70 gmfine sea salt8chicken thigh filletsFor deep-frying:vegetable oil 500 ml (2 cups)buttermilk300 mlmilk4eggwhites350 gmplain flour50 gmrice flour2 tsp eachonion powder and sweet paprika1 tsp eachfinely ground white pepper, garlic powder, finely ground dried thyme and dried oregano½ tspcayenne pepperColeslaw with buttermilk dressing400 gmwhite cabbage (about ½), diced 2-4golden shallots, to taste, finely chopped100 mlbuttermilk100 gm (⅓ cup)good-quality mayonnaise Juice of ½ lemonLarge pinchof caster sugar¼ cup (about 1 bunch)chopped chives½ cup eachtorn flat-leaf parsley and dillSoft pull-apart rolls185 mlmilk, plus extra for brushing30 gmbutter450 gmplain flour, plus extra for dusting15 gmcaster sugar10 gm (about 1½ sachets)dried yeast1½ tbspolive oil, plus extra for greasing
Bring salt and 2 litres water to the simmer in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve. Cool completely, add chicken and refrigerate to brine (overnight).
For coleslaw with buttermilk dressing, combine ingredients (except herbs) in a non-reactive container, season to taste and refrigerate for flavours to develop (overnight). Add herbs just before serving.
For soft pull-apart rolls, combine milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally until melted (5 minutes). Remove from heat, add 135ml water and set aside to cool to lukewarm. Combine remaining ingredients with a large pinch of salt in a bowl. Add milk mixture and mix until smooth, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour as necessary to form a very soft dough. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside until doubled in size (40 minutes). Knock back dough, knead until smooth, divide into eight and roll into balls. Place in a lightly oiled 22cm-diameter cake tin, leaving space between each to expand, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside until doubled in size (30-40 minutes). Preheat oven to 180C. Brush rolls with milk, dust with flour, then transfer to oven and bake, rotating tin occasionally, until cooked through and golden (20-30 minutes). Remove from oven and stand for 5 minutes, then remove from tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, drain chicken, add to boiling water and cook until just cooked through (8-10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan to 180C. Combine buttermilk and milk in a bowl. Whisk eggwhite to soft peaks in a separate bowl, then fold through milk mixture. Combine flours, onion powder, spices, garlic powder and herbs in a separate bowl. Dip chicken in milk mixture, dust with flour mixture, then repeat. Deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and hot (5-7 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper. Stuff chicken and coleslaw with buttermilk dressing into soft pull-apart rolls and serve.
This recipe is from the February 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.