Honey. Butter. Fried. Chicken. It's the stuff that dreams are made of. First the chicken is soaked in buttermilk to tenderise and it is cooked in the buttermilk marinade before being rolled in egg and a spiced flour dip. Then it gets one flourish-a brush of delicious honey butter sauce! Perfect for a Father's Day lunch!
One of the best things about this fried chicken is that most of it can be done beforehand and you don't have to do very much before serving it. I made this for friends and the last thing I want to do is to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is talking in another room. But I also know that fried chicken is at its best when it is freshly fried so that it is crunchy so you don't want to make it ahead of time.
One of the keys to this honey butter fried chicken is to keep the breading as crunchy as possible especially that it gets a sauce. One of the best ways is to use a flour mixture using 00 flour and tapioca flour which can be easily found at Asian grocery stores. The rest is really simple and can be done earlier in the day so that you do a quick 3 minute fry just before you serve it.
The chicken doesn't end up absorbing a lot of oil as it is also simmered in the buttermilk mixture which also helps to tenderise the chicken (a Nigella Lawson idea) before being drained and then repeatedly dipped in egg and flour to increase the breading and therefore crunch.
Although I am suggesting this for Father's Day I first made this a few weeks ago and served it at a dinner party with Monica and Marco. It wasn't so much a dinner party as a fried chicken party. I wanted to recreate the honey butter chicken I had eaten in Chicago which was so deliciously good that I think I ate most of it after a multi course Michelin starred dinner. If anyone would understand my love of fried chicken it would be my food twin Monica.
I love learning new things about friends. Just when you think you know someone, they surprise you. The other day I mentioned to her that I had a serious flossing thing. I floss twice a day and I can tell when people have poor flossing habits. I refuse to kiss Mr NQN unless he has flossed (yes I am that serious!). I feel like fresh breath is a considerate gift that you bestow tos people in close proximity (and yes I am crazy).
That night over fried chicken Monica was talking and she casually mentioned she once had a cat called Kitty Loggins (Kenny Loggins). As a kid of the 80s I stopped short and said, "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?". I could not stop laughing that she and I shared a love of the movie Top Gun and that spiralled onto a conversation about the soothing effects of The Office reruns. It's like you discover another reason why we were meant to be friends. What I also loved was Monica's commitment to the theme where she wore a chicken jumper!
So tell me something new about yourself Dear Reader! And how often do you floss? Do you have a food twin?
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus 2 hours or overnight marinating
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1.8kg chicken, cut into 10 pieces
- 500ml/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 3 tablespoons onion powder
- 3 tablespoons garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 eggs
- 2 litres/8 cups oil
For honey butter sauce
- 75g/2.7ozs. butter
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Step 1 - Mix the buttermilk, Old Bay, salt and pepper together. Marinate the chicken pieces overnight in the buttermilk mixture in a ziploc bag.
Step 2 - The next day place the chicken and buttermilk mixture in a large pot and bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Drain well (I know it will look a bit ghastly but trust me). Cool.
Step 3 - Make the honey butter. Melt the butter and honey together (and cayenne if using) until syrupy and melted.
Step 4 - In a large bowl whisk the two flours, onion powder, garlic powder, Old Bay, baking powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Break the eggs in another bowl.
Step 5 - Heat oil to 180C/350F. Dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and then the flour again. If you are prepping to do this ahead of time line a tray with parchment and dip the chicken as above and then keep the flour out and then dip it in just before cooking. Place each piece of chicken gently in the oil four pieces at a time to make sure that the temperature stays high. Cook for a few minutes until the batter is crunchy and cooked (the inside of the chicken is already cooked). Brush or dip in the honey butter and serve.