Clog those arteries with some fried chicken and slaw! Or not…

If there is one fast food chain which I have a weakness for, it’s KFC. Granted, I only crave it once every few months so it’s not exactly as if I go crazy on the stuff, but the deep fried danger and greasy, crispy chicken skin (which I peel off after one bite) means that after the first bite, guilt sets in and sits very prominently in the front of my mind, preventing me from entirely enjoying the meal.

Add that to the rehydrated powdered ‘mashed’ potatoes (which I can’t actually bring myself to eat) and the milky coleslaw which is so sweet you have no need of dessert (except possibly a piece of fresh fruit to cleanse the palate after the meal) and it’s not exactly a meal that leaves me feeling happy.

So, when I saw this recipe for a baked ‘fried chicken’ recipe, I was absolutely ecstatic and couldn’t wait to try it. Now, I have a deep-seated fear of chicken skin so I made sure to remove it but was a bit worried that the chicken would dry out during the baking… what a silly thing to worry about! The crumb coating retained the moisture and the resulting dish was beautifully moist and tender (though mouth-parchingly salty to me, which I’ve since amended)

As the chicken baked, I wondered what to serve it with… I remembered seeing a recipe for a vinegar slaw somewhere awhile ago, so I decided to ransack the vegetable drawer and see what I could come up with. The result, this amazingly tangy and fresh coleslaw that’s far lighter on the calories than any mayo-laden counterpart could dream of being! With the combination of fruit and veg, it’s a delightful combination of textures and flavour – so much so that you almost don’t need the chicken!

So next time you get a craving for some crispy fried chicken and slaw, try this healthier alternative. Your mouth and your hips will both thank you for it 😉

Asian-Inspired Vinegar Slaw

Vinegar Slaw Ingredients
2 cups savoy cabbage, finely sliced
1-2 medium sized carrots, washed and grated
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
1 peeled fuji apple, finely sliced into matchsticks (can be substituted with a nashi pear)
2-3 spring onions, finely sliced
2-3 tbsp salad dressing (see below)

1. Put all the ingredients together in a bowl and toss till the veggies are all evenly coated in the salad dressing. Serve immediately.

If preparing ahead of time, prepare the veggies and salad dressing separately then toss together just before serving.

Salad Dressing Ingredients
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 birds eye chilli/small red chilli, finely sliced

Pour all the ingredients into a small, clean screw-top jar and shake to mix together. Will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

Finger-Lickin’ Oven ‘Fried’ Chicken
(adapted from Elle’s New England Kitchen)

150g plain natural yogurt (or Greek yogurt, if you can find it)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Tabasco (or other hot sauce)
1.5kg chicken drumsticks
2 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 – 3/4 tsp creole seasoning (plus a couple extra pinches for the marinade!) (see recipe for seasoning below)
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Carefully remove all the skin from the chicken drumsticks, then cut 3 diagonal slices into each side of the drumstick. This will help the marinade to penetrate the chicken flesh for stronger flavour. Once that’s done, give them a quick rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a bowl, stir together yogurt, mustard, Tabasco, and half of the creole seasoning. Put chicken in a large ziptop bag, add marinade, seal the bag and turn to coat chicken completely . Marinate for at least 6-8 hours, but overnight is better.

3. Line a large baking dish with sides with heavy duty foil. Spray lightly with oil spray. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

4. In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, the cumin and creole seasoning, then roll each piece of chicken in the crumb mixture.

6. Place chicken in prepared pan and lightly drizzle with olive oil.

7. Bake 50 minutes to one hour until golden brown and crispy outside and the juices run clear.

Creole Seasoning

1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp dried oregano

Mix and store in an airtight container.

[tags]chicken, coleslaw, baking, recipes[/tags]

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