Ask a Chef: Graeme Cheevers of Glasgow's Unalome tells us how to make chicken a bit more exciting

Poor old chicken is the dullest of meats, so let a chef tell you how to rev it up


For me, buttermilk fried chicken is the perfect comfort food and something we all love – even if it can be a bit of a mess to eat (you’ll definitely need napkins). Give this flavourful recipe a go to beat those January blues. Here it’s made with a Korean influence; sticky and coated in a spicy and gingery glaze to warm you up a little on the coldest of January days. You can also adapt the glaze to your own tastes depending on what kind of chilli you use. (Proceed with caution as there are some varieties that might make the dish too hot to handle).


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1 whole chicken (1.6-2kg)

400g plain flour

2 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2 1/2 tsp salt

Buttermilk Korean fried chicken

1 1/4 tsp black pepper

1 ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

5 tsp baking powder

400g buttermilk

For the sauce:

200g peanuts

4 cloves garlic

5 tsp Dijon mustard

5 tsp brown sugar

125g soy sauce

5 tsp rice wine vinegar

300g tomato ketchup

7 tsp sesame oil

1 red chilli

10g root ginger

7 tsp sesame seeds

1 Preheat the deep fat fryer to 170°C and set your oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.

2 Start by making the peanut glaze. Peel the knob of root ginger and add to a food processor along with the red chilli, the rice wine vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, mustard, garlic, peanuts, 200ml of cold water and the sesame oil. Blend to a smooth sauce before putting it aside in a large mixing bowl.

3 Prepare the chicken by combining the dry ingredients - flour, black pepper, paprika, sea salt, cayenne, and baking powder - in a large bowl. Whisk to distribute the ingredients evenly.

4 Divide this mixture between two large mixing bowls and pour the buttermilk into a third bowl. Set a wire rack on a baking tray.

5 Cut the whole chicken into pieces, separating legs, wings and breasts. You can also buy the chicken already dissembled, if it’s easier.

6 Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and shake off any excess powder, then set the dusted pieces on the wire rack. Now dip each piece into the bowl of buttermilk, then dredge them into the second bowl of flour, making sure they’re evenly coated, before returning them to the rack.

7 In the deep fat fryer, fry the chicken in two batches at 170°C, turning occasionally, for 12 minutes until golden brown, before removing to another clean rack and placing into the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.

8 Once cooked, remove from the oven, toss the chicken pieces in the glaze, sprinkle over some sesame seeds and serve.

Unalome by Graeme Cheevers is opening on 36 Kelvingrove Street, Finnieston, Glasgow in March this year.

For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter and Instagram @UnalomebyGC.

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