Browse All Recipes

Quick-brined fried polenta chicken

Yes, this is a fry-fest. And, no, your doctor won't thank you.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking (plus brining, marinating)
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Yes, this is a fry-fest. And, no, there won't be a Heart Foundation tick of approval. But serving it with a crisp and tangy coleslaw must be a positive, right? Start this recipe at least four hours ahead.


  • 2½ tbsp sea salt
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces on the bone
  • 200 ml buttermilk, well shaken
  • 150 ml hot sauce, plus extra to serve
  • 100 gm coarse polenta
  • 100 gm self-raising flour (2/3 cup)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • Vegetable oil or lard, for shallow-frying
  • Thinly sliced spring onion and coleslaw, to serve


  • 1
    Stir salt and 1 litre water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until salt dissolves, set aside to cool, then refrigerate until chilled. Add chicken, ensuring pieces are completely submerged and refrigerate to brine for at least 2 hours.
  • 2
    Stir buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl to combine, drain chicken well, add to bowl, mix to coat well, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • 3
    Combine polenta, flour, spices and dried thyme in a large plastic snap-lock bag and season to taste with salt. Drain chicken from buttermilk, shake off excess and, working with a couple of pieces at a time, add to bag, seal and shake to coat well. Heat 3cm oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat until just shimmering, then shallow-fry chicken, turning occasionally, until golden brown (10-12 minutes). Drain on paper towels, season to taste, scatter with spring onion and extra paprika, and serve hot with hot sauce and coleslaw.


Drink Suggestion: Orange wine such as skin-contact viognier. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.