I had a housemate a few years ago who was strongly anti-KFC. Not enough to ask me not to eat it too, but enough that I felt bad doing so in the house. Let's face it, battery chicken isn't a nice thing, and it isn't a particularly flavoursome thing either. So I wanted to make myself some KFC, but to bake it - since my deep frying skills aren't all that much chop, and I also have a problem with having that much oil just sitting around the kitchen.
After doing a bit of research on the interweb, this is what I came up with!Oven Baked Buttermilk Chicken
(adapted from Cooks.com)
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 2 Massel easy onion tablets
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Approx 1.2kg chicken pieces (I used 6 large chicken thigh fillets and 4 skin-on drumsticks)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Salt, pepper to taste
- Spices - I tried Cajun seasoning
Take the chicken pieces, clean and trim as desired. Take a sealable container (I use old icecream containers for this purpose) and fill with 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Season with salt and ground pepper. Carefully place the chicken pieces one at a time in the buttermilk, making sure each side is coated before adding the next piece. Once all the chicken is in the buttermilk, close the container and refridgerate, for at least 2 hours.
Next, preheat the oven to 220 C. My oven is overly hot, and since I don't have an oven thermometer I'm always guessing slightly.
Next, sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Carefully crumble the stock cube and the onion tablets over the top, and once done, stir through. Season with plenty of ground pepper, and extra salt if you like. Add spices to taste.
In a separate bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk with two eggs til mixed in. Take the chicken from the fridge and after draining, dip each piece in the buttermilk-egg mixture, then coat well with the flour mixture. Place each piece in a large shallow baking pan, on a rack, trying to avoid letting the pieces of chicken touch each other. Melt the butter, and drizzle this over the chicken pieces. Bake for 45 minutes, checking to avoid burning - if the chicken becomes overly brown, cover the pan with tinfoil.
So how did it turn out? I covered the chicken with tinfoil for the first 35 mins, since things tend to burn easily in my oven, and as a result the coating probably wasn't as deep a golden brown as I might have liked. The chicken was extremely tender and moist, which was great, and the flavour of the "batter" was just as I remembered a certain fried takeaway chicken to be. I think on future attempts I might experiment a little with the herbs used - sage would probably go well, and a greater quantity of cajun seasoning wouldn't have gone astray.