Looking to improve our smoked (non) fried chicken recipe, I found an episode of Ugly Delicious (Netflix) dedicated to fried chicken (episode 5). Towards the end of this show, David Chang (the host) visits Chef Asha Gomez (author of the My Two Souths cookbook), and she makes her famous Kerala Fried Chicken for him.
Given Chang’s enthusiastic reaction to the dish, I wanted to try it out. Rather than deep frying it, though, I made it on the grill. And as I prepared her marinade, I was reminded of my mom’s green chutney, prompting me to rename this version of Chef Gomez’s recipe.
I made several other changes to her original recipe (available online on Food52):
- Dredging the chicken in a mix of panko bread crumbs and flour rather than just flour. For the grill, I think panko bread crumbs are needed to give it the extra crunch
- Garnishing with reserved marinade and/or masala rather than coconut oil and fried curry leaves. Mostly, I did this to cut the calories
- Using whole skin-on chicken cut up instead of boneless skinless chicken thighs. This was mostly because of our family’s preferences – kids don’t like the texture of thigh meat.
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Whole Chicken – preferably with skin on – cut into 8-10 pieces (wings, legs, thighs, breasts)
- 10 garlic cloves
- 6 serrano peppers, deseeded. The first time I made this recipe, I didn’t deseed and it was way too spicy.
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro – about 1 cup
- 1 bunch fresh mint – about 1/2 cup
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- Panko bread crumbs
- All-purpose flour
- Garam or Chaat masala (optional garnish)
- Make marinade: In a blender, combine buttermilk, garlic, serrano peppers, cilantro, mint, and Kosher salt and purée until smooth.
- Reserve some of the marinade to drizzle over the chicken just before serving (optional)
- Add chicken to marinade and let it sit for 18-24 hours in the fridge.
- Shake off excess marinade and coat chicken with mix of 3:1 ratio of Panko to All-purpose flour
- Grill indirect at 400 degrees (medium-high heat) until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.This may take 40-60 minutes. Half-way through, I usually flip the chicken and spray (both sides) with oil to add a little fat and make sure a crunchy external surface develops.
- Garnish (optional) with reserved marinade and/or Garam or Chaat Masala