Before I started cookery school I thought I'd be conjuring up fancy treats at home, all nonchalant like.
Picturing myself boning and stuffing swans, poaching and dressing salmon up in their Sunday best. Constructing intricate Eiffel-Tower-like croquembouches, puff pastry skyscrapers, mill(ion) feuilles and spun sugar baskets.
Yes, I'm still laughing too.
Truth be told, since finishing school there's been a lot of toasted cheese and I've perfected the three minute omelette (break, whisk, pour, consume in 3 seconds).
After spending the day working in a restaurant sometimes you just want simple, no frills food. Like this homemade Southern Fried Chicken with sweet potato chips and onion rings. Let's leave the dressed salmon alone for a little while...
Homemade Southern Fried Chicken with sweet potato chips and onion rings
Serves 4. Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes. £1.11 per serving.
Sweet potato chips and onion rings
4 sweet potatoes
2 red or white onions
Southern Fried chicken
200ml/7 fl oz buttermilk
4 chicken breasts
100g/4oz plain flour
3 tsp paprika
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground white pepper
pinch sea salt
oil, for frying and baking
1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
2. Slice each breast into approximately 5 strips. Place all the chicken into a bowl with the buttermilk. If you have time you can soak the chicken overnight in the buttermilk to make it even more tender.
3. Slice the sweet potatoes into chips and the onions into rings. Brush oil onto baking sheet, bake chips for 20 mins. After 20 mins add the onion rings and bake for 10 mins.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, place the flour, paprika, cumin, pepper and sea salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Heat 1cm vegetable oil in a large frying pan. For a healthier version you can use less oil. Heat the oil until a cube of bread browns almost immediately. Shake excess buttermilk from the chicken and roll each piece in the seasoned flour. Place a layer of chicken in the frying pan and cook for approximately 4 minutes each side until cooked through and golden on the outside. Blot with kitchen paper.
5. Serve the chicken with sweet potato chips and onion rings. Cutlery is optional, we're all friends here.
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