No-Knead Bread

I had been a fan of Artisan Bread in 5 for a while, when I realised I’d never actually baked any of their recipes. Part of the fun of making bread for me (and also because I’m a bloke) is the working of the dough with your hands, and yes, I have even worked in a couple of martial arts exercises into the kneading of dough. No-knead bread has always struck me as rather odd, because the gorilla in me says, “Why wouldn’t you want to pummel it?”

Nevertheless, I thought I’d give it a go and followed their master recipe as best I could.

The recipe uses 3 cups of water to 6 1/2 cups of flour a 46% water to flour ratio, which is very different from the 60% ratio loaves that I normally bake. It’s more or less 2% salt with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt going into it.

Flours differ and I had to use a lot more water than 46%, because that amount of water left it a rather solid mess. There really wasn’t any give in the dough at all. In fact, it didn’t even feel like dough and looked more like a rock than the photo that’s on the website.

I stuck it in a bowl with a lid big enough for it to rise.

I couldn’t help checking it every twenty minutes and at first it looked like it was never going to work, but, over time it eventually became the silky dough that’s shown in the photos on the website, just like they said it would.

When time was up, I took out about half the dough, and shaped it into a loaf. It went straight into the oven, and the result is what the monkey in the picture is greedily eyeing up.

It was easy to make, didn’t take a lot of time and all it needed really was a bit of attention when you baked it.

What I couldn’t get used to was the tasted of it. It didn’t quite taste right. Rather than the rich flavour I’m used to from even the white loaves I’ve made, I got something much more subdued, almost bland. There’s something in the kneading, rising and then proving of bread that gives it the taste we’re familiar with. Maybe it’s the flour I used, or maybe I just have to do it enough to figure out the art of making this bread. It’s still streaks ahead of any of the cardboard you get in the shops, and its wonderful with nutella!

As for the other half of the dough, I left it in the fridge for a couple of days and then baked it. It made a nice enough loaf, but the strange subdued taste seemed to have accentuated itself.

This doesn’t mean that I’ll not do it, or that I don’t like it at all. I’ve never made bread this way, and like anything else, it’s a skill that you have to cultivate. I’m sure results will be different if I change the flour, or use a different yeast. For now it’s a great bread to make when you are short of time or when your toddler is having a growth spurt and has just eaten his way through two 800g loaves you’ve baked at the weekend and need something to tide him over to the next weekend when the big bread bake happens.

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A Light Vegetable Udon

Noodles are a dish that is tailor made for mass production. You have to prepare all of the little bits that go into it whether or not you have two or four to feed, so on the same day we did the vegan carrot cake for our friends, I did the main as a veggie udon.

Noodles are always a bitty dish, once the stock is done, you have to prepare the rest of the components individually which makes it a similar amount of work catering for two as it is for four.

The Mushrooms

Chinese mushrooms or shiitake two per person

If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them in water before you begin. They take quite a while to soften up.

The Veg stock
The end off a chinese leaf and three or four leaves
2 carrots
1 small sweet potato
1 medium red onion
1 medium white onion
2 large ripe tomatoes
4 peppercorns
3l of water

Roughly chop all of the above and drop it into a big stock pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes and then filter it through a sieve to remove the large veg particles.
Keep the stock hot but don’t boil it. Add salt to taste.

For the “filling”

Mangetout
Baby corn
Tofu
Cornflour
Salt for seasoning

The mushrooms that we soaked earlier

Blanch the mangetout in some boiling water and pull it out whilst it’s still got some crispiness to it. Do the same for the baby corn. Set aside

Take half the mushrooms and slice them. You want one whole one per person and the rest sliced.

Cut the tofu into cubes about 1 inch in size. You want about two or three cubes per person. Put a wok on high heat and pour about half a centimetre’s worth of vegetable oil into the bottom. We’re going to do a cheaty fry here. Coat the tofu cubes in cornflour, two or three at a time and then put them in the oil. Let them sizzle for about a minute and then flip them onto an unfried side. Keep going through all of the tofu cubes. You might need to change the oil after the third batch (see below for more notes). Set all the fried tofu aside

The Udon

We use shop-bought udon as I have not yet been brave enough to actually make it. Apparently it’s not too dissimilar from making some types of bread, so I’ll let you know when I’ve taken the plunge.

To Finish and Serve

It’s easier if you have all the bowls you’re going to serve from out in front of you. Put a portion’s worth of udon in each bowl, then top with the other ingredients. Pour in the stock, and serve immediately

Things I’ve found

Timing is the tricky thing. You really want to power through all the prep whilst the stock is going, so your pre-cooked food doesn’t get too cold

If you’re frying tofu for more than six people you’re better off deep-frying it. The shallow fry cheat only works for quantities of five or fewer people as you can get away with frying three batches. For six or more people you’ll have to do four or more batches which means changing the oil and you might use as much oil as a deep fry in the end.

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Mary Berry’s Gingerbread Men

Ever since I read this story to the JBug, I’ve been meaning to make some gingerbread men. However it took me a while to find some suitable cutters. When I found some cutters I liked (a set of 3 different sized gingerbread men), the shop was out of stock online and they didn’t have them my local store. Others on the internet looked too flimsy or were non-traditional (including ninjabread men which Mr Foodie would love but the reviews aren’t particularly great). I eventually tracked them down the set I wanted in the town where my parents lived. The other afternoon with time for baking, JBug and I headed into the kitchen together to make them.

I used Mary Berry’s recipe from her Baking Bible. I put the oven on and then JBug greased the trays. He did quite a good job in the middle of the trays but needed some encouragement to rub the butter paper over the whole surface of the tray. We then measured out bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger. The Jbug requested some ground ginger to try so I gave him some. From the faces he made he obviously found it extremely fiery and willingly drank a whole beaker of water immediately I gave it to him! Next we measured the flour into the bowl. We had almost finished when JBug decided to turn the electronic scales off!! Arrgh!! Luckily I had just glanced at them before he did so I knew we only had a few more grams to add. I added what I hope was the right amount and then rubbed the butter into the flour mixture. While I did this JBug used the time to turn the scales on and off and run his toy tram through the flour we’d spilt!

Next we stirred in some sugar before adding golden syrup and a beaten egg. This was mixed to form a smooth dough. However the dough seemed extremely dry so I added a splash of water. This was a mistake as it became far too sticky and needed quite a lot more flour adding to it. JBug by now was getting a bit impatient and constantly fiddling with anything that was within reach. Once the dough was the right consistency, we rolled it out on a lightly floured worktop. JBug enjoyed cutting out the gingerbread men and ate a vast quantity of raw dough while he did so. It was quite challenging to stop him so that we would actually have some to put in the oven! We decorated them with currants and then baked them in the oven for 10 minutes. After cooling slightly, we put them on a wire rack to cool completely.

At tea time, JBug and I shared one. It was lovely and chewy with a pleasant ginger flavour. The adding of water and extra flour didn’t seemed to have done them any harm. It was quite stressful trying to do this with the JBug as he was constantly fiddling with one thing or another. Next time I will pre weigh the ingredients which should speed up the dough making and allow the JBug more time to participate in the cutting and decorating which he clearly enjoyed.

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A tale of two loaves, white and crusty

There is a known psychological phenomenon where people who are rubbish at doing something, say singing, think they’re fantastic. This is because they lack the skill to recognise exactly how bad they are. Let’s face it, if you’re tone deaf, your singing is always going to sound like Pavarotti to yourself. I call it the X-Factor effect and it applies to baking as much as singing.

Lately I’ve been thinking that I’m quite good at baking bread, so I set myself a simple test. Do I think that my loaf is nearly as good as an artisan baker’s? Answer: I think I’m pretty close. Conclusion: The reality is that I’m not as close as I think.

The question then becomes, how can I improve? Going on a breadmaking course is a candidate, but that’ll take some research and planning and I want to do something NOW. Rising to the Berry has the answer, do a “bake-through”. You essentially take a book of recipes on your chosen subject, in this case Paul Hollywood’s 100 Great Breads, and basically bake every single recipe in the book.

Will there be drama, yes. Will there be disasters, undoubtedly. Will I learn anything? I hope so.

So, to begin my Great Breads Bake Through, I did the white loaf and the crusty loaf, page 20 of the aforementioned book, which I should add is not one for the rank beginner. Paul Hollywood is a master baker, and I think with that title comes a bit of “Kung Fu Master Syndrome”, in that he is so good at what he does that he probably finds it difficult to understand why people don’t get it. The book does assume a reasonable amount of pre-knowledge, like what dough is more or less supposed to look like and how yeast behaves. If you are a total beginner, you will have to do some additional research, looking up videos on how to knead for instance, and more information on how things go wrong. This is just me, but having some knowledge of when things are FUBAR is useful. If you go wrong early on it saves you hours of frustration.

Back to the loaves. Apologies for the rather grainy photo. Light wasn’t very good when I took the photo and it was still grainy despite the funky post-processing on my camera. The ingredient list is not all that different, and I remember thinking, “Surely it’ll all come out the same?” The recipes are all about 60% water, and 2% salt. The white loaf has, to 500g of flour, 270ml of water and 69 ml of olive oil. The crusty cob, 500g of flour to 300ml of water and 40g of butter. The devil is, however, always in the detail. There’s. Only 30ml difference in water between the two doughs, and the white loaf felt tighter, more springy and the crusty cob much wetter and sticky. The difference in the feel of the dough was not subtle. They were like chalk and cheese.

They rose differently too. The white loaf took longer to double in size, taking about two hours, and the softer, wetter crusty loaf ballooned in just over one, so I had to rise it again so both loaves would be ready at about the same time.

When it was time to prove them, I didn’t assume that they’d behave in any similar way at all. The white loaf would have to be speeded up, so I used the residual heat from Mrs Foodie’s potato cake bake to help it on its way. The crusty cob was merrily reinflating like a comedy balloon, so I left that one at room temperature.

Baking was when it all went a little wrong. The white loaf skidded off the peel easily, onto the baking stone, whereas the crusty cob’s wetter and stickier dough refused to budge despite a handful of flour and some aggressive persuasion. In the end I baked it on the improvised peel, an old metal baking sheet. Once in the oven, the white loaf rose quickly alarmingly so, to the point where I thought it was going to explode. The crusty cob puffed up a lot too but I speculate that was due to the wetter dough more than anything else. I wonder what it would have been like on the stone.

In the end I baked them a little too much. You can see that the white loaf on he left in the picture caught a little and the crusty cob, on the shelf below didn’t brown nearly as much. My mistake here was to assume they’d take more or less the same amount of time. I should have known better really, given the way the doughs behaved.

Once they’d cooled, I did a taste test. Yes you can taste the difference between the two. The white loaf is slightly denser, and tasted of the olive oil used to flavour it whilst the crusty cob was indeed crustier, and fluffier because the dough was wetter.

It was perhaps naive of me to expect them to be more similar than they were. After all, the quantities of ingredients weren’t that different, but the end products were two very different breads. I am both inspired and humbled because this really shows exactly how skilled master bakers are. They know how to manipulate the ingredients to achieve specific results, a subtlety that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to learn if you were using a breadmaker.

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Vegan Carrot Cake

Before I start, I’m sorry about the picture of this cake. I forgot to take a picture once it was baked and then forgot to tell Mr Foodie that I planned to photograph the last large slice. By the time I got to it, this was all that was left! I’ve learnt my lesson – either photograph baking immediately or lock it up somewhere safe!!!

Some friends came to lunch last weekend and, as one is vegan, provided myself and Mr Foodie with a bit of a culinary challenge. Currently our repertoire of even vegetarian food is rather limited so this was a good opportunity to expand it a bit more. The main of vegetable ramen with tofu was soon sorted but I was a bit stuck for dessert. The only thing I could think of was fruit salad which seemed a bit boring and a bit of a cop out. I fancied doing a bit of baking so had a look on the internet for a vegan cake recipe. There are lots, mostly American and a lot of them chocolate (are vegans addicted to chocolate cake???) Not having made a chocolate cake recently that was non-vegan I opted for the more familiar territory of carrot cake. This recipe for super moist carrot cake sounded delicious and all the ingredients were easy to obtain (unlike some of the other ones I found – xanthan gum anyone??)

First you grease and flour a tin. I didn’t have the 9 inch square tin that the recipe recommends. I have a square tin but its only 7 inch but I do have a 9 inch round one so used that instead. Then I measured apple sauce, vanilla essence, vegan margarine (I used Pure), salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, flour and soy milk into a bowl. The recipe doesn’t state what type of flour or sugar to use so I put in self raising flour and caster sugar as that is generally what I use when baking a cake. I then added the carrot and was just about to add the raisins (which I was using instead of walnuts) when I read the recipe again and realised I should have mixed all the other ingredients together first. I managed to retrieve most of the carrot before mixing everything else together. I then added the carrots and raisins, mixed well and put the cake batter into the tin. The batter made a fairly thin layer in the bottom of the tin so I kept my fingers crossed it would rise a lot in the oven.

I put it in and checked it at 35 and 45 minutes. It was very difficult to tell if it was cooked as it was so sticky. I eventually took it out at 50 minutes as it seemed done. I left it to cool in the tin then went to remove it. It was extremely difficult to get out despite greasing and flouring the tin as it was so sticky. In the end I resorted to cutting it in four and removing each section one by one. It didn’t look very good and had hardly risen so I was rather disappointed. I didn’t bother with the icing as I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to obtain a vegan cream cheese substitute and I personally feel a good carrot cake doesn’t need it. Our friends seemed to really like it as did both Mr Foodie and the JBug. It was definitely a cake to eat with a fork. I found the cinnamon slightly overpowering myself so next time I might reduce it a bit and will definitely be using the correct size tin, lined this time!

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Spring Onion Flatbreads

Memory is a funny thing. There are memories I have from my early childhood that I’m sure aren’t mine. Really. I had this story in my head of eating these early in the morning, at a hawker stall with a plate of these in the middle of the table. A rather large and mean-looking beetle landed on the table and started helping itself to the bread. It was so big we could hear it hissing as it breathed. Being a child, it looked enormous and scary, and I didn’t dare swat it. Not long ago, Mum told the same story and it got me wondering if the memory is actually hers and I’ve appropriated it somehow. Anyways, they’re rather yummy for breakfast if you fancy a change from the norm. People in Taiwan have this all the time.

What it is in essence is a layered flatbread with lots of spring onions in it, commonly rolled up with a very thin omelette in it. I like to add some garlic to it as well, but that’s because everyone chez foodie is a total garlic freak.

Makes about 5 flatbreads

Cheaty no-knead dough
300g strong bread flour
200ml water (at 37C if you can get it there)
4g yeast
3g garlic salt

Mix all of the above together and leave it overnight – I tend to do this because these flatbreads are a breakfast thing, and even I won’t get up at 4am to knead the dough so that it’s ready for 6-7am when we start making breakfast.

The proper stuff!
Same as above but you knead it for about 5 minutes, leave it covered in a warm place to rise till doubled in size. Then you’re good to go.

Ingredients
Bread dough as above
Spring onions chopped finely
Deep fried shallots (Optional)
4 or so beaten eggs.

Get a small ball of dough

 

 

 

 

 

Roll it till it’s about 2mm thin, or as thin as you can get it.

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle spring onions (and the deep fried shallots if you’re using them) on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fold the edges towards the centre and once again roll it thin. About 3-4mm is about right.

Oil a pan and stick it on medium heat. Flip it every thirty seconds or so. Some of them will puff up as they cook. That’s a good thing.

 

 

 

 

When they’re done, beat a couple of eggs and make a very thin omelette. Put a frying pan on medium heat put a little bit of oil in it. Pour a little bit of beaten egg in it and swirl it round so it gets really thin. If you get it thin enough you won’t need to flip it because the heat of the pan will just cook it through.

Place it in the flatbread, roll it up and Bob’s your uncle.

What I’ve learned

Sometimes when they puff up they’re a lot harder to cook properly because the bottom of the flatbread doesn’t sit flush against the pan. This can be rectified if you gently press down with a potato masher.

Finely chopped garlic, sauteed, is also a great filling.

I have not yet tried this with a filling of bacon and cheese, but to be honest it’s calling me.

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Mary Berry’s Iced Fairy Cakes

Our local NCT branch holds an annual fundraising event called a Cheeky Monkeys tea party in the summer holidays. It is a combination of a party with games and picnic food and a fair with stalls. The refreshment stall is always popular as it sells cake as well as drinks. I volunteered to make some cake but thought it was a bit unfair to make one just for the adults so decided to make something the children would like too. Fairy cakes were always a big hit with me when I was a child and I found a recipe for these in baking for children section in the Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.

This is an all in one method recipe which makes it easy to make with children around (although Mr Foodie was looking after the Jbug when I baked them because I wanted to make 2 dozen of these plus a lemon cake which wasn’t going to be quick). I made them the day before so the icing would be properly set by the time they went off to be sold.

I began by putting my cake cases into a bun tin. When I did my practice run I put one batch into the bun tin and one into my muffin tin as an
experiment (the recipe recommends a bun tin). However they were difficult to get out of the muffin tin once they were baked without burning myself on the tin (you have to remove them immediately to stop them continuing to bake in the hot tin) and the cake was denser (as the cases were completely encased by the tin). Then I measured softened butter, caster sugar, self raising flour, baking powder and 2 large eggs into a large mixing bowl. I had just measured out the flour and sugar when it occurred to me I should check I was using the right flour as both the plain and self raising flour have the same colour packet. I’m glad I did as I had accidentally measured plain flour in instead! I started again and once all the ingredients were back in the bowl I beat them until the mixture was well blended. Mary suggests doing this for 2-3 minutes but I never time this and just go by when it looks right. I then filled each case with the mixture. To try and get the whole batch the same size, I used a tablespoon and measured it out. The cakes went in the oven for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Mine were ready after 15 minutes. Then I removed them immediately and placed them on a wire rack to cool.

While they were cooling I made a thick icing by mixing together sifted icing sugar and warm water. The quantities Mary gives in the recipe for 1 dozen cakes I found did 2 dozen fairy cakes. Perhaps she is much more generous with her icing than I am! I spooned this over the cakes using a teaspoon and spread it round so it was roughly circular. Once the icing was nearly set I added the sweets. The picture in the Baking Bible shows dolly mixture but I used jelly tots instead as I found the dolly mixture was soggy by the following day.

The next day I took them to the tea party and a dozen of them were sold (we were unsurprisingly awash with fairy cakes to sell – I think we had more than children present!!) but I was pleased to be able to take some back home and enjoy them. The jBug was particularly happy to see some return as I had denied him one the previous day!

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Fray Bentos Pies

This story is about a friend, a real friend of mine. I’m man enough to ‘fess up to my food disasters, but this one.. well this one I will be telling my grandchildren.

The culprit here is my old flatmate, not myself. Let’s call him Andy

Back in the day he was also my lodger when I bought my first flat in North London. The neighbourhood wasn’t that great, and we weren’t too far from where the local riff-raff hung out, but it was a foot on the property ladder. Moving in was a little tricky, as we had been slightly harrassed by the local “yoot”, some faces to note and avoid in the future. I was broke as my life savings went into the deposit and Andy was broke after six months in Surinam. Celebrations were therefore rather humble. I had some fried chicken (yes those were the bad old days) and he had a Fray Bentos pie in the oven warming up. Those youngsters were clearly trying to get the measure of us. They were still loitering outside, but I wasn’t going to let that, or the clanging they were making ruin the momentous occasion. This was my first property, finally I owned my own home!

Back to the pies. There is nothing like a shared experience to make two young bucks reminisce like old codgers. I had lived on these whilst I was in university. For those of you who’ve not heard of Fray Bentos, they’re basically canned pies, ideal for students as they were cheap, and sometimes the only things I could afford towards the end of term. That clanging noise only got louder as we toasted the great moving-in with Coca-Cola and Sprite. Later, I’d have to report them for anti-social behaviour. I might be the only Chinese guy on the block but it’s no reason for harrassment.

Where was I? Ah the pies. I get all nostalgic when I think about them, the blue can hasn’t changed in years and in the old days I used to reverently, almost lovingly take the top off the can before I put it in the oven.

“You take the top off the can?”

Andy’s eyes were as big as saucers. If course you take the top off the can.. Otherwise it’s like putting a grenade in your oven and waiting for it to go off.

By the time I’d finished my sentence, Andy had turned the oven off and extracted his tin, which unsurprisingly had ballooned into the shape of some strangely coloured mushroom. We let it sit for a minute or two before we decided to puncture what remained of the lid with a can opener to relieve the pressure. Now that we were in no imminent danger of shrapnel wounds, we set about extricating what was supposed to be a pie from the distended can.

It took us half an hour of not-so-gentle persuasion to get the “pie” out. I use that word with some artistic license as it was no longer a pie, but… well, who knows what it was by then? Andy in true bachelor fashion shrugged his shoulders and ate it anyway.

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The Caked Crusader’s Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Some time ago I read Jenny Colgan’s Meet Me At the Cupcake Cafe which I thoroughly enjoyed. An entertaining read with recipes throughout the book so combining baking and reading – two of my favourite activities :-) . At the back of the book is a recipe for cupcakes written by the Caked Crusader. I’m not a huge cupcake fan (partly because I find buttercream too sweet) but was intrigued by the name and her mission and started to follow her blog. During the winter, she posted a recipe for a rhubarb crumb cake – a combination of rhubarb crumble and cake. I spent some time drooling at the picture as I love rhubarb but have never baked a cake with it before. I finally got round to making the cake last weekend.

For this recipe you will need a 20cm square cake tin. I don’t have one but do have an 18cm square one so used that instead. I lined it with greaseproof paper which I always find a bit fiddly but better than trying to get a cake out which has welded itself to the tin I suppose. Then I got on with making the crumb. You mix together melted butter and sugar and then press in the flour using a fork. Well I didn’t read the recipe properly and weighed the sugar and flour into a bowl, then added the melted butter. Whoops! Luckily it looked the same as the picture on the Caked Crusader’s site so I put in the fridge and hoped for the best.

Next you cut up rhubarb and put it in a bowl with more brown sugar and a small amount of the flour. The Caked Crusader suggests cutting it into 1.5 cm chunks. I’m terrible at guessing the length of anything so at this point I got a ruler out (yes very anal I know) and measured one piece before using it as a marker to cut the rest. I had visions of uncooked rhubarb if I had just proceeded in my usual “that looks about 1.5cm so that will do” way.

Once the rhubarb was cut up, I made the cake mixture. Don’t do what I did which is to try and beat together icing sugar and butter using an electric whisk without beating it in a bit with a wooden spoon first. It makes a right mess. Once it looked like whipped butter, I added the eggs one at a time. The mixture curdled when I added the first egg but I carried on, keeping my fingers crossed. Finally you stir in the vanilla, fold in the flour and put the mixture into the tin. You lay the rhubarb on top then add the crumb mixture. Well our fridge is obviously pretty cold as the crumb topping had set solid by this point so I had to break it up with a spoon! The cake is then baked for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into it comes out clean. By the time 50 minutes came, mine still was still fairly raw. It was finally cooked in the middle after it had been in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes by which time it was a bit overcooked at the edges.

We had it for pudding later that day. The sponge was incredible light (probably because icing sugar rather than caster sugar is used). I was worried the rhubarb wouldn’t be sweet enough as there was hardly any sugar on it but this is perfectly balanced out by the crumb topping. It made a large cake so the rest was sent to Mr Foodie’s work who polished it off in 2 days!

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Oven Fried Chicken

As a man approaching middle age, I find that I am increasingly subject to a strange cognitive dissonance, namely fried stuff vs fight flab, and I oscillate between my concern for my gut and my stomach. So, discovering oven fried chicken from Southern with a Twist got the thumbs up in my kitchen. It’s almost a guilt-absolving halfway house between the deep fry and the healthy. It is essentially a half fry half roast. The chicken sits in oil deep enough to get crispy and crunchy, but not so deep that it is immersed in it, so the chicken doesn’t get a chance to absorb tons of oil.

So, you get the lovely taste and crispy crunchiness of fried chicken without too much grease.

My take on this is as follows:

Ingredients – serves 2 and a half
6 chicken thighs
1/2 cup of sunflower oil

For the seasoning:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt

There are two changes we made. We didn’t dredge it to get a thick crispy coating as we prefer to get the skin crispy instead, much like the inche kabin that they do in Malaysia, so the amount of flour is much less and we used sunflower oil instead of butter.

The recipe is simple, mix up the seasonings and flour and coat your chicken thighs. Put a casserole dish in the oven with the oil in it and turn it all the way up to 220C. Let the oil and the casserole dish heat up and when they’re ready, put the thighs in. They should sizzle and spit. Stick them in the oven for a out 15-20 minutes, or more precisely, till the internal temperature is about 50C, the skin ahould be getting nice and crispy by now, then flip them over to cry the other side. Take them out when the internal temperature hits 70C.

Take them out of the casserole dish and dry on some paper towels.

Thats about it! Serve with potato wedges and a salad or coleslaw.

Things I found

Getting the balance right between crunchy outside and cooked inside is not as easy as I thought. If it weren’t for the probe thermomenter, I’d probably have totally overcooked everything. The temperature of the oven is very important, as if it’s not hot enough the outside won’t fry properly and the inside won’t roast.

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