Dilemma: it's hot out, but the allure of fried chicken is strong. The solution? Serve it cold. It's just as good, and a sure-fire way to please a crowd between dips. Begin two days ahead to brine and marinate the chicken.
- 2 kg chicken wings, jointed, wing tips reserved for another use
- 400 gm plain flour
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- Hot sauce, to serve
- 200 gm fine salt
- 150 gm caster sugar
- 600 ml buttermilk
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 100 gm blue cheese
- 175 ml buttermilk
- 90 gm mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1For brine, combine salt, sugar and 3 litres of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill. Submerge chicken wings in liquid and refrigerate overnight to brine.
- 2For buttermilk marinade, whisk ingredients together in a large bowl. Drain chicken, add to buttermilk and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
- 3For blue-cheese sauce, process cheese, buttermilk and mayonnaise in a food processor until smooth. Season well with black pepper, then stir in chives. Refrigerate until needed.
- 4Bring chicken and marinade to room temperature (1 hour). Combine flour, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Transfer two-thirds of flour mixture to a separate bowl (the flour will get clumpy as you add the chicken, and will need to be refreshed). Heat 6cm oil in a wide saucepan until it reaches 160°C on a thermometer. In batches, and topping up oil as needed, dust chicken in flour mixture (topping up as needed) until well coated, then fry, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (12-16 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on paper towels and serve hot, or chilled, with hot sauce and blue-cheese sauce. Wings will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days.
Drink suggestion: Full-flavoured blanc de noir. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.