Lee’s brown-bag fried chicken
Valentine says: “My mum's friend Lee boasted a lot about his secret fried chicken. 'Get on with it!' we all cried. With the cook in his turban, earrings, black scarf and cowboy boots, duding around a Dorset country kitchen, it was an odd meal in the making, but I ain't tasted any fricken chicken like it"
Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes
2 chicken breasts with the wing on
2 chicken legs
1 litre sunflower oil, for frying
for the coating
7 tbsp plain white flour
1 tbsp each of dried oregano, thyme, rosemary and flaked salt
2 tsp each of cayenne pepper and ground white pepper
100ml evaporated milk
2 beaten free-range eggs
Rinse the chicken pieces, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Leaving the skin on the chicken pieces, cut in two at the joint between the thigh and the leg, and the breast at a diagonal angle, cutting the wing from the breast so there is a lollipop-sized mouthful attached to the bone.
To make the coating, tip the flour, all the herbs, cayenne and white pepper into a large, strong polythene bag. Crumble in the salt, then shake everything together well. Beat together the evaporated milk and eggs in a bowl and place next to the seasoned flour bag.
Almost half-fill a large, wide pan with oil and heat to 180˚C. (Use a kitchen thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.) Take each piece of chicken and thoroughly coat it in the egg mixture, the drop into the polythene bag. Twist the top of the bag closed, trapping in any air. Shake the chicken pieces around vigorously until well coated. Lift the pieces out with some tongs and carefully lower them into the oil. From here the heat wants to sit at a good but not raging simmer. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes, flipping it regularly, until it is a rich golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave the chicken to drain on kitchen paper.
Valentine Warner is the presenter of 'What to Eat Now' and the author of the 'What to Eat Now' cookbooks