Buttermilk chicken and fruit cordial

7 February 2017
Here's another recipe that is good to eat in summer or winter. It is started the night before and marinated overnight, the preparation and cooking the following day takes about 30 minutes. You can do a plain version using only salt and pepper or a mild spicy version using the spices below without the chilli, or a hot version, depending on who will be eating it.  This is great hot or cold so it's good for picnics and lunch boxes, particularly wrapped in flatbread with a salad.

The buttermilk tenderises the chicken and usually keeps it moist during the cooking.  I have tried frying the chicken until it's cooked and I've tried oven baking the chicken until it's cooked. The combined frying and baking method works best for taste and visual appeal.

Makes 2 - 3 portions

2 skinless chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk

½ cup plain flour
1 tablespoon paprika
½ tablespoon turmeric
½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Oil for frying

Cut up chicken breasts into large bite size pieces. Don't cut it too small because the chicken will dry out too much. Pour the buttermilk into a sealable plastic bag, move the chicken pieces around until all of them are covered in buttermilk and place the bag in the fridge overnight.

When you're ready to cook, take the chicken out of the bag and put it in a bowl. Discard the buttermilk. Place flour, spices and seasoning in a bowl and roll the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, a few at a time.  When all the chicken pieces are coated, get ready to fry them.

Heat oil in a frying pan and when it's hot, carefully place the chicken pieces in the pan. Fry for about five minutes or until they are a golden colour. You don't want to cook them in the frying pan, you just want them to develop the colour you want when you serve them.

When they're golden, place all the pieces on a small baking tray and pop into a preheated oven on 185C/365F and cook for another 20 minutes. Cut one in half to check they're cooked and remove from the oven.  Cover with foil to keep warm.

We had an abundance of passionfruit on our vines in December so I made passionfruit cordial with some of the excess.  I know they're expensive in the shops now ($1 - $1.50 each !) but you could also make this using pineapple, mango, berries, citrus juice or a combination of several juices. To make any fruit cordial you make a sugar syrup - equal amounts of sugar and water, add lemon juice or citric acid (from the supermarket) and if you have 2 cups of sugar syrup you add 2 cups of fruit juice. You can make a weak syrup using half the amount of sugar to water if you wish, you can make it with honey but I've never made it so you'll have to do your own research.

This will make up just under 2 litres/quarts.
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 - 3 cups fresh passionfruit pulp
Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan, heat up while stirring, bring to the boil and when the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat.  Allow to cool for a while and add the passionfruit.  We like the seeds here but if you don't want them in your drink, strain them out. Mix throughly and pour into a clean and sterile bottle and seal. It will keep for 4 - 6 weeks in the fridge.

Serve with cold sparkling mineral water and ice.