"The perfect, top-tier level fried chicken should have a deeply golden, extra-crispy exterior and melt-in-the-mouth succulent interior. Its batter should be lightly spiced and well seasoned. Renowned food writer and London-based caterer Milli Taylor makes the most astonishing fried chicken, marinated in a buttermilk soak, then dry-coated in a mix of rice flour, baking powder and cornflour for a beautiful crunch. She has very kindly gifted this recipe to this book. The spices in her original recipe have been switched out to shichimi togarashi in order to introduce some heat, but you could use za’atar if you fancy mixing things up."
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 3 heaped teaspoons fine sea salt
- 500ml buttermilk
- 200g rice flour
- 100g cornflour
- 31/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic granules
- 2 tablespoons shichimi togarashi, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the mayonnaise
- 130g mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons hot chilli sauce
- grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
- Cut each chicken thigh into quarters, then tip into a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt, then pour over the buttermilk and mix well. Cover and leave to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, combine the rice flour, cornflour, baking powder, garlic granules, shichimi togarashi, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a medium bowl. Drop the brined chicken pieces into the mixture, 4 at a time, and toss lightly to coat well. Gently shake off any excess, then arrange on a large baking sheet.
- Heat the oil for deep-frying in a large, deep saucepan (ensuring it is no more than two-thirds full) to 170ÅãC (325ÅãF), or until a cube of bread dropped in browns in 30 seconds. Deep-fry the chicken in small batches for 3–4 minutes at a time until golden and cooked through. Working in batches will help keep the oil at the right temperature and ensure you don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Using tongs, remove the fried chicken pieces to a clean dish towel to drain any excess oil, then transfer to a wire rack to ensure they stay crisp. Alternatively, arrange the fried chicken on a clean baking sheet and keep warm and crisp in a low oven.
- For the mayonnaise, mix together the mayonnaise, hot sauce and lime zest and juice in a small bowl. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter, sprinkle with extra shichimi togarashi, and serve with the mayonnaise. Enjoy any leftovers in a brioche bun with kimchi, slaw or shredded lettuce.