Who needs KFC when you can make a crispy ‘cheep cheep’ chicken at home?
Total abstinence is not only impossible, it’s downright silly. I’ve learnt that the more I try and abstain from certain foods, the more I crave them. If I really crave something, I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s good to give in a little, just to get it out of your system so you don’t obsess about it anymore.
I did that to help me stop cut down on smoking some years ago and whilst I still have the odd cheeky fag (or more at parties), I can now go for weeks on end without smoking. One day I might just be able to kick the habit entirely.
I’m like that with fast food, and there is one fast food that I’ve always loved and always will love. It’s also the one fast food that I actually rarely eat purely because I know how much I love it and how addicted I am to it, and that’s Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, Colonel Sanders has a lot to answer for.
But over the years, I’ve limited myself to no more than 1-2 visits a year, not bad for someone who is hopelessly addicted to fried food.
We could have gone to KFC but as we were still clearing out our fridge and freezer last weekend, we ended up defrosting the last of our chicken pieces and made what I’m calling our crispy ‘cheep cheep’ chicken. Ok, it’s definitely not healthy but at least it’s not fried. It doesn’t taste like KFC either but it does taste good, pretty damned good; in fact, really, really good.
We ate it on New Year’s Day as a kind of final blow-out, and had it with mashed potatoes and a green papaya and carrot salad (as an alternative to coleslaw). This recipe creates a really crispy and savoury crust on the chicken but be careful when you bite into them because inside the crust is beautifully steamed and juicy chicken meat.
The leftover wing was what I had for dinner last night with my stir fried brussels sprouts.
More importantly, I’ve gotten my fried chicken craving out of the way now so I know I’ll be able to walk past a KFC (and there’s one directly opposite my tube station when I get to work) without blinking an eyelid.
If you fancy making this crispy chicken yourself, the recipe’s here, along with a new dressing we made for our green papaya and carrot salad.
Lots of love
Crispy cheep cheep chicken
4 large chicken wings, 2 chicken drumsticks, 1 breast (cut into 8 bits)
4 (heaped) tablespoons of plain flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon fresh cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
50 grams freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs beaten
50 grams of unsalted butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees (Celsius) and line a baking tray with silver foil.
In a fry pan, toast your cumin, fennel and coriander seeds until fragrant then use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind the seeds to powder.
In a large mixing bowl, mix your spices with all the other ingredients apart from the eggs and chicken pieces.
Make sure your chicken pieces are thoroughly dry and then dip them first into your beaten egg and then coat it in your cheesy flour mix. Make sure each piece of chicken is thoroughly coated and then place them on your baking tray.
When you’ve prepared your chicken pieces, baste them with your melted butter and then pop them into the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes. Your chicken is cooked if you skewer your pieces and it comes out clean.
Green papaya salad dressing
Juice of ½ to 1 freshly squeezed lemon (roughly 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
Pinch of dried Thai basil leaves (or fresh if you have it)
1 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of chilli oil
1 teaspoon of groundnut oil
In a bowl, whisk all of these ingredients together and drizzle over the salad of your choice.