Southern Fried Chicken with Ranch and Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

Apparently this is THE sunday dinner in the Deep South although traditionally served with Grits and Collard Greens.  I am sincerely glad that I don’t live in the South because if I had to eat this every Sunday then my hips would surely have doubled in size and my arteries would be well and truly clogged!  I made too many pieces of this finger lickin’ Southern Fried Chicken and it took every ounce of my being not to jump from my bed at midnight and race to the fridge to devour another piece of this deliciously sinful chicken.  I couldn’t stop myself the next morning and with juices oozing down my face, quickly whacked my swimming costume on and raced to the pool to do 30 laps in the hope that my sinfulness would surely disappear and I would have redeemed myself enough to return home and eat another piece.  This is not a meal to be cooked everyday, it is a rare treat that will become a celebration for y’all!

Prep time:  40 Minutes + 6 Hours marinating         Cooking time:   40 Minutes       $$ Budget Medium

Serves 4-6 (twice for yourself along with a 500 calorie workout……trust me, it works)

1 Litre of Rice Bran Oil or vegetable oil for deep frying

6 Chicken thigh fillets, skin on and bone in

6 chicken legs

2 cups of buttermilk

2 tsp of dried thyme

1 tsp of finely ground black pepper

1 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of onion powder

1/2 tsp of salt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

For the Seasoned Flour

2 cups of plain flour

1 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of garlic powder

1/2 tsp of onion powder

1 tsp of dried thyme

1 tsp of oregano

For the Ranch:

1 cup of buttermilk

1 tbs of whole egg mayonnaise

1 tbs of sour cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tbs of finely chopped dill

Sea salt and pepper

Dill sprigs for garnish

For the Wedges:

2 medium sweet potatoes, halved and cut into wedges

1 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of sea salt

2 tbs of olive oil

1/2 tsp of chilli powder

To make the marinade place the buttermilk, lemon juice and spices in a bowl and whisk well to combine.  Pop the chicken pieces in and make sure they are all submerged in the marinade.  Cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight if you prefer.

Preheat the oven to 200°C

Toss the wedges in a large bowl with the spices, salt and oil.  Toss to combine and then spread in a single layer on a large baking tray lined with grease proof paper.

Grab a large plastic bag and add the flour, spices, herbs, salt and pepper.  Shake the bag around to toss the flour so that the seasoning is spread evenly through the flour.  Drain the buttermilk from the chicken and toss the chicken pieces in the bag, two at a time so that the chicken is well and truly coated.  Place the coated chicken on a plate ready to fry.

Heat a large skillet, deep fryer or dutch oven to 180 °C.  if you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry.  Pop little bits of the flour in and when it starts to sizzle and rise to the top straight away, the oil is ready.  Line another baking tray and place a rack on it, ready to go in the oven.

Pop the sweet potatoes in the oven and start to cook the chicken 4 pieces at a time.  Deep fry until golden brown all over, approximately 10-15 minutes.  Place on the rack when done and repeat with the remaining chicken.  When it is all done, transfer the tray to the oven (below the sweet potatoes) and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Combine all the ingredients for the ranch in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

This is celebration food remember?  Best served in the middle of the table with a gorgeous side salad.  We had the Rainbow slaw (recipe on the blog) which complemented the chicken beautifully.  Remove the chicken and sweet potatoes from the oven and place on a large serving platter.  No celebration is complete without a wonderfully cold beer, right?  Why not try a really good pale ale such as this one! http://burleighbrewing.com.au/beers/28-pale-ale/