• Southern fried chicken (Shane Delia's Recipe For Life)Source: Shane Delia's Recipe For Life

The secret to Shane Delia's fried chicken is that sweet paprika coating. With a barbecued corn salad, this dish is where the texture, sweetness and smoky crunch all collide. #RecipeForLife






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (26 votes)


Smoked almond dressing

  • 250 ml (1 cup) sherry vinegar
  • 75 g honey
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 200 g smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 5 g smoked sweet paprika
  • Salt, to taste

Spiced flour

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 40 g garlic powder
  • 40 g onion powder
  • 30 g dried mixed herbs
  • 30 g sweet paprika
  • 10 g cayenne pepper
  • 30 g chicken salt

Buttermilk chicken

  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 15 g caster sugar
  • 10 g salt
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Corn salad

  • 2 corn cobs
  • 70 g puffed corn
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 20 g picked parsley leaves
  • 20 g picked coriander leaves
  • 20 g picked mint leaves
  • 100 g baby spinach leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 1 hour

Resting time: 24 hours

To make the dressing, place the sherry vinegar and honey in a bowl and stir to combine well. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then cover and stand for at least 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop. The dressing will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week and will improve upon standing.

To make the spiced flour, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined.

To make the buttermilk chicken, whisk the buttermilk and egg together in a large bowl. Add the sugar, salt and 50 g of the spiced flour and mix to a smooth paste. Add the chicken, toss to coat well, then cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Reserve the remaining spiced flour.

One hour before serving, remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator. Drain from the buttermilk mixture, then dust the chicken pieces generously in the reserved spiced flour and refrigerate for another hour or until the chicken becomes sticky again.

To make the salad, preheat a lightly oiled barbecue flat-plate to high.  Remove and discard the husks and silks off the corn cobs. Grill the corn, turning regularly until lightly charred all over. Stand the cobs upright in a shallow bowl and slice the kernels off the cob in a downward motion.

Heat the oil for frying in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 170˚C. Add the puffed corn and fry for a few minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel (or a wire rack with a little baking paper underneath) and season with salt. Place the grilled corn, fried puffed corn, onion, herbs and spinach in a large bowl and add enough smoked almond dressing to coat well. Gently mix together, then set aside.

Dust the chicken generously once more in the spiced flour, then deep-fry for 5 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel, slice against the grain and serve with the salad.


Shane Delia's Recipe For Life airs 8pm, Thursdays on SBS and then on SBS On DemandYou can find the recipes and more features from the show here.