Kentucky Fried Pheasant
I absolutely love KFC - those three letters are making me salivate right now. But I can't eat there any more since I read Fast Food Nation - it put me off fast food for life. Their treatment of animals and environmental record is really rather poor. Until 2006 there was a PETA activist whose legal name was KentuckyFriedCruelty.com (although his mum still called him Chris).
Ever since I stopped eating there I've wondered what the Colonel's 11 secret herbs and spices are, and if it's possible to make at home. Recently I came across a website with a recipe and after a few tweaks I'm in fried chicken heaven once again.
Of course, it doesn't have to be made with chicken, so here I've made it with pheasant (thanks Rachel's mum!) which is just as tasty, but you'll want to make sure you use young tender pheasant, and it does give the final product a stronger taste. Make it with chicken if you like.
The first thing to note is that there aren't 11 herbs and spices listed. The original recipe had onion salt and marjoram too, but we don't have those on the spice rack and I can't taste the difference without them. If it really bothers you then by all means add 11. I've tried removing other ingredients and in my opinion the only ones that really matter are salt, pepper and MSG.
This brings me onto the second thing to note. Yes, you do need to put MSG into it. The original recipe had 2 tbsp of MSG so I've scaled it back to a sixth of that, and anyway there's nothing wrong with MSG. You can buy a bag at any chinese supermarket (or eBay) for a couple of quid that will keep you going for the rest of your life.
- 500g of pheasant/chicken meat, cut into thin strips
- 1 bottle of rapeseed oil (e.g. Crisp N Dry)
- 1 egg
- 150g plain flour
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ tsp ground chilli
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp ground dried sage
- 1 tsp ground dried basil
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp MSG
- 2 tbsp paprika
Put the oil into a large saucepan and heat to 180ºC (warning blah blah hot).
While it's heating, get four bowls. In the first, put the pheasant strips. In the second, beat the egg. In the third, sift the flour and mix in the herbs and spices. One by one, take a pheasant strip and dunk it in the beaten egg, then drop it into the flour and coat on all sides. Place in the fourth bowl.
Once you've coated all the strips, take the coated strips one by one and dunk them carefully in the egg again, then back in the flour again, then place them back into a bowl ready to cook. This double coating is the secret to making it super-awesome.
When the oil is up to temperature cook the strips in batches of 3-4 at a time, for about 2 minutes until they are golden. When you cook the first batch, cut a piece open to check it's cooked and then cook the others to the same colour on the outside.
What do you think? Needs more MSG? Leave your comment below.
In ten days we're leaving the UK for new adventures in Spain...Read more
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