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Moreish finger-food, starter-kind of food this, but it also makes a great pub-style meal. Serve just-for-fun in a basket with potato wedges, a spicy dipping sauce and a crisp salad on the side. Loads of paper serviettes ...

Crispy Buttermilk Chicken
A crowd-pleaser!


  • 6 whole spring onions, coarsely sliced
  • 1 - 3 cloves garlic, coarsely sliced
  • 30 ml dried sage (or 90 ml fresh, sliced coarsely)
  • red chili flakes, to taste
  • 65 ml lemon juice
  • 375 ml buttermilk
  • 12 - 16 chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs and wing drumettes)
  • 500 ml cornflakes, finely crushed
  • 250 ml Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • salt and freshly-milled black pepper, to taste

Chef's hint: If you are nervous of under-cooked chicken, poach the chicken pieces lightly in chicken stock first, about 6 minutes then allow to cool in the stock. When cool, drain (keep the stock for a future soup), dry well and smother with the marinade. Proceed as indicated and serve with a smile knowing you have prepared the moistest, tenderest crispy cheesy chicken imaginable.


Place the spring onions, garlic, half the sage, chili flakes, lemon juice and buttermilk in a processor and blend until smooth. Place chicken pieces in a glass bowl and pour over the buttermilk mixture. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours or even for up to 12 hours in the fridge, turning the chicken once in a while.

Drain the chicken and place on a tray. Discard the marinade and season the chicken. Mix together the corn flakes, cheese and the rest of the sage and sprinkle over chicken pieces, rolling each piece around in the mixture and patting the crumbs firmly down.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a greased or oiled wire rack positioned inside a baking tray and bake in the oven preheated to 200 C for 35 - 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked right through and golden. If it browns too quickly, lower the oven temperature to 190 C and cover the pieces lightly on top with foil. Serve crisp and hot as a starter with a spicy dipping sauce or as a main course with potato wedges and salad.