It’s finger-lickin’ amazing, the way southern American-style fried chicken has taken off these past few years in so-hot-right-now dining precincts from San Francisco to London and Sydney. Formerly the province of cheap fast-food chains—Colonel, we’re looking at you—southern fried chicken has made a massive comeback among fashionable chefs riffing on the high-low themes that have been a hallmark of so many restaurant menus since the global financial crisis. Australian restaurants at the forefront of the artisanal fried chicken revival include Sydney’s Hartsyard and Melbourne’s Belle’s Hot Chicken, currently also operating a NSW pop-up at Barangaroo, and already in expansion mode in Melbourne.
So why would you cook it at home? Because you can (even though we understand some people are reluctant to fry foods at home; our solution is part of the recipe) and because this way you get to choose your own chicken, and to add or subtract spices you do or don’t like. Why are we including a fried food in a magazine for the Thermomix? Because it’s fast, easy and tastes ridiculously good with Kha Nguyen’s rich blend of sweetcorn, white wine, chicken stock, butter and cheese—a classic in itself—which will be simmering quietly in the Thermomix while you get on with the business of flouring and frying. Pre-cooking the chicken in the Thermomix ensures the end result after frying is succulent, while also allowing any juices to sink into the sweetcorn bubbling away below.
Unlike recipes that demand dismembering of whole chickens and overnight brining, Kha’s fried chicken can be made in little more than half an hour from the flavoursome thigh meat, pre-boned and picked up on the way home. The “chicken flour” could well be enhanced by your own secret spices, but the mix of flours and baking powder delivers on the all-important juiciness and crunch, to which the creamy sweetcorn makes a smooth, comforting counterpoint.
Why sweetcorn? Come on. There’s surely no combo more quintessentially southern American than fried chicken and sweetcorn—unless it’s Scarlett and Rhett. Or maybe Elvis and jumpsuits. See y’all for dinner.