Fried chicken and waffles
For the fried chicken
- 1.7kg/3lb 11oz oven-ready chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
- 250ml/9fl oz buttermilk
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 200g/7oz plain flour
- 2 tsp flaked sea salt
- 1 tbsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 500ml/18fl oz sunflower or groundnut oil, for frying
For the waffles
For the fried chicken, put the chicken in a bowl or shallow dish and pour over the buttermilk and Worcestershire sauce. Toss the chicken in the buttermilk mixture, cover with cling film and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours before cooking.
When you are ready to cook, put the plain flour in a large, shallow dish. Add the salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme and oregano. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Pour the oil into a large saucepan or deep frying pan and set over a medium high heat. Place a thermometer in the oil and heat to 180C (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Alternatively, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer.
Take each a piece of chicken with tongs and shake lightly to remove any excess buttermilk. Drop it into the flour. Turn until well coated, then remove with tongs and put on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. When the oil has reached the right temperature, very carefully lower the chicken pieces into the oil. Cook in batches of 3 or 4 pieces at a time, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until brown and crisp. Allowing the oil to return to the right temperature between batches will help ensure your chicken is light and crisp.
Take the cooked chicken out of the pan with clean tongs (not the tongs that have been used for raw chicken). Put on a baking tray lined with kitchen roll to help soak up any excess oil. Scoop out any stray pieces of batter from the oil with a slotted spoon.
Transfer the fried chicken to a rack and put on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
For the waffles, put the butter in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat. Preheat a waffle maker to its second highest setting, greasing with a little oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Mix the flour, cornflour, baking powder, sugar and a good pinch of fine salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk the egg with the milk and melted butter in a jug with a metal whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk the milk and egg mixture into the flour until just combined. Pour into the jug and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Pour just enough of the batter into the waffle maker to fill each plate and quickly smooth the surface with a palatte knife or spatula. Close the lid and cook the waffles for 4-5 minutes, or until well risen, crisp and brown. Lift carefully out of the waffle maker with tongs and keep warm while the remaining waffles are cooked.
Once cooked, drain the chicken well on more kitchen roll and serve hot with the waffles, maple syrup and a knob of butter, if you like.
Don’t open the waffle maker too early or the waffles could tear. The amount of steam rising from the machine will drop to almost nothing once they are cooked.
If you are only cooking for 2-3 people, halve the ingredients except the oil, and fry the chicken for a total of 15-18 minutes at a slightly lower temperature instead of baking.