Do it yourself KFC

I like to think I’m something of a fried chicken expert, with a boyfriend who loves junk food as much as Andrew it would be impossible not to, so when I decided to make my own version (to save money and calories), whose would be better? Mine… or Jamie Oliver’s?

Holly’s lightly-fried jerk chicken

Tasked with feeding my picky-eater younger sister who was back from uni, I chose to make her favourite thing: fried chicken. This version is very simple to make and cheap too – perfect for poor students!

Feeds 3-4 people

Ingredients

Six skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (these will cook faster)

Plain flour

Vegetable oil

Jerk seasoning

Salt & pepper

Method

Take all the chicken out of the pack and pat down with kitchen roll to dry the skin, so that it crisps up nicely, set aside. In a separate bowl pour in a mug full of flour, 3 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of pepper, and 3 big spoons of your jerk seasoning. Mix together. Coat each thigh/drumstick in the flour mix, keep repeating ’til the chicken has absorbed as much flour as possible and is coated all over.

Get a deep frying pan and pour in about 1cm of oil in the bottom of your pan, turn the hob to the highest setting, let the oil get hot (but not boiling). Then VERY carefully add your chicken pieces skin-side down in the pan with your tongs, leaving a gap between each bit (if there isn’t enough room, then do two batches).

Let the chicken cook with the skin getting crispy for about five mins. Then turn the chicken over to cook the other side for 5 mins. Then use your tongs to pick up each bit of chicken and rotate it in the oil so that all the sides are evenly cooked.

Take the biggest piece of chicken out of the pan and cut it open in the middle and check that it’s cooked all the way through. If not, put in back in with the rest of the chicken for another 5 mins, then check again.

Take each bit of chicken out of the pan and put on a plate covered with kitchen roll to soak up excess oil. Let it rest for five mins.

Serve with mashed potato blended with Philadelphia herb and chive cheese and chicken gravy!

Andrew’s take on Jamie Oliver’s JFC with sweet potato wedges

This is a recipe from Jamie’s Money Saving Meals, and is technically baked chicken with just the texture of fried. We like to mix things up in our house, and never follow a recipe word for word, so Andrew has included a secret ingredient…

Should feed 4, but 2 when hungry!

Ingredients

Wedges

3 large sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp polenta

Chicken

1 whole chicken

Salt & pepper

1 heaped tsp paprika

Olive oil

4 garlic cloves

The secret ingredient: Quaker Oat So Simple Golden Syrup Porridge 36G sachet (to replace the stale bread for breadcrumbs, it provides a thicker texture and the sweetness of the syrup is gorgeous)

2 heaped tsp plain flour

4 tbsp water

Method

Cut the sweet potatoes (skins on) into wedges and toss in a tray with olive oil, salt & pepper and polenta, coat well and set aside. Andrew jointed the chicken using Jamie’s method. But Gordon Ramsay’s video tutorial is really easy to follow:

Take the skin off the chicken and cut the breasts into strips. Coat the chicken selection with polenta, a dash of olive oil, salt & pepper, and paprika and massage in. Pop in a pre-heated oven at 190c for 20mins with the wedges.

Make the ‘breadcrumb’ coating, blend the garlic, a glug of olive oil, and porridge oats (instead of breadcrumbs) in a food processor.

Mix the flour and water in a bowl to make a paste.

After 20mins take the chicken out of the oven and coat each piece in the flour paste, then in the crumb mix. Turn the wedges over, and put everything back in the oven for 40mins.

Serve with coleslaw and buttery corn on the cob – enjoy!

 

Lemon & Coconut Polenta Cupcakes

Now that I have my own house, my new favourite thing to do on a weekend is have the grandparents over for afternoon tea.

Today I made some delicious finger sandwiches (with homemade egg mayo), potato salad (well more like Lyonnaise potatoes, that’s the rule when there’s onions involved right?), and got some sausage rolls from our local bakery.

So after all this savoury goodness we needed something sharp and sweet to cut through the richness. And as I love using up cupboard essentials polenta cake seemed the perfect choice.

I took inspiration from Nigella’s legendary Lemon Polenta Cake, and substituted the ground almonds for desiccated coconut (another habit of mine, using and replacing any ingredients as long as it meets what I have in the cupboard!) and I was really pleased I did. Instead of the sometimes grainy texture of polenta cake mine was chewy and the coconut gave some extra sweetness to the lemon – which I felt it needed.

I also decided to make individual cupcakes, rather than a whole cake. This might of had something to do with wanting to use my new cake stand…

Prep time 15mins, baking time 20mins, makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

100g caster sugar

100g desiccated coconut

50g polenta

100g butter

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 eggs

Zest of two lemons

Juice of two lemons

125g icing sugar

Method

Grease cupcake tray and pre-heat the oven to 180c

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand-mixer ’til pale and fluffy

Mix the coconut, polenta and baking powder into the butter & sugar, then beat in the eggs

Stir in the lemon zest and spoon the mixture into the cupcake tray

Bake for 20-30mins, when cooked take out of the oven and set the tin aside to cool

Simmer the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan ’til bubbling, then prick the cupcakes all over and pour in the  syrup slowly to drench the cakes with this delicious sauce.

Serve with a big pot of tea and let the nanas dig in!