So I desperately wanted to bake this chicken – without using any oil. I really tried but could not help it.
So I caved in, the thought of fried chicken just does that to me. Sometimes you just want the crispy crunchy exterior that this crispy fried chicken yield.
In West Africa, we steam or poach our chicken first in a sauce pan – preferably one with a lid, that fits securely on top, before deep-frying. I am going to tell you why.
This helps the spices to infiltrate the chicken, retain moisture and more importantly, to assure that the chicken is fully cooked while shortening the cooking time. Making it easy, even for an inexperienced cook to make them.
I paired them with fries – yes, plantain fries – my all time favorite starchy side. They are super crispy and tasty without any extra embellishments.
The trick is to make them with green plantains or barely ripe plantains – they still have to be firm. For those that want to make these fries without deep-frying, just lightly spray with canola oil and bake. You can follow the instructions here. Do the same for the chicken.
Serve with this African pepper sauce recipe
Watch How to Make It
African Fried Chicken and Plantain Fries
- 3- 3 1/2 pound chicken cut in pieces
- ½ medium onion sliced
- 4-5 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon white pepper.
- 2 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon curry
- 1 teaspoon Maggi or bouillon granules
- 3-5 tablespoon parsley /basil any fresh herb
- 1 teaspoon Salt to taste adjust according to preference
- Oil for deep frying
- 4 unripe green or slightly ripe plantains
- Oil for deep frying
African Fried Chicken
- Place chicken in a large pot or saucepan.
- Grind garlic, ginger, herbs, salt and Maggie in a mortar with a pestle or on a chopping board with the edge of a knife. You may also use a blender or food processor for this section.
- Rub ground spice mixture on the chicken, and then add paprika, white pepper, curry and sliced onions.
- Mix in chicken using a spoon until they are well coated. Set aside in the fridge and marinate about an hour or preferably overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove the chicken, add about a ¼ cup of water, if needed, and bring to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or more, depending on the chicken. (If using chicken hen, you have to cook it until tender before deep-frying)
- Stir frequently to prevent any burns if no water is used.
- Preheat a deep fryer to 350 degrees F or in a large sauce pan, pour vegetable oil, until it is at least 3 inches (or about 5 centimeters) high .
- Shake off any excess spice or onions from the chicken.
- Deep-fry the chicken in the fryer or saucepan a few pieces at a time, moving them around so they don't stick. Fry until brown and crispy, about 10- 15 minutes or until brown.
- Remove from the fryer with a slotted spoon to a tray lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve with fries and African pepper sauce.
Fried Plantain Fries
- Using a sharp knife, cut both ends off the plantain. This will make it easy to grab the skin of the plantains.
- Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain; peel only as deep as the peel.
- Remove plantain peel by pulling it back. If plantains are straight from the fridge, you can run it through hot water, to facilitate peeling
- Cut in half cross way, then cut in half length ways and cut further into desired uniform strips.
- Heat up a large skillet or cast iron with oil up to ½ inch- medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
- Fry the plantain cubes in batches, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan (it will make the plantains to be soggy and absorb excess oil)
- Use a slotted spoon, transfer the fried plantains and drain on paper towels.