I met hubby, I really wasn’t a hugely adventurous eater, but I hasten to add that I do not think Kentucky Fried Chicken is haute cuisine but you get my meaning. I had a sheltered palate. I had never been to KFC, was a tad suspicious even but Hungry Hubby told me, “if you like chicken, you have to try The Colonel”. And I did like chicken. As it was early days for us, I thought I’d try and impress him with my willingness to try new things so on we went. A very guilty pleasure was born!
Oh my that fillet burger was good! It may be beyond bad for you but the allure of fried chicken is a siren call to many a carnivore out there. To minimise the guilt, I give to you the recipe for the secret blend of herbs and spices plus methods to cook bone in and boneless cuts of chicken which you cook in the oven. Ergo, that makes it healthy fellow foodies… ;)
I recommend poaching bone-in chicken pieces in milk first as it makes them extra tender and gives you a chance to get an extra layer of seasoning into them. I promise you the extra work and mess it creates is worth it. One of my tweaks to the recipe is to add a little cornmeal/polenta for extra crunch to the blend of herbs and spices. I use about half as much polenta as I use the finished spice blend. For 6-8 chicken portions, I would use about ½ cup of the spice blend to half as much polenta
Double dipping to get an extra crisp coating is highly recommended. You may find you need slightly more or less than the amounts stated but this isn’t an exact science. It will depend on both your preferences of the amount of coating and also how big the pieces or chicken breasts you use are to some extent. See how crisp it comes out despite using next to nothing extra oil? You have to give this a try and wow your friends and family alike! Honestly, it is remarkable how like the real deal this is but oh so much better to taste (and better for you) for not being saturated in fat. Eating is believing!
I’ve won big brownie points for making Hungry Hubby his own Bargain Bucket to nibble on as he watches football, plays computer games with his friends and also for making Homemade Zinger Burgers on many an occasion since discovering this recipe. For me, my favourite is definitely the burger but I leave it up to you to decide which you prefer. Apologies for any going up in trouser size after reading this blog post although, they will be considerably smaller for making KFC at home rather than visiting the Colonel himself…
So here it comes, the not-so-secret blend of herbs and spices. You are so welcome!
The secret blend of herbs and spices is not so secret anymore!
- 2 cups plain flour (approx 250g)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp celery salt
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 2 tbsp paprika (not smoked as this is one occasion you don't want that smokiness as it will overpower the rest of the spices)
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp chili powder (optional but recommended for that "Zinger" vibe)
Whisk ingredients together then store in an airtight jar until needed It should last as long as the minimum use by date on your ingredients. That's all there is to it!
Make Your Own Bargain Bucket!
- Bone-in, skin on chicken pieces (or boneless chicken breasts if making burgers)
- Plain flour (to toss the chicken in)
- The Secret Blend of Herbs & Spices above
- 1-2 beaten eggs
- Fine cornmeal (optional)
- Milk, a bay leaf plus some salt and pepper
- Oil spray or a small amount of butter to dot the pieces with
Put your portions of chicken in a large saucepan with the bay leaf and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper then cover with milk.
Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until just cooked through.
Drain well in a colander and then dry off with paper towels.
In one shallow bowl place some plain flour to toss the chicken pieces in as their first coating. I use around 100g flour for 6-8 pieces of chicken but just go by eye.
In a second shallow dish, beat 1-2 eggs then toss your flour coated chicken in this.
In a third bowl, place about 100g (half a cup-ish) of the blend of flour, herbs and spices and if you fancy an extra crunchy coating, add a few tablespoons of fine cornmeal. I love to do it this way.
If you want an extra thick coating, at this stage dip back into the eggs then into the coating one last time.
Place on a greaseproof or foil lined baking tray and spray liberally with oil or dot with a small knob of butter per chicken portion. Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for 25-30 minutes by which time the chicken will be piping hot through to the bone and the coating will have crisped up nicely. Turn once half way through cooking spraying with more oil or butter if liked.
Make Your Own Zinger Burger!
- Skinless chicken breasts
- KFC seasoning
- Chilli powder
- Plain flour
- Fine polenta cornmeal
- A beaten egg
- Sliced cheese
- A cooked hash brown per burger
- Sliced tomatoes
- Tomato salsa
- BBQ sauce
- Round lettuce/butter lettuce leaves
- Soft burger buns
Mix about 1 tbsp seasoning per 100g plain flour to coat 4 chicken breasts. You may add up to 50g polenta if you want extra crunch. I also add an extra tsp of chilli powder to give them the "Zinger" vibe.
After coating with the flour mixture first, dip the chicken in the beaten egg then for a second time, in the seasoned flour.
Then either bake for 20-25 minutes at 180˚C or fry in a frying pan with a thin film of vegetable oil in for approximately 8-10 minutes turning once until cooked through and no pink remaining. I must admit to preferring to shallow fryl if making burgers as they have a lot less fat than the bone-in, skin on portions.
Serve burgers with a slice of cheese melted on top, salsa, mayonnaise and a hash brown (homemade if you have the time) á la the Colonel himself ;)
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