Chicken Breast

Jollof Fried Chicken

October 19, 2021
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Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

By far the most popular dish on both our street-food and restaurant menus is this super-crispy and succulent fried chicken recipe—giving KFC a run for its money with all those herbs and spices in the Jollof Dry Spice Mix! —Zoe Adjonyoh

Test Kitchen Notes

Excerpted with permission from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen © 2017 by Zoe Adjonyoh, 2017. Published by Mitchell Beazley. All rights reserved. —The Editors

  • Prep time 4 hours
  • Cook time 4 minutes
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • Jollof Dry Spice Mix
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground onion
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons dried chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cubeb tail pepper
  • 1 teaspoon scant dried ground shrimp or crayfish powder (optional)
  • Brine
  • 27 to 34 ounces water
  • 100 grams (3 ½ oz) fine sea salt
  • 80 grams (3 oz) honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Jollof Dry Spice Mix
  • Fried Chicken
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons Jollof Dry Spice Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 200 milliliters (7 fl oz) buttermilk
  • 500 ml to 1 liter (18 fl oz–1¾ pints) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 150 to 200 grams (5½ to 7 oz) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the jollof dry spice mix: Blend all the ingredients together in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and use within a few months.
  2. Make the brine: Mix together the brine ingredients and add the chicken breasts to ideally soak overnight, but at least for two hours. This is an extra step that will tenderize lean chicken breasts to ensure super juicy fried chicken, but if you don't have time for this step, simply follow the steps below and you'll still get a juicy-licious fried chicken.
  3. Marinate the chicken: If you followed the steps for the brine, mix 1 tablespoon of the jollof dry spice mix with sea salt, black pepper, and canola oil in a large bowl. If you skipped the brine, add all 2 tablespoons of the jollof spice mix. Add the chicken strips and buttermilk to coat them. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 to 2 hours and up to overnight, if you haven't already brined the chicken overnight. The buttermilk's acidity and cultures will do the work of tenderizing while also providing an easy sticky surface for the coating.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, deep saucepan filled to just under half the depth of the pan. You want the oil to get to 350 to 375°F, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
  5. Meanwhile, put the cornstarch in a separate bowl with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon and mix well. Prepare a paper towel-lined plate for the chicken.
  6. Dip each chicken strip into the seasoned cornstarch to coat evenly—try to do 4 or 5 pieces in quick succession, as you need to drop them into the hot oil straight away.
  7. Fry the chicken, in batches, for no more than 3 to 4 minutes to keep them succulent and juicy yet cooked through, and golden and crispy but not burnt. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel, keeping the cooked chicken hot while you fry the rest.

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