We don’t own a deep fryer. Mostly because I’m afraid it’ll unleash my not-so-secret desire to deep-fry the fuck out of everything and anything. And in this instance, shallow frying doesn’t achieve the balance between cooking the chicken thoroughly and keeping the outside crispy enough for my liking. So oven baked it is. They’re probably healthier this way too if that makes you feel better. In this recipe, the kefir milk adds a slightly creamy sour flavour and can be substituted with yoghurt or buttermilk.
500g chicken thighs
2 eggs whisked
1-2 cups kefir milk or natural yoghurt
2 ½ cups bread crumbs
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
Preheat the oven to 200ºC
Trim any excess fat off the chicken and slice into diagonal strips. Place the chicken in a bowl and pour over the kefir milk. Gently mix the milk through until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Add more kefir milk as needed and leave to marinate for about half an hour.
Pour the flour and eggs into separate bowls and set aside.
Mix together the bread crumbs and thyme, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and mix through until all the crumbs are very lightly coated.
Line your baking trays with baking sheets. I like to use the reusable silicone ones as I find they let the strips cook through without the bottom burning, but if you have a ‘cool’ oven, you may need to adjust the oven temperature up a little to make sure the strips still get crunchy.
One by one, dip the chicken strips into the flour, then the egg and then into the crumbs for the final coat. Make sure each strip is covered all over at each step. Lay the strips on the tray leaving a small gap between each.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
Serve up straight away. If you must, share them with the little ones, but otherwise they’re perfect with beer and mayo.