Ingredients (serves 4)
- Vegetable oil, lard or a mixture of both
- 1 large free-range chicken, jointed into eight (ask your butcher to do it)
- Plain flour
- Cayenne pepper
1. In a large, deep cast-iron frying pan, add the fats until about one-third full.
2. Heat it until a haze rises, or a cube of bread browns in a minute or less.
3. Place some flour in a brown paper bag – this is not optional, the best bags come from Wholefoods, but two greengrocers’ bags doubled-up will do. Plastic bags make the coating claggy.
4. Season with a pinch of sea salt, a sprinkling of cayenne and lots of black pepper.
5. Shake the chicken parts in the bag. The chicken parts should be dry when tossed in the flour – to soak them in buttermilk, or use batter, is heresy.
6. Shake off the excess flour, then fry the chicken in batches, so as not to crowd the pan. Do the dark meat first, skin-side down, turning. When the chicken is golden all over, cooked through and perfectly juicy with a crunchy crust, it’s done.
7. Drain the chicken on kitchen paper and serve quickly – though some prefer it cool, at room temperature