New Zealand food blogger Vanya Insull, also known as VJ Cooks, released her newest book, Summer Favourites, to be a fail-safe go-to for even the fussiest eaters.
This crispy fried chicken recipe fits the bill and then some. Insull suggests it as the perfect accompaniment for a side of coleslaw and dinner rolls, or an excellent burger filling (we'd add plenty of mayo, pickles and lettuce).
“My followers love it so much they have nicknamed it Vanya’s Fried Chicken, or VFC,” writes Insull.
Southern-style fried chicken
Preparation time and cooking time: 1 hour
1 cup milk
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground white pepper
1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1L oil, for deep-frying
1½ cups plain flour
¼ cup cornflour
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
Mix the milk, vinegar, salt and pepper in a shallow dish or container. Using tongs, add the chicken and turn to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
To make the crispy coating, mix the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Using clean tongs, pick up a piece of chicken and allow the excess marinade to drip back into the marinade container. Place the chicken in the crispy coating and turn to coat completely. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pot over a high heat. Once hot, carefully lower 2–3 pieces of coated chicken into the oil, allowing room for each piece to cook properly.
Fry for 8–10 minutes until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to drain. Repeat until all the chicken has been cooked.
Note: Make sure you use oil with a high smoke point, such as rice bran or canola oil, for deep-frying. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too hot and turn it down between batches if necessary.
This is an edited extract from Summer Favourites by Vanya Insull, photography by Melanie Jenkins (Flash Studios), published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $39.99.