Gordon Ramsay. Is he? Hot as in hot tempered? Or hot as in hot hot? My mum professes her fear of Gordon Ramsay. He makes her nervous. All that yelling and swearing and cursing. She cannot watch Gordon Ramsay because he is very scary. So mum quickly turns off the telly when Gordon comes on. Me?
This is where I fess up. I have a thing for Gordon Ramsay. I think he's hot. Hot as in hawt baybeh, ummmpphhhh!!! What, you think I am nuts? OK, let's not go there.
I've watched him on The F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef US, Master Chef Junior US (no shouting here), Hell's Kitchen and a few more.
I'd sit on my sofa in my tee shirt and sarong (sometimes with bedak sejuk on my face), lapping up every word old craggy face says (and yells). I don't know, I like the authoritative type, a man who takes charge. But no, I do not like to be yelled at.
You gotta admit, the man has personality, a magnetic one and I am riveted. OK, chain me up and send me to Siberia.
Then I watched Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Home Cooking - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. That's where he cooks at home with his kids and this is the time when you find him so fatherly and so mellow. He smiles, he laughs, he teases and not a single f-word comes out of his mouth. Gawd, he's so charming!
I was smitten, so I bought this book. Cost me a princely RM99.00.
When the book arrived from mphonline, I quickly tore the wrapping apart and flipped the pages in a frenzy. Bah! I thought most of the recipes don't suit me. Like Chip Butty. That's a sandwich filled with potato chips.
But later on when I browsed the book at a more leisurely pace, I found that there are quite a number of recipes that I would be keen to try. One of them is this Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Yes, I've done a Buttermilk Fried Chicken before, but this one is from Gordon's book, so.
|Chicken soaked in buttermilk and then coated with seasoned flour.|
Then the next day, I drained them and left them to come to room temperature. In the meantime, I made the seasoned flour. I find that Gordon's recipe uses very scant amounts of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
For 300g of flour, only 2 teaspoons each of paprika and cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder is added. That's way too little for me.
|My Dutch oven doubled up as a deep fryer.|
I also ran low on garlic powder, only about a teaspoon left. And that to me is a very sad thing because the seasoned flour needs lots of garlic for loads of flavor. But I made do with what I had.
As you know, deep frying is a major pain. Gordon's method is shallow frying where he asks you to add about 1.5cm depth of oil into the pan. But no. If I am going to have fried chicken, it has to be deep fried.
It seemed to take forever for the chicken to brown. I had excess seasoned flour which I tossed into the bin without a thought. And I regretted it.
You see, the chicken pieces that had been pre-coated with flour (the ones lying in wait while the rest are frying away) will ooze liquid. So it is best to coat them one more time before frying. So wait until you are done with the frying before tossing out the excess flour.
When I was finally done, it was time to sink my teeth into these fine looking fried chicken. Oh wah! Crispy and crunchy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. The flavors were very good too, though it could be improved (with extra spices). These fried chicken can stand proudly beside KFC and Texas Chicken.
The fried chicken is best eaten while it's hot/warm because the batter goes limp once it cools down. I ate 3 pieces and kept the rest in the fridge. I reheated some the next day and though it was no longer crunchy, the chicken still tasted very good.
Recipe source : Adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Home Cooking (page 176)
- 4 chicken legs, thigh and drumsticks separated
- 600ml buttermilk
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (can increase to 2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (can increase to 2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- Lots of salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for deep frying
1. The day before, put the chicken legs in a big bowl and pour in buttermilk. Make sure the chicken pieces are submerged. Leave in the fridge overnight.
2. The next day, remove the chicken pieces and drain off excess buttermilk.
3. In the meantime, make the seasoned flour. In a mixing bowl add flour, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk the flour to combine all the ingredients evenly.
4. Coat each piece of chicken with the seasoned flour, pressing the flour firmly to ensure that the flour sticks to the chicken. Set aside on a tray.
5. Heat oil in a deep pot and when the oil is hot enough (test by dropping a bit of batter into the oil, if it sizzles, the oil is ready) gently drop the chicken into the oil. Do this in batches. I fried 3 pieces at a time.
6. When the chicken is evenly browned (it took me about 25 minutes) remove and drain on a wire rack (or paper towels).
7. Serve while still hot/warm.