Fried chicken is believed to have originated in Scotland. The Scots were probably disgusted with the English boiled chicken, and brought the recipe with them to Southern America.

I am a huge fan of fried chicken and if driven to I would choose it over char-grilled chicken a la Nandos.
Problem is that due to a serious mental block against skin, there aren’t many outlets offering me this delicious meal.
The Colonel, for some obscure reason, is stuck in a time warp and does not offer the option of removing the skin.

The hype around secret recipes and a million spices is very intimidating, but the truth is that this is a very simple and quick meal to prepare.
And, it is easily adaptable to a vast variety of options according to your personal taste buds.

Invariably I prefer the plain salt & pepper option, but feel free to experiment.

The original recipe calls for the chicken to be dipped in milk, but I beat an egg into the milk to give it that extra crisp coating.
Traditionally the spices are added to the flour, but I find that lightly spicing the meat first and then adding a little more of the spices to the flour work best.

Chicken pieces (skinned - optional - and cut to your preference)
½ cup of milk
1 egg (beaten)
Salt and crushed black peppercorns to taste
Oil for frying
1 cup cake flour.

Lightly sprinkle chicken pieces with spices, pat the spices onto the chicken, and set aside.
Beat milk and egg together in a shallow mixing bowl.
Mix remainder of spices with flour in a seal-able container - you can also use a plastic or paper bag.

Dip chicken pieces in the milk mixture and then place in the container of flour. Shake the container to cover the chicken well.
Shake excess flour off chicken pieces and refrigerate for about half an hour, or freeze for 10 minutes.

Heat about 1cm of oil in a heavy-based pot on medium heat.
When water bubbles pop in the oil, add the chicken. Be careful to not overcrowd the pot.
Fry white meat (breasts) for 5-7 minutes a side, and dark (thighs, drums & wings) for 8-10 minutes a side, turning once.
If you prefer your chicken really well-cooked, you can reduce the heat and simmer for an extra few minutes.

Be careful with the temperature of your plate.
The chicken should be golden brown and crispy when done.
Too high a heat will render it an ugly and unappetising dark brown.
Remove chicken and place on paper towel, or in a colander to drain.

If you want to get technical, serve with coleslaw and cornbread. Otherwise french-fries and any salad will do.


1. Add a good quality barbecue spice or paprika for the American version. Remember that barbecue spice contains salt, so go easy on the salt with this version. Best not to add salt. You can always add it afterwards if you prefer.

2. Dip chicken in a mixture of honey, lime juice and lime rind for sweet and sour.

3. Add peri-peri spice for the Portuguese version. Exclude pepper with this version.

4. Smear a paste of garlic & ginger, fresh coriander and crushed chillies on chicken for the Indian version