- Slice each chicken breast into three or four pieces (depending on size), cutting them on the diagonal so that they have more surface area. Lay each piece between two pieces of clingfilm and bruise with a rolling pin to flatten slightly.
- Put the bashed chicken pieces in a non-metallic bowl with a third of the buttermilk, turning to coat evenly. Cover and chill for at least 30 mins or, preferably, overnight. The buttermilk will tenderise the chicken.
- When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge and preheat the oven to gas 3, 150°C, 140°C fan. Have a tray ready for the coated chicken. Put the flour in a shallow bowl with the dried thyme, paprika and salt. Season with black pepper and mix well. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the remaining buttermilk with the milk. Stir 3 tbsp this buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture to make the consistency slightly ‘lumpy’. Now dip each chicken piece into the flour bowl, turning to coat lightly. Now dip it into the buttermilk bowl, again, turning to coat. Lastly, dredge with the flour mixture again and lay on the tray. Repeat with all the chicken pieces.
- Put the sugar waffles on a baking tray and slide into the oven to warm through for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan and place over a medium heat. When the thermometer reads 170°C or a 1cm cube of white bread turns golden in 30 secs, use tongs to add the chicken to the pan in a single layer. It is important not to overcrowd the pan or the oil will fall in temperature, making the chicken greasy, so aim to cook in two or three batches.
- Turn the chicken after 1½-2 mins. It should be a rich, golden brown. Cook for another 1½-2 mins then use the tongs to transfer the pieces to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Put in the oven to keep warm whilst frying the remaining chicken in the same way.
- Serve the hot chicken on the warmed sugar waffles, with the maple syrup drizzled over.
Tip: Though not quite as authentic, it is possible to cook the chicken in the oven. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, 170°C fan and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper and grease lightly with oil. After coating the chicken, space the pieces out on the lined tray and either spray lightly with sunflower oil from a spritzer bottle, or drizzle with a total of 3 tbsp sunflower oil. Bake for 25-30 mins, until golden and sizzling. Serve as above.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.
As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.