Crispy Chicken Drumsticks with Fragrant Coleslaw

I created this recipe for anyone with a penchant for fried chicken. It’s wonderfully crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside and full of flavour: exactly what you want from fried chicken (but healthier than the average takeaway version). The coleslaw not only tastes great as an accompaniment, but it also adds vegetables and all their associated nutrients.  If you are short of time, you can skip the brining, but it is worth it for special occasions.

serves 4 


8 chicken drumsticks
2 tbsp light olive oil or coconut oil
lemon wedges, to serve

For the brine:
100g sea salt
85g coconut blossom nectar or honey
2 litres lukewarm water

For the spicy crust:
200g red lentils
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 egg, preferably free-range or organic, beaten

For the coleslaw:
1/2 white cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted fennel seeds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 egg yolks
lemon juice and zest, to taste
100ml light olive oil
150ml extra virgin olive
salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Mix the brine ingredients together until the salt and coconut blossom nectar (or honey) have dissolved. Pour over the chicken, cover and store in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Grind the lentils to a flour in a food processor, then mix in the spices and thyme and set aside, sealed to keep in the flavours.

While the chicken is brining, prepare the coleslaw. Mix the vegetables and seeds together in a large bowl, then make the mayonnaise. Whisk together the egg yolks and lemon zest, then slowly add first the olive oil, whisking as you go, until you get a thick, silky consistency. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season to taste. Mix well, cover and rest in the fridge until ready to serve.

Remove the chicken from the brine and steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Pat dry with kitchen towel. Roll each drumstick in the beaten egg and then in the spice mix, until completely covered.

Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut/olive oil in a large frying pan until very hot, then fry the drumsticks (in two batches) for 6 to 8 minutes, until each side is browned – you may need to add more coconut oil for the second batch if the pan is looking dry. Serve with the coleslaw and a wedge of lemon.

This recipe is from Cook, Nourish. Glow – Michael Joseph, 2016

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