Polenta-crusted chicken with cornbread

Soak chicken thighs and drumsticks in buttermilk, then coat in paprika and cayenne batter and fry. Serve with homemade southern-style bread

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Serves 6
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 621
  • fat 22g
  • saturates 5g
  • carbs 70g
  • sugars 6g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 36g
  • salt 1.2g


  • 8 skin-on chicken pieces (we used drumsticks and thighs)
  • 200ml buttermilk (or regular milk if you can't find it)
  • 100g polenta or cornmeal
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • large pinch of paprika
  • large pinch of cayenne
  • 100ml sunflower oil, for frying
  • coleslaw, to serve
  • oil, for greasing
  • 200g polenta, cornmeal or polenta flour
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 500ml buttermilk or natural yogurt


  1. If you have time, soak the chicken in the buttermilk (not regular milk) overnight. To make the cornbread, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Grease 6 holes of a muffin tin, or a special cornbread tin if you have one. Tip the dry ingredients into a bowl and separately beat the eggs with the buttermilk or yogurt. Pour over the dry ingredients and beat together to make a batter. Divide the batter between the holes and bake for 20 mins until puffed up. Remove the tin from the oven and leave to cool.

  2. Put a rack in a roasting tin in the oven. Tip the polenta, flour and spices into a food bag with a generous pinch of salt and some pepper. Dip the chicken into the buttermilk, add a few pieces to the bag and shake to coat in the flour mixture, then place on a plate. Heat a decent puddle of oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the chicken in batches until golden and crispy. When all the chicken has been fried, place it on the rack and bake for 30 mins until completely cooked through. Serve with the cornbread and some coleslaw.

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