Recipe: The ultimate Norfolk fried chicken burger

Southern fried chicken in a bun with homemade honey chipotle mayonnaise

Make our version of a takeaway classic - fried chicken - Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

I’m going to let you into a little secret. Until a month ago I’d never eaten at KFC. Shock horror. Travelling down to the West Country to visit my brother during half term, it was one of the only viable options on a petrol stop – how could I argue with my husband, who still faced three hours of motorway driving after a full day at work? 

I felt a curious mixture of shame and greedy joy in the passenger seat on the gloomy, dark M4 as I rustled in the paper bag, tearing off shards of steaming hot, crinkle-crusted chicken, plunging each bite into a pot of gravy so precariously balanced on my lap it threatened to hurl itself into the footwell. 

Not bad I’ll admit. But nothing compares to homemade. And if you’ve got the time this week/weekend, I’d recommend having a crack at your own DIY version. 

A few things to note. Firstly, try to make your own mayonnaise. It's really easy, especially if you have an electric whisk. It honestly takes just a few minutes to come together. If you’re pregnant or have a pre-existing medical condition or weak immune system, however, use decent shop-bought stuff. 

Next up, the chicken shouldn’t be fridge cold. It will cook quicker if you take it out a good 30 minutes to an hour before cooking. 

And lastly, don’t miss out the step where you allow the chicken to rest in its coating. This allows the egg and flour to mingle and create a strong bond. 

Layer these up how you like or go with my suggestion  - a thick smudge of the mayo, lettuce, crispy bacon and a shake of hot sauce. Delish. 

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Norfolk fried chicken with honey chipotle mayo 

(serves 4) 


2 large chicken breasts, cut in half through the middle – and out of the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking 

3 eggs, whisked 

To dust: 

220g plain flour 

1/2tbsp sea salt 

3/4tbsp crushed black pepper 

2tsps garlic powder 

1tsp ground paprika 

1/4tsp ground cayenne 

For the mayo: 

2 large egg yolks 

200ml vegetable oil 

50ml olive oil 

2tsps lemon juice 

1.5tsps chipotle paste (or chilli paste) 

1tbsp runny honey 

1 small clove garlic, grated 

Seasoning to taste 

Vegetable oil for frying 

To serve: 4 buns, lettuce, grilled streaky bacon, hot sauce 


Make the mayo first. You can do this in a freestanding mixer, blender, with an electric handwhisk, or a balloon handwhisk. 

Place the eggs in a large bowl with the lemon juice. Whisk until a little creamy. Now, drop by drop, add the oil, whisking to combine fully between additions. It should end up being thick and wobbly with a dropping consistency. Stir in the honey, chipotle and garlic. Taste for seasoning. Spoon into a bowl and leave in the fridge. 

Mix together all the dusting ingredients. 

Set yourself up with a bowl or dish with the dusting, a bowl with the beaten eggs, a plate with the chicken, and a cooling rack set over kitchen paper. Fill a medium saucepan a quarter of the way up with oil. 

Dip each piece of chicken in the eggs, allow the excess to drip away, then dip in the flour. Repeat and set on your plate. Leave for 15 minutes. Turn the pan with the oil on. Bring to the boil. Gently lay two pieces of the chicken in the pan, away from you so the oil doesn’t splash your way. Turn the heat down a touch – it should be simmering just before a full boil – and cook for three to four minutes a side until golden and crunchy all over. Remove to the cooling rack with a slotted spoon and cook the rest. To test for doneness, push a skewer into each piece of cooked chicken at its thickest part. The skewer should be boiling hot to touch. 

Layer the chicken in buns with the mayo, lettuce, bacon and a drizzle of hot sauce. Delicious.