Perfect fried chicken

Golden drumsticks with homemade coleslaw and smoky potato wedges? Yes please! Paul Merretts feast is THE perfect night in food
By Paul Merrett
Perfect fried chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 whole head garlic, cut in half
  • couple sprigs thyme
  • 100 g flour
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp English mustard, powder
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 litres vegetable oil

For the coleslaw

  • Light green heart of cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 large gherkin, sliced and shredded into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, sliced and shredded into matchsticks
  • 1 red onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
  • 100 g mayonnaise

For the potato wedges

  • 4 baking potatoes, cut into equal size wedges
  • light olive oil
  • 2/3 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Tips and Suggestions

You can keep the water you cooked the chicken in for delicious chicken soup! If you dont have a deep fat fryer, you can use a deep saucepan with care. The pan should never be more than half full with hot oil.


1. For the chicken: Place the chicken thighs and drumsticks in a pot of boiling water with the garlic and thyme and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

2. Remove from the stock and drain, then chill in the fridge overnight.

3. When the chicken is ready, mix the flour, cumin, cayenne pepper, celery salt, mustard powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Toss the chilled chicken in the seasoned flour (the skin can be removed if preferred).

4. Pour the milk into a shallow bowl, dip the chicken pieces into milk one by one and then dip them back into the seasoned flour. Set aside.

5. For the coleslaw: mix all coleslaw ingredients together and season with black pepper.

6. For the wedges: Preheat the oven to 190C/170Cfan/gas 5 and put a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

7. Put the potato wedges into a bowl and pour over some oil, then add all the seasonings and toss together.

8. Empty the wedges onto the heated tray, spread out evenly and bake for 25mins or longer, depending on their size. Remember to turn them half way through the cooking time.

9. While the wedges are cooking, pour the vegetable oil into a deep fat fryer and heat to 170 degrees. Test the oil temperature by dropping a cube of white bread into the oil - its hot enough when the bread turns golden brown in 1 minute

10. Fry the chicken in batches, carefully lowering them into the oil with a slotted spoon and remove when crispy, golden and cooked right through about 5 minutes.

11. Serve the chicken with a dollop of coleslaw and wedges.

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