I love this chicken dish – it is so Mediterranean and brings back wonderful memories of days spent in Greece, where one meal seems to slowly move into the next almost without notice. There are two keys to this dish: one is the marinade combination, and the second is to leave the chicken in the marinade for at least three hours. The zesty marinade gives the fried chicken such a fabulous flavour that I guarantee that once you have made this dish, you will come back to it time and time again. Make sure you have a delightfully crisp white wine on hand to serve and a shot or two of ouzo for those inclined!!
1 x 1.6kg whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 tbs olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
60ml (¼ cup) ouzo or dry white wine
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 fresh bay leaves (dried will do if fresh are not available)
4 juniper berries, bruised
1 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
8 oregano sprigs
150g (1 cup) plain flour
Vegetable oil, to shallow fry
Lemon wedges, to serve
Place the chicken pieces, olive oil, lemon juice ouzo (wine), garlic, onion, bay leaves, juniper berries, coriander seeds and half the oregano into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. (I like to use my hands to get the marinade into the chicken). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours to marinate.
Drain the chicken and discard the marinade. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and dust chicken in flour. Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 160C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 20 seconds). Add dark meat pieces (thigh, drumsticks, wings) to the pan and cook for 10 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon , drain on paper towel and keep warm.
Add white pieces (breast) to pan and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Add remaining oregano to oil, taking care as oil will spit, and cook for 30 seconds or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and serve with fried oregano and lemon wedges.
(Recipe taken from Feast Magazine June 2014 with recipe by Kirsten Jenkins and photography by Brett Stevens)