I know I always go on about how simple recipes are and recently my cousin pulled me up on this and pointed out that not everyone is as comfortable in the kitchen as I am, which of course is a fair enough statement. But I would like to point out that whilst something may be easy, it may require some time and effort. The best things in life require time and effort, surely? I love KFC, but I don't eat it. Its bad for you, which is a no brainer but that doesn't mean I don't get the cravings for it. So here is my SIMPLE (sorry) recipe for you to get stuck in to and of course, the kids will LOVE you;
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers
4 chicken breasts (not the enormous 'Franken-chicken' ones)
1 x 268 tub of St Ivel Buttermilk (cultured, which is low fat)
400g of plain flour
Maldon sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Tabasco/hot pepper sauce
500ml of vegetable oil
So first things first, cut your chicken into thick thumb-width fingers (length should be same as your longest finger) and put them all in a bowl. Then begin your marinade, for which you will need to exaggerate the quantities as the excess mix will be drained. Begin by pouring your buttermilk over the chicken strips, then shake about 12 drops of pepper sauce into the bowl (you will barely taste this in the end, so if you like it HOT, double it!). Add 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, 3 teaspoons of dried sage (crushed with your fingers), 3 teaspoons of garlic granules and 3 heaped teaspoons of Maldon sea salt, crushed and a generous amount of black pepper. Coat the strips well with the marinade, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 4-6 hours.
Once the chicken is ready to be removed from the fridge, take a large deep cooking pot and pour in all your oil and heat on a medium high heat. Then you need to make your flour mix ready for dusting the chicken in. In a wide flat bottom dish empty all your flour, then add 4 heaped teaspoons of cayenne pepper, 3 heaped teaspoons of garlic granules, 2 teaspoons of crushed dried sage and 5 teaspoons of crushed Maldon sea salt and generous black pepper. Then mix the ingredients well so that they are evenly distributed into the flour mix.
Take a strip of your chicken, drain off the excess buttermilk marinade and roll the strip thoroughly in the flour mixture until you no longer feel the moisture of the buttermilk. Repeat this will all your strips and place them on a plate, ready to be fried. At this point I would advise those of you using Electric cookers (like myself) to turn the heat up to about 8 (of 9) and gas users, keep on the same medium flame because your oil will smoke otherwise.
Test the oil with a little pinch of the batter; if it sizzles, you are ready to fry. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, begin to drop about 6-8 pieces of the chicken slowly into the pan. They should all be bubbling and sizzling at this stage and beware they don't burn so keep an eye on them. Just as the edges start to brown and crisp up, flip them carefully over to brown on both side. Repeat this will all the strips. Once done, drain your chicken strips on a plate lined with kitchen towel and serve with your favourite dips... I like BBQ sauce and honey mustard sauces. So much better than KFC and if you have kids, get them to help by dusting the chicken in flour, they will love it and you don't have to do it! Child labour as its permissable best!