I’ve never seen a larger variety of Chicken. I’m use to the four options that you get at Nando’s which range from very hot to no heat, nothing more exciting than that, but this was different. I could see 6 varieties in front of me, but I had been told that there were over 50! From popcorn to boneless, and tenders to BBQ wings.
This was not some upstage restaurant in Manhattan. No.This was Walmart in Montgomery, Alabama. I actually walked away from the Deli Bar with just the fried okra, but I was amazed at how serious southerners take their Chicken. So this recipe is dedicated to the short spell I spent in Alabama last year, it was an incredible experience for me (read more on my blog: http://www.acottonstateofmind.com).
From what I gathered, Buffalo Chicken is usually served with celery sticks and a blue cheese sauce. I achieved the crispy texture by mixing Panko breadcrumbs with regular plain flour as the Panko breadcrumbs on their own tend to burn too quickly, long before the chicken is cooked.
Another all important ingredient is the sauce, Franks Buffalo Sauce can be purchased in most superstores in the UK from what I can see. It’s what gives this chicken the fiery colour it’s so famous for.
Hot Buffalo Chicken
3 chicken breasts cut into 6-8 strips
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning (or a mix of paprika, black pepper, onion and garlic powder, bay leaf and celery salt)
Bunch of thyme -stripped from stems
1 medium onion- grated
3 garlic cloves minced
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup plain flour
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
pinch of Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp brown sugar
dash of Worcestershire Sauce
dash of Soya Sauce
1 tsp garlic paste
Mix all the ingredients under marinade together and add to the chicken (which you would have cleaned before hand). Place in a clean container and seal over night in the fridge or at least 5-6 hours.
Heat a frying pan with 3/4 full of oil. Or better still use a purpose-built fryer. Take the ingredients under ‘to fry’, mix them all together. Take each strip of chicken and shake off any excess batter but not too much, then roll the chicken into the flour and crumbs. Test the oil with a little flour first to see its reaction speed, it should begin to fry on impact with the oil. Turn the oil down to a medium heat before adding the chicken strips. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until brown. Transfer to a tray and place in a warm oven while you complete the rest.
Take all the ingredients under dipping, and place in a pot. Warm under a low heat just to combine the flavours. Then take it off the heat. Take each of the chicken strips one by one and dip into the sauce, coating it completely. Then serve with side dishes of your choice, such as the cornbread waffles.