What makes this fried chicken different ? Well where do I start? Firstly the batter is made from breadcrumbs mixed with grated carrot and cabbage. This makes the batter extra crunchy and flavoursome . The strands of grated veg crisp up lovely in the light breadcrumb batter. The sticky sauce which you could easily mistake as thai / asian flavours is made from Cornish Apple Cider Vinegar, Rhubarb and local honey. The chicken is local, uses boneless thigh meat and is lightly fried. This results in an amazing succulent flavoursome chicken. Yes it is deep fried and a little naughty but if you are looking for instant satisfaction from a meal then look no further. Its simple, quick, the ingredients are all locally sourced and its very tasty.
The inspiration for this dish was from Japanese Katsu chicken. I wanted to take the amazing Katsu light breadcrumb batter and try and elevate it a notch through adding the grated vegetables. I have been striving to make a really good Cornish sticky asian sauce and the sauce in this recipe hits the spot. Local honey provides the sweetness, Rhubarb adds an amazing freshness and sourness to the sauce and the apple cider vinegar gives the sauce a nice depth of flavour.
Place the chicken thighs into a bowl of milk and leave to rest for at least 30 mins, longer if possible (2-3 hours). This will help tenderise the chicken.
Put the bread slices in the oven and cook until slightly brown. Remove the crusts and blend in a food processor into crumbs.
Grate the carrots and cabbage. I use a food processor with the grater attachment. Place into the preheated oven on a medium heat and cook for 15 minutes. This will cook the grated veg and remove some moisture .
Combine the cooked breadcrumbs, cabbage and carrots together.
Using the food processor, grate the rhubarb. What you will find is that the rhubarb just turns into juice.
Add the Cider Vinegar, Honey, Chilli and salt to the rhubarb. Place in a saucepan and simmer until the sauce starts to reduce down and becomes slightly sticky.
Heat a pan of oil for deep frying on a medium / high heat. You don't want the oil too hot as it will burn the batter. Drain the chicken thighs from the milk. Set up a plate of flour, bowl of beaten egg and a plate with the mixed breadcrumb, cabbage and carrot mix. Take the chicken thighs and cut them into two. Dip in the flour, then the egg and cover in the breadcrumb mixture.
Add 3 - 4 chicken pieces to the hot oil and fry until nice and brown. This should take 4- 5 minutes. Put the chicken pieces on to kitchen towel to drain of any fat. Put the chicken into the pan of sauce, coat the chicken with the stick sauce and serve.
This dish is a great for a weekend treat. Its so nice to taste great quality fried chicken. The crispiness and lightness of batter is amazing , you don't taste cabbage and carrot but these two ingredients together give the batter more flavour and texture. After the crisp batter you get the most succulent chicken, using thigh meat helps the chicken remain moist and also because you quickly fry the chicken it is very unlikely to be over cooked and more likely to be moist.
The sweet and sour sauce sticks to the outside of the chicken and triggers all the essential taste buds to bring a smile to your face. I garnished the chicken with spiralled cucumber, chives and a bit of basil just to add an extra freshness and cleanliness to the dish. The garnish soaks up the sauce and compliments it perfectly.
Hope You enjoyed the recipe , let me know if you have any questions.