When my parents came from Greece to live here, they were exposed to many new flavours, dishes that were foreign – not Greek. My father worked all his life in restaurants that served what was then a mostly Anglo-Saxon Toronto. My mother worked with other immigrant in factories, with English women who were already in factories.
Both parents were exposed to new foods and thankfully, we didn’t always just eat Greek food at home. There was Prime Rib, Lasagna, Shepperd’s Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Fish and Chips, burgers and fried chicken.
Back in Greece, I have an aunt who came to Canada before my mom and although she returned, she still has fond memories of Canada, the food and oddly, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Greeks are hospitable, deft in the kitchen and we’re good at making Greek and non-Greek foods on a commercial level. Although the amount of Greeks in the food and hospitality industry has diminished, we’re still out there owning and operation restaurants, taverns, bars and hotels.
Back to that fried chicken. There’s a resurgence in comfort foods and many people are discovering they can cook these favourites in their own home – their way. I love fried chicken and today I’m sharing a fried chicken recipe with some Greek accents.
Greeks use buttermilk, we love chicken, lemons, thyme, I bring back from northern Greece a smoked paprika, garlic, onions, rosemary. Obviously non-Greek is the method of brining and but I feel it necessary for a moist result each time.
Moist fried chicken is also a sure thing if you use leg and thigh meat. What we have here is a southern American classic through the filter of a Greek guy who gives you G.F.C. or Greek Fried Chicken.
To make this dish sublime, I’ve heated some Attiki brand Greek honey and added a pinch of cloves, some lemon juice and I drizzle the chicken with a little sweetness and finish it with Boukovo (northern Greek chilli flakes) and crisp fried thyme leaves.
G.F.C. Greek Fried Chicken
8-10 pieces of chicken (thighs and legs), skin on
1/4 cup sea salt
1 lemon, sliced
3 bay leaves
3 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Spiced Lemon Honey
1/2 cup Attiki Greek honey
squeeze of 1/4 lemon
pinch of ground clove
pinch of boukovo (chilli flakes)
sunflower oil for frying
1 handful of thyme sprigs
- Place your chicken pieces in a bowl and enough enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Remove chicken pieces and add salt and stir until dissolved. Now add back the chicken, cover and place in your fridge overnight.
- The next day, drain your chicken and pat-dry. In a large bowl add the flour and seasonings and stir with a fork. In another bowl add the buttermilk and smoked paprika and stir until blended.
- Dredge your chicken in the flour then dip in the buttermilk and dip once again in the flour then reserve while you heat your oil. Add about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep skillet or cast iron pan and bring up to a temperature of 350F.
- Gently place about 3-4 pieces of chicken into the hot oil and fry for about 7 minutes per side then reserve on a cooling rack (important to do this so that the coating doesn’t soften). Fry the remaining pieces of chicken in batches and place on cooling rack (you may then transfer to a pre-heated 280F oven to keep warm). Fry the thyme sprigs in the oil and remove with a slotted spoon, pat-dry on paper towel.
- Place your honey and a pinch of ground cloves and heat over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes then add lemon juice to taste, take off heat and allow to rest for 2 minutes.
- Arrange your friend chicken on a platter or plate, drizzle honey on chicken, strip some crisp thyme leaves on the chicken and sprinkle Boukovo.
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