Double-dipped fried chicken

  • For the arborio rice coating
  • 225g arborio rice
  • 140g semolina (durum wheat) flour
  • 420g plain flour
  • 2 tbsps table salt (see Chef's Note)
  • 20 turns or 2-3 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • For the chicken
  • 2 free-range chickens, cut into serving pieces
  • 250ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsps fresh rosemary, strigged
  • 750ml buttermilk (full fat, if possible), plus more as needed
  • Groundnut oil, for frying
1) First make the arborio rice coating. Put the rice into a blender, grind until very fine and pour into a large bowl. Add the semolina or durum wheat flour, plain flour, salt and pepper and toss until well blended. Transfer to a sealed container and place in the freezer, to maintain maximum freshness, until required.

2) Next prepare the chicken. Wash the chickens and place in a large bowl. (Make sure to wash your hands after you handle raw poultry.) Mix the balsamic vinegar and the rosemary and pour over the chickens. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3) The next day, remove the chicken from the bowl and discard the balsamic vinegar mix. In a clean bowl, coat the chicken with the buttermilk, remove the chicken pieces and reserve the buttermilk.

4) Pour the arborio rice coating into a large plastic bag or container, add the chicken in batches and shake to coat. Return the chicken to the buttermilk, adding more buttermilk if necessary, and coat all the pieces. Dip the chicken pieces in the rice mixture again to dredge them, then carefully dip them in the buttermilk again and then dip again in the rice mixture. Pat well to remove excess flour. Refrigerate the coated chicken for at least 1 hour to allow coating to adhere to flesh of the chicken.

5) Heat about 5cm of groundnut oil to 170C, over medium-high heat, in a heavy skillet or frying pan. Slide some of the chicken pieces skin side down into the hot oil; do not overcrowd. Fry in batches and cook, for about 10-15 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. Drain thoroughly on a wire rack or crumpled paper towels and serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

Chef's Note: This is one place I do use table salt, rather than rock salt.

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