Winner, Winner.

Fiery friends, it’s time for another gorgeous main course.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a big fan of fried chicken. I’ve also always been a fan of Tex-Mex food, pickled things and fire, so I suppose, if we cut to the chase, this recipe makes a ton of sense for me. It’s no secret that my big passion in food is American cuisine, especially the cooking of the deep south. I’ve made it my business, over the years, to constantly readdress my fried chicken recipe and make sure that I’m happy with it and that it’s where it needs to be.

I was under the illusion that I had fried chicken cornered exactly where I needed it, when the genius Sean Brock ruined that for me, by publishing his book ‘Heritage’ in 2014. Sean is the owner and Chef at Husk and McCrady’s, two wonderful restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina, which celebrate the cooking of the deep south, with a level of enthusiasm that is infectious.

Sean brines his chicken overnight in a salt and sugar solution, with various aromatics. The tenderising effect this seems to have on the meat, as well as the flavour it imparts, it astounding. Of course I wasn’t going to just copy one of my food heroes, so you see a slightly different approach here, marinating the chicken in milk, with aromatics.

Let’s cook!

Stu’s Fried Chicken Tacos (serves 2-4)

For the chicken:

  • Milk to cover (I needed around a litre)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon WCF Chipotle Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 500g boneless chicken thigh, cut into generous chunks

Simply combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl, cover with cling film and marinade in the fridge overnight.

For the pickles:

  • 2 carrots, julienned (that’s super thing strips)
  • 1/4 of a small white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/4 of a small red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 150ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon WCF Golden Bonnet
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

Again, a simple one – place the vegetables in a large bowl and all of the other ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables and cling film them. Let them stew at room temperature for an hour, then let them chill in the fridge overnight.

slawpickling-liquor

For the chicken coating:

  • 250g plain flour
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • teaspoon ground, dried thyme leaves
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons WCF Chipotle Salt, ground fine in a pestle and mortar

This will be the first stage of your cooking method – pre-heat your deep fryer to 170C and get ready to make some chicken! Remove the chicken from it’s marinade (reserving the marinade and pat it dry. Have your coating in a large bowl and add in all the chicken on top of it. Rumble the chicken in the coating till fully covered, then transfer it back out into the milk. Now back again into the coating for a second coat and then dust off the excess and onto a plate ready to deep fry.

Chicken-in-flour

A couple of extra things to have on hand:

  • 8 5″ plain flour tortillas (I like to toast mine, just before serving, in a dry pan)
  • a bottle of WCF Chipotle sauce
  • a pot of sour cream
  • optional coriander (but I hate the stuff!)

Right then, now that all the explaining is out of the way, lets get to cooking the chicken and assembling our tacos.

Firstly you’ll want to get all that wonderful chicken deep fried. It usually takes 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pieces. You’ll want to drain them on kitchen towel and give them a little sea salt over the top.

plate-of-chix

Once all the chicken is cooked, toast the tortillas and then fill them to your heart’s content, with pickles, sour cream, chipotle sauce and, of course, our lovely fried chicken.

I’ve called on this one before, but this is another meal that deserves an ice cold bottle of Hitachino Nest with it. Those citrus and coriander seed (which I do like!) tones will be amazing with our salty chicken dinner.

taco-beauty

Enjoy!

Stu

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