Crispy Fried Chicken with Herb Aioli

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Southern France meets fried chicken in this awesomely indulgent, fabulously delicious finger food. Perfectly paired with a serving of Stella Artois, this provencal fried chicken recipe is as sophisticated as it is seriously - ideal for any occasion.


  1. Put salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaf and fennel seeds in a small saucepan with the 100ml of water and bring to a simmer. Combine with lemon juice, 900ml water, herbs and onion in a large bowl. 
  2. Submerge your chicken thighs in the brine and refrigerate for 16-20 hours.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, bring the chicken out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. Meanwhile, beat the cognac into the eggs and transfer to a shallow bowl. Set aside. In a shallow, 9-inch wide baking dish, combine both of your flours and seasoning.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs from the brine and allow them to drip-dry completely. If very wet, you can dab them a bit with some kitchen towel. Cover your chicken in the seasoned flour, ensuring it gets everywhere (nooks, crannies etc) and nothing is wet. Thoroughly shake off any excess. Set them aside. Now drizzle 2 tbsp of the brandy/egg mixture into the flour, then carefully and quickly distribute this through the flour with your fingers (do not overwork this or you’ll have a tough breading). Lower a floured chicken piece into the remaining egg mix, turning to coat thoroughly, then allow excess to drip off before dropping into the craggly flour. Squeeze the flour firmly onto each side of the chicken, flipping a couple of times between squeezes, then carefully lift out onto a rack. Repeat with the others and leave to rest and hydrate for 15 minutes. 
  5. Fill a cast-iron skillet with 1 inch of oil and heat to 180°C. Working in batches, lower the breaded chicken into the oil. Cook for 10 minutes or so, turning a couple of times to ensure even browning. Once cooked, transfer to a rack. 
  6. Meanwhile, make the aioli - place yolks, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and oil together in a narrow shatter proof jug. Stick in an immersion blender and, in pulses, bring the mixture together. Separately bash together the tarragon and garlic then stir through.