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The best, best, BEST thing about this dish is that we have justified fried chicken by turning it into a salad.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 35 min (plus 30 min soak)

Cooking time: 20 mins

Difficulty: time consuming but simple, and addictive

Equipment: deep fryer or a large pot for frying

Capitol Chili Fried Buttermilk Chicken, Baby Kale, Soft Egg and Caesar Mayo


3 cloves garlic

1 mild red chili

250ml buttermilk

4 chicken thighs (bone out)

1 tsp chili flakes

1 Tbsp paprika

½ Tbsp dried thyme

½ Tbsp dried oregano

½ Tbsp dried sage

1 Tbsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1 cup plain flour

1.5 -2lt canola oil

4 free range eggs

250g baby kale (4 cups)

8 anchovies

100g parmesan (80g fine grate, 20g for shaving)

300g Caesar mayo (recipe at www.capitolrestaurant.co.nz)


Peel and crush the garlic, then stir it through the buttermilk. Chop the chicken thighs into 3 cm chunks, cover them with the buttermilk, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, chilis, herbs and spices.

Boil the eggs for 5 1/2 minutes, cool and peel them, then set them aside.

Wash and drain the kale. Make the Caesar dressing.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, drain, and dip it in the spice mixture, making sure that all sides are coated, then sit it on a rack for a few minutes. Heat the canola oil to 180°C then deep-fry the chicken in batches for about 10 minutes until it’s golden brown. Be careful not to crowd the fryer, and rest the cooked chicken on a warm, absorbent surface to drain any excess oil.

Coat the kale with the Caesar dressing, the shaved parmesan, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

Portion the salad onto large bowls. Cut the boiled eggs in half lengthways and nestle them among the leaves. Divide the fried chicken evenly into the salads, add 2 anchovies per salad then finish with some fresh shavings of parmesan and some freshly cracked black pepper.