How to make buttermilk fried chicken: review of Bill’s Basics

My cookbook collection already contains a few tomes by Bill Granger which are pretty well used so I was happy to get my hot little hands on a copy of his latest cookbook Bill’s Basics. For those who haven’t heard of Bill Granger he is a celebrity chef in Australia with a smile so gleaming that he has starred in toothpaste commercials. Bill is a self taught cook rather than a chef which means that his recipes are generally pretty accessible and the sort of thing you can whip up on a weeknight after work. His cafe in Sydney is famous for its breakfasts and I have happy memories of feasting on Bill’s sweet corn fritters there (which you can find a pretty good reproduction of at Lantana in London). Now Bill is opening a restaurant in London which may be the reason behind the release of this latest book.


Buttermilk fried chicken
The book contains 100 of Bill’s favourite classic dishes featuring things like eggs benedict, pork belly, fish and chips and pavlova. It’s nothing fancy but it’s simple, easy comfort food with an Australian summery feel. Bill’s Basics is just the sort of down to earth cookbook I like although I was a bit disappointed that the book doesn’t include some of the classic dishes that Bill is most famous for (including those sweet corn fritters).
I tested out the recipe for “fried” chicken which is actually baked and so a much healthier. Ideally you marinate the chicken first overnight (although I just managed a couple of hours) in buttermilk and a heap of spices to add flavour. The buttermilk keeps the flesh juicy and tender. Then it is rolled in breadcrumbs to add a crisp, crunchy texture. Served with a simple parsley and rocket salad and a wedge of lime who needs the finger lickin’ fried version.
375ml buttermilk
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsps ground coriander
2 tsps paprika
6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken thighs
200g breadcrumbs or panko
lime wedges and some salad to serve
The chicken crumbed before putting it into the oven
1. Mix the buttermilk, salt, ginger, tumeric, half the coriander and half the paprika in a bowl.
2. Add the chicken, toss to coat and marinate overnight in the fridge.
3. Preheat the oven to 190c and brush a large tray with olive oil.
4. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix in the remaining coriander, paprika and salt and pepper.
5. Lift the chicken out of the marinade and toss to coat with the breadcrumbs mixture until covered evenly.
6. Place the chicken on the tray and bake in the oven for 40 -45 mins until the crumbs are golden brown and the chicken is cooked (the juices should run clear if a skewer is insterted).
Serves six.
I received a review copy of Bill’s Basics to test out from Quadrille.
Gourmet Giveaway
The winners of the Gourmet Giveaway for tickets to the London restaurant festival big debate are Itinerantepicure and Neris. They won by virtue of being the second and fourth comments on the post using
If you liked reading this you might like this Bill Granger recipe for miso salmon or you can read my review of Lantana.


  1. I love Bill’s restaurant in Sydney – like you, I always go for the corn fritters!

  2. It pains me to say it, but fried chicken is always improved with half the salt substituted with MSG. Unless someone’s sensitive to glutamate, of course, but half a teaspoon over a batch of fried chicken should be less of it than you’d get sprinkling parmasean over your pasta.

  3. yum the best thing about baking “fried” chicken is the ease of washing up afterwards. must try out this recipe soon!

  4. I love Bill and am practically besides myself with excitement that he’s gonna open a restaurant in London. Hopefully it’s not gonna be too far away!

    Are you going to any of his London promotional events?

  5. I make really fabulous FRIED fried chicken, but I think I’ll try this healthier baked version. The frying makes such a mess that in recent years I’ve taken to only making my fried chicken in OTHER people’s kitchens! Isn’t that a hoot?!

  6. Ah, “fried” chicken. I’m gonna have to make this at home to stop myself buying junky fried chicken so much!

  7. That chicken looks great. Although I’ve salivated over Bill’s food on TV, I’ve never tried any of his recipes. Still, I am really looking forward to checking out his restaurant when it comes to the UK.
    Have a great weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  8. Having made fried chicken a couple weekends ago, I can’t fathom baked being better. But for the sake of my arteries, I’ll try, as it looks delicious.

  9. Love it. Healthy fried chicken! I’ve had this at the Florence in Herne Hill (not quite Sydney, but I am slightly allergic to Australia). Tks for the post, I’m going to give it a try..

  10. Greedy Diva – I know – well opening in London soon apparently

    Anon – So that’s the secret…

    Helen – I agree no messing about with hot oil makes it a lot easier

    Su-yin – No I’m not but would love to.

    Jean – I love that you only make it in other peoples kitchens!

    Su-lin – yes maybe this is the secret to avoiding the high street fried chicken shops

    HH- his recipes are usually really easy so I would recommend trying them out

    Lizzie – I must admit that there is something about frying but this is a good alternative

    Grumbling Gourmet – allergic to Australia!

  11. Oh that’s great that he’s opening up a place in London! I wonder if the menu will be similar? 😮

  12. Lorraine – I am going to do my best to find out. Think he will be splitting his time between London and Sydney so Sydney’s partial loss may be London’s gain.

  13. Hey – I am definitely delighted to find this. great job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *