Well I had planned to actually deep fry the chicken, you know go the whole hog, brine, dredge, egg wash, fry and get greasy spicy chilli oil everywhere. However the day kind of got away from me and quite frankly I had lost all motivation to get a pot full of oil and control temperatures, and then clean up the mess, so I looked to my previous tried and trusted methods of oven “fried” wings, spiced it up and adapted it for some juicy thighs. There aren’t really any proper quantities below, they are all to taste, it’s more the method of getting pieces of chicken with a crunchy exterior and a steamy moist interior without having to resort to deep frying. The method is a little more time consuming than chucking a bunch of chicken in a hot oven and cooking, but not by much.
- In a large bowl mix together flour, salt and cayenne pepper, as much or as little as you want, go a little heavy on the salt as it will be the only seasoning the chicken will get.
- Toss the chicken pieces through the flour mix, make sure to pat the mix into all the crevices. Place on a sheet pan with a rack and refrigerate uncovered for an hour.
- Get two bowls out, in one get an egg wash ready, 50/50 mix of egg and water, in the other mix together 1 part flour and 1 part semolina, spice with cayenne and chilli flakes.
- Dip the chicken in the egg wash and then dredge in the flour mix, return to the rack. Refrigerate uncovered for at least an hour, you could do this the day before.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC, remove the chicken from the fridge 10–15 minutes before cooking, place the tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. The short cooking time is to “set” the coating in place before meddling. Reduce the heat to 200ºC.
- Remove and brush the top of the chicken with chilli oil (store bought or canola blitzed with dry hot chilli flakes), return to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, turn the chicken over and brush the exposed side, return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Last time, remove the chicken, flip it, don’t bother brushing it, you shouldn’t need to, cook for a final 10 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a cooling rack to rest for a 10 minutes, lace with hot sauce and devour with a cooling slaw and pickles, always pickles.