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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk fried chicken with sautéed garlic spinach and sage gravy

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • CHICKEN
    • 1 L (1 ¾ pts) buttermilk
    • 1 tbsp dried thyme
    • few drops Tabasco sauce
    • few drops Worcestershire sauce
    • 3 tbsp salt
    • 3½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
    • 150g (5 oz) plain flour 
    • vegetable oil for frying
  • GRAVY
    • 50g (2 oz) butter
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 tbsp chopped sage
    • 25g (1 oz / 1/4 cup) plain flour
    • 500ml (18 fl oz) whole milk
    • 250ml (9 fl oz) double cream
  • SPINACH
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1.3Kg (3 lb) baby spinach
    • Salt and pepper

 

Method

  1. First prepare the buttermilk marinade for the chicken. Combine the buttermilk, thyme, Tabasco, Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and 1½ teaspoons of the pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts, tossing to coat and the cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook the chicken, prepare the gravy. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and saute the onions, garlic and sage for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the flour, stirring for about a minute and then gradually whisk in the milk and cream, stirring all the time to give a smooth sauce. Continue to cook the gravy for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until it becomes thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste, press some cling film onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming and keep warm.
  3. Tip the flour into a large shallow dish and season with the remaining tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Remove the chicken pieces one by one from the buttermilk marinade, shaking off any excess, and roll them around in the seasoned flour to coat. Arrange them on a large flat tray as you go. When all are done, once again dip them into the marinade and then the flour to double coat.
  4. Heat about 4cm (1 ½ inches) of oil in a wide, heavy casserole pot or saucepan, over a medium heat until it reaches 170C (325F). Carefully fry the chicken pieces in a single layer for about 10 minutes on each side until crisp, golden and cooked through.
  5. Finally, cook the spinach. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and sauté the garlic for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden. Add the spinach in batches, stirring each addition until wilted down before adding the next handful. Once all is wilted, season to taste and then remove from the heat and keep warm.