Fried Baby Chicken (Backhendl)
Recipe contributed by Anita Zweig. Anita is the grandmother of a friend of ours, and one of the many highlights of our testing year was going to Anita’s home in Sydney to cook with her. What a delight to meet her and what a privilege to hear her life story. We arrived in the morning to find everything prepped and ready to go, aprons for us all and the table set for lunch with linen and crystal, with a bottle of wine for us to enjoy. We watched, we helped, we listened and we learned. And then we ate. The backhendl is best fried just before serving.
- 4 1-pound-2-ounces (500 g) baby chickens (poussin)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups dry breadcrumbs
- 2 cups light olive or vegetable oil
- Quarter the chickens, remove the backbone and trim the pieces so you have 4 neat pieces from each chicken. Wash and dry the pieces well with paper towel. Place the flour on a plate and add half of the salt and pepper. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Place the breadcrumbs on a separate plate and toss with the remaining salt and pepper. Taking 1 piece of chicken at a time, coat it with the flour, dip into the egg mixture and press straight into the breadcrumbs. Pat firmly and turn over so the breadcrumbs coat the whole piece. Set aside. Repeat with all the chicken pieces.
- In a deep frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat until hot and fry the chicken in batches for about 5 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden. To check if each piece is cooked through, insert a skewer or sharp knife into the thickest part of the joint; if the juices run clear, it is ready.
- Serve with German potato salad and New York deli coleslaw.
- Reprinted with permission from It's Always About the Food by Monday Morning Cooking Club (HarperCollins, 2017).