Lightened-Up Southern Fried Chicken with Rosemary

Ok, so it’s not exactly diet food, but once in a while this lightened-up southern fried chicken with rosemary makes a really delicious, decadent supper!

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  • Serves 4-6

  • Prep time 20 mins

    plus marinating
  • Cooking time 25 mins

  • Total time 45 mins

  • Skill level Easy

  • Calories 526-351 per serving

  • Prepare ahead yes


  • 8 free-range chicken thighs or drumsticks (we used a mixture)
  • 1x284ml buttermilk
  • 1tsp salt
for the batter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, spines finely chopped
  • 500ml sunflower or groundnut oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve


  1. UPlace the chicken pieces, buttermilk and salt in a bowl and marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight. The salt will draw the water out of the chicken, and let it absorb the buttermilk making it more tender.

  2. When ready to cook, mix the flour with the rosemary and some sea salt, remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shake off the excess and dip each piece in the flour, to lightly coat on all sides. Heat the oven to 180 C, fan 160 C, 350 F, gas 4. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, and when it begins to shimmer, drop a piece of bread in – it should turn golden in about a minute. When you’ve reached the correct temperature, fry the chicken in batches for 5-6 minutes, until golden on all sides, then transfer to the oven and cook for an extra 10 minutes. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges to squeeze over. It’s up to you what you serve this with, but we like oven chips and a bitter salad!