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Homemade (Healthier) Southern Fried Chicken

Everyone loves fried chicken. There’s not much that can match spicy, crispy, juicy pieces of hot chicken. And while buying your chicken directly from Colonel Sander’s restaurants may be quick and easy, it’s perhaps not the healthiest or cheapest option. So why not save yourself a few pounds (losing and gaining) and try out this recipe for home-cooked fried chicken. I start off using the fryer and then put it in the oven to finish off. It doesn’t absorb as much oil and putting it on a wire rack means any excess fat can drain off the chicken.

This recipe uses the legs and thighs, which are the cheapest parts of the chicken. You can be even more economical by buying a whole chicken and jointing it yourself. I usually use the legs and thighs for this or a casserole, roast the breast still on the carcass, as a crown (saving the carcass to make stock), and freeze the wings until I have enough for a decent batch of spicy chicken wings.

If you or someone you’re cooking for doesn’t like bones, these can easily be removed from the leg and thigh before cooking. Just cut down the length of the bone before cooking, scrape the flesh off the bone and you’re left with a nice flat, boneless piece of chicken.

Ingredients: (quantities for 2 servings)

Chicken legs and thighs (skinless) – allow a leg and thigh per person

Oil – for frying

Eggs – 2 (lightly beaten)

Flour – 100g

Celery salt – 1 tablespoon

Mustard powder – ½ tablespoon

White pepper (ground) – ½ tablespoon

Black Pepper (ground) – ½ tablespoon

Smoked paprika – 2 teaspoons

Paprika – 2 teaspoons

Mixed spice – 2 teaspoons

Cayenne pepper – 1 teaspoon

Ginger – 1 teaspoon

Thyme – 2 teaspoons

Equipment: Deep fat fryer, small bowl (for the eggs), large bowl (for the spice mix), deep baking tray/roasting tin with a wire rack in.


  1. Mix together all the flour and spices in the large bowl.
  2. Coat the chicken portions in the flour mixture, then coat them into the eggs, and finally the flour again.
  3. Heat the fryer to 180°C and place the chicken in carefully. Fry for 6-8 minutes (bone in) or 4-5 minutes (boneless).
  4. Remove and place on wire rack over baking tray and place in a preheated oven (180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4) for 20-25 minutes (bone in) or 15 minutes (boneless), or a few minutes extra if the chicken isn’t quite cooked through.
  5. Best served with chips, or oven baked wedges if you want to keep the healthy theme going.

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