Do you ever have one of those days when you start thinking of something so insignificant and small, that leads to one thing and you end up with something way bigger?
Have I lost you yet? 🙂
Well for me, that little thing was as small as an ingredient, smoked paprika! I’ve kind of craving it and thought how good it was with the baked chicken breasts from the other week, I just had to bring it back to my dinner!
This time, I used it to season some good ol’ comfort food classic, FRIED CHICKEN!
This recipe is a definite crowd pleaser if you’re looking for one. It’s also the first time I don’t use breadcrumbs to make fried chicken, so I definitely had my fingers crossed the whole time.
Start by washing your chicken (I used whole chicken breasts) well, whichever way you prefer.
Then pat them dry and slice chicken breasts into vertical halves (or strips), place to a zip-lock bag with some buttermilk (I used Rayeb from Juhayna), just enough to coat it well; then store in the fridge for 2-3 hours or even overnight (which is what I did).
Take them out, season with some salt & set aside on a wire rack with a tray/baking sheet under.
Now bring out 2 bowls to prepare the batter. Start off with mixing the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, pepper & smoked paprika). In the other bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (eggs, water & hot sauce).
Have both bowls next to the wire racks holding the chicken, and gently coat the chicken into the flour mix, shake for excess flour, then place it in the eggs mix letting it drip any excess then once again back to the flour mix for some final coating. Then let rest on the wire rack once more, letting any excess batter drip onto the tray/baking sheet underneath. So to recap, flour-eggs-flour 🙂 If you have some time, place the coated chicken in the fridge for about 30 minutes to make it stick even better, you can use this time to work on the sauce or other toppings you want to add to your sandwich.
Pour oil (I used sunflower oil) into your frying pan & heat it up until a drop of water gets all sizzly!
Gently start frying each chicken piece, without cluttering them too much in the pan. Don’t toss or move them around as they cook, so the batter doesn’t fall off. Once chicken gets that nice golden crisp look & cooks through, flip it over to cook the other side.
Once both sides have cooked, take out of the oil & onto some paper towels. Now your chicken is all nice, crispy & most importantly flavorFUL! I couldn’t help but eat one of the little strips I was frying.
Now this chicken is good to go as is really, but I thought I’d mix things up a bit and went with a sandwich.
You can of course use your favorite bread for this, I went with this super thick & soft toast; which I buttered & toasted for some extra taste. Mixed some arugula leaves with sriracha mayo and had them as the base of the sandwich. Topped with tomato slices, fried chicken breasts & ranch dressing with fried bacon bits!! This mix was just EVERYTHING! You could add cheese, mushrooms, onions or just have the chicken with nothing at all really, cuz the seasoning gives it its very own iconic flavor!
- 1 kg chicken breasts
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup hot sauce/Sriracha (use 1/2 cup if you prefer a mild taste)
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- Vegetable oil for frying (depends on size of your frying pan)
- Wash chicken breasts & pat dry.
- Coat with buttermilk and place in a plastic zip-lock bag, store bags in the fridge for 2-3 hours (or overnight).
- Take the chicken out of the bag and place on a wire rack on a baking sheet/tray to drip excess buttermilk.
- Season with salt, pepper & garlic powder.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, pepper & smoked paprika) in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, water & hot sauce).
- Start dipping the chicken breasts in the flour mixture till it’s well coated, then in the egg mixture then back to the flour mixture one more time and place the coated chicken breasts in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, you can work on the sauce topping (optional). I fried some bacon, cut them into small bits and mixed them in with some ranch dressing.
- Start heating the oil in your frying pan, and take out the chicken and start frying.
- Fry each batch until they’re cooked through and have a golden crispy exterior.
- Rest fried chicken breast on kitchen towels & SERVE!