Fried chicken in a digestive biscuit coat
Eating fried chicken is and always has been somewhat of a personal moment for me. Fried chicken will always provide me with a greasy comfort for the days when elegant eating is not my priority objective. Designed to be eaten in a tracksuit with the grace of a caveman, fried chicken is by no means a virtuous meal.
However I wanted to find a way that I could transform the finger-licking sofa-snack into an interesting meal that was a little less… slobbery. And it just so happened that a shortage of breadcrumbs and an overstock of digestive biscuits guided me in the right direction.
I reasoned that the breadcrumbs main purpose in fried chicken was to give the chicken a flavourful veneer with a crunchy bite, a purpose that could be replicated with an ingredient of similar texture. One night I found myself without breadcrumbs and a pack of plain McVities digestive biscuits caught my eye… and I put two and two together and made what I call Bisquicken.
I began with preheating the oven on 200. I then took out any work related frustrations on a sealed bag containing plain McVities digestive biscuits, bashing to dust with a rolling pin. I then toppled the manila coloured biscuit bits into a deep bowl. The enjoyment of this meal relies primarily in the flavours on the coating. Knowing that the digestive biscuits would give my crunch a sweet, wheaty taste it was important to counterbalance this with a peppery smokiness so I dropped in a heaped tablespoon full of paprika.
I then threw in a generous tablespoon of all-purpose flour with a pinch of table salt and white pepper. I made sure I ran my fingers through this tasty dust to ensure that all flavours were even and that there was no clumping. Clumping on ‘fried’ chicken runs a higher risk of ‘blackening’ which can potentially ruin the warm flavours of the coating so an even distribution on the chicken meat is important.
In a separate bowl I cracked open two eggs and beat them before dipping the cuts into the egg mixture. I started to find this was quite an aggressive approach to cooking. Bashing biscuits, kneading powders, beating eggs… please don’t cook this chicken in a fit of rage otherwise you’ll end up punching your fridge.
*Update – I recommend soaking your chicken cuts in buttermilk overnight in place of using an egg for your coating. It makes the chicken taste almost creamy and so tender*
I then dipped my chicken pieces individually into the bowl of breadcrumbs, paprika and flour. The glue-like gooeyness will ensure that the powdery mixture will stick to the egg. I am not one for subtlety so I was getting right in there with this part. Every crevice of this poor bird was getting lifted, prodded and turned in the powder mixture just so that I was getting something tasty with every single bite.
I am that guy.
Once evenly coated with the powder ingredients I placed them on a baking tray. I then sprinkled sesame seeds over the pieces of chicken to provide a crunchy yet delicate nutty taste.
I opted to roast the in order to neaten the eating process. Roasting the pieces allowed the chicken to cook through and still retain the moistness but more importantly crisp the exterior. Placed in the centre of the oven, I allowed the chicken to roast on 200 for about 25-30 minutes but then cranked up the heat to 250 for roughly another 10 to ensure that the coat remained crispy and the insides remained moist.
The prep took roughly 15 minutes and with cooking time – were looking at about an hour. An hour to make a quirky and delicious remix to fried chicken is really not bad going. The versatility of this meal is great too. It’s a meal which can lend itself to a friendly dinner party if thrown on a plate with some potato fries, rocket leaves and lime wedges, but it’s also perfect to hurl in a bowl, curl up on the sofa with your partner and rip apart with your bare hands and teeth caveman style.
And if we’re being honest here, I didn’t make just two pieces as the image above would indicate.
Once the picture had been taken, I threw the extra chicken pieces I had made on to the plate, doused the entire plate in Frank’s hot sauce and ate them in bed.
I would be ashamed of myself had it not tasted SO good.