Chaguanas-Style Fried Chicken

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Preparation info

  • Serves:

    6 to 8

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Kentucky Fried Chicken and the local chain, Royal Castle, are very popular in Trinidad, but not without a Trini twist. The KFC chicken from my father’s home town of Chaguanas is widely agreed to be the best because of the copious amounts of pepper that somehow found its way into the Colonel’s recipe. I got the idea for this fried chicken as a result, which might call to mind the “Hot Chicken” popular in Tennessee.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-4 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces with bones
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • teaspoon paprika
  • Canola oil for frying

Method

  1. Rub the lime juice all over the chicken pieces and then rinse with cold water. Drain completely and pat dry. Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Using a spoon, mix in the hot pepper sauce and toss well to coat. Add the evaporated milk and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the flour, baking powder, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika until well combined. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and shake off excess milk mixture from each piece (reserving milk mixture) then dredge them in flour mixture. Set them in a single layer on a large platter.
  3. Once again, dip the chicken pieces in the spiced milk and then again in the flour mixture. When all the pieces have been coated twice, place the platter in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 400°F. Heat about 2 cups of canola oil in a deep frying pan or large Dutch oven. Test oil with a frying thermometer (it should be between 350 and 375 degrees) or by dropping a pinch of flour into the oil—if it bubbles vigorously the oil is ready.
  5. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and gently place chicken pieces in the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, allow about ½ inch space between each piece. Fry chicken until golden brown on one side, about 8 to 10 minutes, then turn over and brown the other side. Remove the chicken pieces with tongs and place on a wire rack placed over a sheet tray. Place the sheet tray in the preheated 400°F. oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve with Fry Bake and Trini Coleslaw.