Why brine, we hear you ask? To add flavour and succulence, we say. Brining chicken in buttermilk before coating it in crispy cornflakes and frying will keep the meat moist and add flavour. The same applies to beer and ribs, and vegetables and vinegar.
CRISPY BUTTERMILK-BRINED FRIED CHICKEN
Preparation: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour’s resting time.
Cooking: 40 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Whisk 2 cups buttermilk, 5 sprigs of thyme with the leaves picked and 2 t freshly ground black pepper together. Place the free-range chicken braai pack 2 kg pieces in the buttermilk, cover and set aside for 1 hour.
- In a separate bowl, combine 60 g flour, 2 cups of crushed cornflakes, 2 t paprika, 2 t cayenne pepper and 2 t salt. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture and coat in the cornflake mixture.
- Heat some sunflower oil in a deep pan over a medium to high heat until very hot. Brown the chicken in batches in the oil.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the oil and place on a baking tray. Finish in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Season with salt.
You can flavour the brine with almost anything. try adding 4 t curry powder, 2 t cumin and 2 t turmeric, or 2 t adobo sauce for a spicy alternative.