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Curried fried chicken burger with sweet mango relish and celeriac slaw

Serves 6 - 8
Prep 40 min
Cook 35 min
Marinate 1 hr +

For all-out-finger-licking-no-one-is-looking-eat-with-your-hands food, not much beats fried chicken. This is my colleague Chaya’s go-to. The slaw can also be made with cabbage or carrots instead of the celeriac, if you prefer (or buy some ready-made).

Ingredients

800g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut in half
200g plain yoghurt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp garlic granules (simply omit if you don’t have any)
1 tbsp madras curry powder
fine sea salt and black pepper
600ml sunflower oil, for frying
mayonnaise, to serve
burger buns of choice, to serve
FOR THE COATING
360g plain flour
120g cornflour (or potato starch)
2 tsp baking powder
FOR THE MANGO RELISH
160g sweet mango chutney – we like Geeta’s
40g cornichons, roughly chopped, plus 2 tbsp of the brine for the slaw
3 tbsp fresh lime juice (ie, from 2-3 limes)
FOR THE SLAW
150g celeriac (ie, half a small one), peeled and julienned
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (50g)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 red chilli, stalk, seeds and pith discarded, flesh thinly sliced

Method

  1. Put the chicken, yoghurt, 100ml water, eggs, garlic granules (if using) and curry powder in a medium bowl, then add a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix well to coat, then leave to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour (or refrigerated overnight; if marinating overnight, make sure you let it come back to room temperature for an hour before frying).
  2. Sift all the coating ingredients and a teaspoon and a half of fine sea salt into a large, high-sided tray and mix well with a spoon. Lift the chicken pieces one by one out of the marinade, keeping as much of the marinade on the meat as possible, then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing it down well, so it clings to the chicken in craggy bits. Repeat with the remaining chicken, then leave all the pieces in the flour tray, so the marinade can absorb as much of the flour mixture as possible: you don’t want any bald patches.
  3. Put the oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat and, once hot, fry the chicken in three or four batches for five to seven minutes on each side, until golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on kitchen paper.
  4. To make the relish, mix the chutney, chopped cornichons and lime juice in a medium bowl. To make the slaw, mix the pickle brine, celeriac, red onion, lime juice, chilli, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper in a medium bowl, then set aside for five minutes, to soften.
  5. Assemble the fried chicken burger with a generous dollop each of the mayo and relish, and the slaw piled on top.