Go on, you know you’re itching for a bite of James Martin’s southern-fried buttermilk chicken with tomato and sweetcorn salsa
“Proper TV food: just pile it up in the centre of the table and watch everyone dive in. Once you have cooked it, you can change the spices to make it hotter if you want.
Make sure the frying oil isn’t too hot, or the coating will burn rather than turn deliciously brown.”
For the chicken:
• 400ml buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 medium chicken, cut into 10 portions
• 125g plain flour
• 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest
• 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked hot paprika
• 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
• flavourless vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
For the salsa:
• 90g caster sugar
• 300g tomatoes, finely chopped
• 2 red chillies, finely chopped
• 300g canned sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 lime, juiced
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 Put the buttermilk and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine, then add the chicken and stir to coat.
2 Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
3 Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
4 Place the flour, lemon zest and all the spices into a bowl and toss together until well combined. Lift the chicken out of the buttermilk, scraping off as much of it as you can, then place into the spiced flour, tossing really well to coat all the pieces.
5 Heat a large ovenproof frying pan until hot, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan by 1cm, then add half the chicken, skin side down, and cook for two minutes on either side until golden.
6 Place the whole pan in the oven for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the skin crispy. Cook the second batch, repeating the process. Take from the oven and place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
7 Meanwhile, for the salsa, heat a frying pan until hot, add the caster sugar and, without stirring, wait until it’s a light golden caramel, swirling the pan occasionally.
8 Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for one minute until just softened.
9 Add the chillies, sweetcorn, red wine vinegar, lime juice and parsley and cook for six to eight minutes until thickened and the tomato is all broken down. Season well with salt and pepper.
10 Pile the chicken on to a platter and serve the salsa alongside.
Recipe courtesy of James Martin, extracted from Home Comforts. Photography by Yuki Sigura © Quadrille Publishing.