Indian fried buttermilk chicken recipe

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serves: 2 - 3
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 2 hr 20 min
Cooking: 20 min
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  • The acidity in buttermilk works as a fabulous tenderiser for chicken. Marinate thighs or drumsticks for at least 2 hours, or ideally over night, and the resulting flesh will be very tender and very flavoursome. You can add any spices that you like to the flour including curry powder for an Indian flavour or five-spice powder to give them a hint of Chinese. The chicken takes 20 mins to cook and would be perfect on the BBQ on a warm sunny day. Serve with couscous and fresh salad for a healthier dish or with chips and corn-on-the-cob for a mid-week meal.


    • 300ml buttermilk
    • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 4-6 pieces of chicken (use a mixture of legs and thighs)
    • 150g plain flour
    • 1-2 tsp salt
    • 2-3 tsp curry powder (hot or mild, according to taste)
    • 300m sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying


    • To start this chicken leg recipe combine the buttermilk, onion, garlic and salt in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, and add the meat, spooning the buttermilk over it to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

    • Put the flour, salt and spices on a plate and whisk briefly to combine. Put 1.5cm of vegetable oil into a wide, straight-sided pan with a lid and heat until very hot.

    • Wipe as much buttermilk off the chicken pieces as possible then roll them in the seasoned flour until thoroughly coated.

    • Put the chicken in one layer in the pan (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of the pan) and cover. Turn the heat right down and simmer for 8-10 mins, then turn the chicken pieces over, cover again and cook for another 8-10 mins. Check the chicken is cooked by inserting a metal skewer into the thickest part of the meat. If the juices run clear, it’s read.

    • Prepare a rack to drain the chicken. Turn the heat up and fry the chicken until it’s a deep golden colour on all sides. Transfer to the rack and blot with kitchen paper. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

    Top tip for making Indian fried buttermilk chicken

    Serve with a buttered sweetcorn cob and Coronation Coleslaw, made by combining ordinary shop-bought coleslaw with 1 tsp curry powder and 1 tbsp mango chutney.

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