Fried Chicken by Keshia Sakarah

Welcome to Twisted Origins – a mini series where we explore foods and the stories behind them. This time – fried chicken, and this recipe is super easy and delicious! The chicken is brined for 48 hours to make it extra juicy and the the coating is a mix of flour and cornmeal (or maize – indigenous to the Americas) for an extra crispy coating. Hope you like this one, stay tuned for episode 2!

Done in 3 hours

Tom Jackson

Dish by Tom Jackson

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This month we’re cooking fried chicken for Juneteenth. Juneteenth is an American national holiday which officially recognises the abolition of enslavement in America. It’s a day for the African-American community to celebrate and reflect. According to the Smithsonian, following the American Civil War President Abraham Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1st 1863, making enslavement in America officially illegal, only to those already free in Confederate states. A significant proportion of African Americans remained in bondage until the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment on Jan. 31st 1865. On June 19th 1985, thousands of Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas to formally announce that the remaining quarter - million (250,000) enslaved African-Americans in the state were free by executive decree. Southern cooking or soul food such as collard greens, cornbread (which we serve this with) and of course fried chicken will forever pay homage across the dinner table to the African-American experience. Many southern dishes we know today would not have existed if it not for the contributions of the African diaspora in the Americas.


Start by brining the chicken. Place the salt and sugar into a large bowl with 1.5 litres of warm water.

Whisk until the salt and sugar has dissolved, then set aside to cool.

Once cool add the chicken to the water, ensuring it is submerged in the water. Cover, then bring to 24-48 hours in the fridge.

Once brined and ready to fry, remove the chicken from the fridge. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients until well combined.

Drain the chicken from the brine, then place in the coating dry mix. Toss the chicken in the flour ensuring it is coated all over. Remove and place on a try briefly, then toss in the flour for a second time to coat again, then set aside.

Heat the oil on a medium heat, then fry the chicken in batches until golden brown all over.

What do you think of the recipe?

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

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