Southern-fried chicken with Eastern spices

Southern-fried chicken with Eastern spices

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

This is a dauntingly long list of ingredients, but they are nearly all spices. Otherwise it is pretty simple to make. Serve this spicy fried chicken with wedges of lemon or lime and a shredded cucumber salad. It is also delicious with creamy harissa potato salad.


Quantity Ingredient
1 corn-fed or free-range chicken
6 pods cardamom, roasted and crushed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, roasted and crushed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, roasted and crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
100g cornflour
50g maize flour or very fine semolina
2 free-range eggs
200ml buttermilk
vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
lemon wedges, potatoes and green salad, to serve

Shredded cucumber salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 long cucumber, seeded and shredded
2 shallots, very finely sliced
1/2 cup mixed herbs or micro-herbs, (tarragon, chives, chervil and parsley are all good choices)
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
2-3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
or 2-3 tablespoons good quality bought mayonnaise
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Joint the chicken into eight pieces. Remove the skin and discard.
  2. Roast the whole spices separately, then crush them. Combine them with the other spices, the salt and sugar, then mix with the flours. Whisk the eggs into the buttermilk.
  3. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, then into the egg mixture and then back in the flour again. Shallow-fry them in vegetable oil until each piece is golden brown all over.
  4. Place them on a baking tray and cook in a preheated 200°C oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
  6. To make the shredded cucumber salad, combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss with enough mayonnaise to coat lightly. Season.
  7. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and serve straight away with lemon or lime wedges and the shredded cucumber salad.
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