Chefs' Recipes

KFC, “Kat’s fried chicken”, with barbecue sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for KFC, “Kat’s fried chicken”, with barbecue sauce by George Calombaris and Shane Delia from Melbourne restaurant St Katherines.

By George Calombaris & Shane Delia
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking plus cooling, brining, chilling
  • Serves 8
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KFC, “Kat’s fried chicken”, with barbecue sauce
You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 250 gm (1 cup) fine salt
  • 80 gm (½ cup) honey
  • 50 gm (¾ cup) black peppercorns
  • 2½ lemons, halved
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 12 fresh bay leaves
  • ½ head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 2 chickens (about 1.5kg each)
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 600 ml buttermilk
  • To serve: Japanese mayonnaise
Barbecue sauce
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 small red chillies
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 10 each thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • 30 gm smoked paprika (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 200 gm brown sugar
  • 200 ml tomato ketchup
  • 200 ml apple juice
  • 120 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tsp hot English mustard
Spiced flour
  • 375 gm plain flour (2½ cups)
  • 150 gm cornflakes, finely crushed (1½ cups)
  • 60 gm rice flour (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


  • 1
    Stir salt, honey, peppercorns, lemon, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and 8 litres water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until salt dissolves, bring to the boil then cool completely.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, remove wings and legs from chicken, then halve legs through the joint and set aside. Remove breasts from chicken, discard skin, halve breasts and set aside. Add chicken pieces to brine and refrigerate to brine for 8 hours.
  • 3
    Drain chicken then rinse under cold running water for 5 minutes.
  • 4
    Place chicken in a single layer in a large steamer basket, cover with a lid, place over a large saucepan of simmering water and steam breast meat for 10 minutes and leg meat for 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack placed on a tray and refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, for barbecue sauce, process onion, garlic and chilli in a food processor to a smooth paste. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion mixture and stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, process herbs and spices in a food processor to a smooth paste, add to pan and stir occasionally until fragrant (8-10 minutes). Add sugar, stir to dissolve, add 250ml water and simmer until reduced by half (10 minutes). Add remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a coarse sieve into a clean pan, simmer until thick (18-20 minutes), season to taste and refrigerate to cool completely. Makes 500ml. Barbecue sauce will keep refrigerated in a sterile container for 1 month.
  • 6
    For spiced flour, combine ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  • 7
    Preheat oven to 150C. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Dust chicken pieces in spiced flour, dip in buttermilk, dust again in spiced flour, shake off excess. Deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until dark golden and cooked through (5-6 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm in oven while cooking remaining chicken. Serve hot with barbecue sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.


This recipe is from the August 2011 issue of .

  • undefined: George Calombaris & Shane Delia