- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
For the marinade
- 600g plain yogurt
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 2tsp caster sugar
For the coating
- 500g plain flour
- 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 litres vegetable oil
- Cut the chicken breasts into about 4 or 5 pieces and the thighs into 2. Set aside.
- In a container with a tight-fitting lid or a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients with 1tbsp sea salt and 1tsp black pepper. Stir well, drop in the chicken pieces, then cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge about 20 minutes before you are ready to fry it.
- Whisk together the flour and cayenne pepper with 2tsp sea salt and 1tsp black pepper. Prepare two baking sheets: dust one with a bit of the flour mixture and line the other with paper towels (to absorb any oil after frying).
- Heat the oven to the lowest temperature to keep the chicken warm while cooking the rest.
- Take the chicken strips from the marinade, shaking slightly to remove excess yogurt.
- Once you have floured all the chicken, heat the oil to 175°C using a thermometer. (You need enough vegetable oil so it goes about 6–8cm up the side of the pan.) You can also test the readi-ness of the oil by placing the end of a clean, dry wooden spoon or chopstick in the oil. It is ready when Champagne-size bubbles form around it.
- Pick up the strips one by one and re-dip them in the flour. Carefully slip them into the hot oil and cook until golden, turning once or twice, for about 20 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pan. The chicken will continue to cook after you remove it from the oil, so 20 minutes should be enough.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the oil, and drain as much as possible. Lay on the paper-lined tray and keep warm in the oven. Continue until all of the chicken is cooked.
Ranch dipping sauce
Ranch sauce is a creamy garlic sauce sometimes used on salads. I love it as a dipping sauce for fried chicken. I also like to serve a hot sauce as an accompaniment to the chicken, for people to use as they wish.
- 400g mayonnaise
- 240ml evaporated milk
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 sprigs fresh oregano and tarragon, picked from stalks and finely chopped (optional)
Whisk together the mayonnaise and evaporated milk until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. This keeps well for up to 2 days in the fridge.