Chipotle Fried Chicken

20 Oct

Fried chicken heals souls; pretty much a personal mantra since my uni days, when my fellow students and I paid witness to the opening of Chicken Hut (also affectionately known as CHUT), a takeaway den of ill repute and the best fried chicken in Birmingham. The thighs and fries combo could assuage the meanest of promised hangovers, though over the years, CHUTs chicken burger eventually became the prize at the end of a night instead of the aforementioned aid to an easy Sunday morning. (Sad bitch). Yet who can deny the allure of crunchy, greasy, salty chicken?

This love affair with fried chicken has carried through the years, and given the proliferation of fried chicken joints on every local high street, one the nation seems keen to continue sharing in too. Though I eventually traded dirty takeaway dishes in for the more respectable (cough) offerings of KFC, the god awful service proved a most effective incentive against indulging more often than is decent, and with time (and a slowing metabolism), my after-hours flirtation with the tastiest of takeaway fodder almost ground to a halt.

Fear not though, my friends. This is not a tale of heartbreak. Having just lived through the year of the burger, and witnessed the rising obsession both in London and Manchester with all things American barbecue, fried chicken has started to make a name for itself again, though this time done up gourmet for the lovies out there. My first taste of the seriously good stuff was at a recent outing to Southern Eleven, and with Solita promising to put buttermilk fried chicken on the menu for an age, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I’ve been working on this little number for the last month or so, perfecting and playing around until I got the spicy, smoky flavour with a slightly salty hit that I was yearning for. I went west on one occasion using too much garlic, which completely overwhelmed the meat, and had a spectacularly stupid moment using cumin in my coating. Who needs a chilli flavoured fried chicken? Not me. Chipotle is THE winner, however, and along with a big hit of smoked paprika, there’ll be no secret recipe shit round this way. Good food is meant to be shared.*

Chipotle Fried Chicken

I made this for the gorgeous Helen and Robin, both Twitter friends and fellow foodies, both whom I met at Solita on its opening night. Served with a big bowl of buttery mash and a wilted spinach and garlic salad, it was the perfect dish for the end of a long day and a piss wet through Manchester night. What can I say? Fried chicken heals souls. So go. Cease with your dirty Dixy Chicken habit and make someone you love a bowl of freshly fried chicken.


For the marinade

  • 600ml buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons coriander – chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle chillies – dried
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 chicken thighs – skin removed

For the coating

  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika


  1. For the marinade, combine all the ingredients for the marinade and coat the chicken in a shallow dish. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge, or for a minimum of 6 hours.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the coating. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dip into the spiced flour. Coat thoroughly and return to the fridge for a further 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  4. Heat 200ml vegetable oil to in a deep heavy-bottomed saucepan, until a breadcrumb sizzles and browns when dropped in it. (This oil gets mighty hot, so keep an eye on it and be careful when placing the chicken in and pulling it out). Add the coated chicken thighs and fry until golden all over. Remove and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.

* My recipe is based on this Antony Worral Thompson piece from BBC Food. I’m sure he won’t mind my pinching it.


One Response to “Chipotle Fried Chicken”

  1. Deborah Smith October 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    I love your blog darling, well done. It makes me laugh so much and I love the recipes. U are a clever girl. Deborah. x

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