IngredientsFor the brine
2 tablespoons granulated sea salt
1.4 kg (3 lb 2 oz) free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces
For the marindae
250 ml hot sauce
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) buttermilk
For the coating
300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) self-raising flour
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
For the frying
2 x 250 g (9 oz) blocks of lard or beef suet
- To brine the fried chicken, in a 2 litre (70 fl oz/8 cup) stockpot, bring 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water to a simmer. Add the salt and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour into a non-reactive container (plastic or stainless steel, NOT aluminium). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely cold.
Submerge the chicken pieces in the cold brine. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, and a maximum of 4 hours.
- In a large bowl, combine the hot sauce and buttermilk. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry thoroughly with paper towel. Place the chicken in the marinade and toss until thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Mix all the ingredients for the coating in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Have the mixture at hand when you’re ready to fry up the chicken.
- In a cast-iron frying pan large enough to fit the chicken pieces comfortably, melt the lard over medium–low heat. When the lard starts to shimmer, increase the heat to medium.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, then roll in the crumbing mix to coat. Place back into the marinade, then the crumbing mix again, then slowly place the chicken pieces into the lard one at a time — they should start sizzling immediately.
- Keeping a close eye on the pan and the browning, keep frying until the skin becomes golden on one side. Turn the chicken over and keep frying until a crust has formed and the colour is uniform. The whole frying process should take about 12 minutes. Drain on paper towel and serve the quick fried chicken immediately.