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Recipe: Lower fat barbecued Southern ‘fried’ chicken

PUBLISHED: 13:24 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:24 20 June 2018

Barbecued Southern 'fried' chicken  Picture: Phil Morley

Barbecued Southern 'fried' chicken Picture: Phil Morley

Archant

If you’re bored of burgers give our lower fat barbecue recipe a go.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of burgers now. Don’t get me wrong, I flipping love a good burger, freshly charred off the barbecue (and with a big fat wodge of blue cheese on top thankyou) but I’ve been to so many grill-ups recently my poor stomach can’t take any more slabs of meat between bread.

Instead, I’ll be firing up the barbie and loading it with halloumi (the god of all barbecue cheeses), sliced veg, fish and chicken to lighten the load a little.

I think we forget the barbecue is such a great tool for cooking so many things other than bangers and burgers. I have a Weber kettle barbecue and it does pretty much everything an oven can – including making a darn good pizza!

A family favourite for us is barbecue ‘fried’ chicken, which is a total misnomer as it’s not fried at all.

Pieces of bone-in chicken (best for flavour) are part-baked in the oven, glazed in a tangy barbecue sauce, then coated in crunchy seasoned breadcrumbs which give over all the jazzy flavours you’d expect from a Friday night ‘bucket meal’.

Part-baking the chicken takes away some of the anxiety of cooking on the bone outside – most of us either overcook it to make sure it’s totally done, or completely misjudge the cooking time, serving up meat with a questionably pink interior.

This recipe is also much lower in fat that real Southern fried chicken. So what are you waiting for?

I’ve given the ingredients for my own sauce, which I usually make with Adnams Ghost Ship, but substitute for your favourite off-the-shelf variety. My son loves Heinz’s one, and I’m a sucker for Stokes’ Sweet & Sticky barbecue sauce.

All you need on the side are maybe some potato wedges (par-boil until tender, spray with oil and finish on the barbecue), salad and sweetcorn.

Southern ‘fried’ chicken

(serves four as part of a spread)

For the beer barbecue sauce:

1 large red onion, sliced

200ml ketchup (I used Tiptree’s)

40g brown sugar

175ml light local beer

3tbsps local honey (I used award-winning Suffolk Honey)

400ml tomato passata

3tbsps English mustard

3tbsps cider vinegar (I used Aspall’s)

1tsp Maldon salt

1tbsp garlic powder

2tsps dried oregano

1tsp ground black pepper

1tsp ground paprika

Oil for frying

For the chicken:

4 pieces bone-in chicken

A few tablespoons beer barbecue sauce

5 slices white bread

1tsp black pepper, freshly ground

2tbsps garlic powder

1tbsp dried oregano

Large pinch ground cayenne

1tsp Maldon salt

Method

Make the sauce first. Heat 2tbsps oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Fry on a low heat until very soft. Add the sugar and turn up the heat until sticky. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside.

For the chicken blitz the bread in a food processor with the black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne and salt to make breadcrumbs.

Spread on a baking tray and cook on a low heat until totally dry and crunchy. Keep an eye on them. Set aside once done.

Place the chicken in the oven at 200C for 20 minutes. Pat dry and transfer to a barbecue for another 10 minutes. Brush all over with barbecue sauce and allow to char a little and become sticky.

Roll each piece of chicken in the seasoned breadcrumbs and serve straight away.

Ingredients for this shoot were provided by the East of England Co-op, which champions local produce through its Sourced Locally initiative. Charlotte used Diaper Poultry chicken, Aspall cyder vinegar, Maldon salt, Suffolk honey, Adnams Ghost ship and Stokes mustard, all available in-store.

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