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Atom Lockdown Kitchen – Duncan’s Crispy Fried Chicken recipe


For many teenagers a trip to the chicken shop is a daily pilgrimage to bond over grease, chips and delicious fried chicken. And it’s no different for Duncan and his mates, who take pleasure in finding the greasiest and most stomach-churning establishments they can. In David Owen’s latest novel Grief Angels, these after school hangouts are less about the food and more about friendship. You’ll have to read the book to find out more about Duncan. Here’s our recipe for crispy fried chicken to satisfy your cravings while you’re reading!


INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

2kg chicken thighs, drumsticks & wings (or a meat alternative)

700ml buttermilk

1tbsp salt

1tbsp ground black pepper

2-4tsp cayenne pepper


500g plain flour

4tbsp paprika

3tbsp ground white pepper

2tbsp garlic powder

1tbsp ground black pepper

1tbsp celery salt

1tbsp ground mustard

1tbps ground ginger

1tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp thyme

1/2 tbsp basil

1/2 tbsp oregano

1tsp salt

1tsp cayenne pepper

Vegetable oil for frying




In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Add the chicken to the bowl and coat it in the mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate for 4 hours.


In another large bowl, mix together the flour and spices.


Once the chicken is marinated, take a baking rack and place on top of baking parchment/foil. Remove chicken from the buttermilk one piece at a time, coat in spice mix and place on rack. Leave for 30 minutes to allow spice mix to stick to the chicken and form a dry crust.

STEP 4 (this step involves frying with hot oil, so ensure there’s an adult present to help)

In a deep pan, heat an inch of vegetable oil (to about 160/170 C). Prepare a wire rack and cover with kitchen roll to absorb excess oil. Cook the chicken in batches. Fry each piece for around 14 minutes, turn once using kitchen tongs and fry until golden. Remove and check the centre of the thickest parts of each piece to ensure the meat is cooked through. The juice should run clear and a cooking thermometer should read 70 C. If you’re using a meat alternative, each piece should take 2-4 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to the rack and wait 5 minutes before serving.

We recommend accompanying with coleslaw, corn on the cob and, of course, chips.