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The Hirshon Irish 'Spice Bag' Fried Chicken And Chips With Curry Dipping Sauce - Mála Spíosra na hÉireann

The Hirshon Irish ‘Spice Bag’ Fried Chicken And Chips With Curry Dipping Sauce – Mála Spíosrach na hÉireann

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 2 free-range boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs, if you must), sliced in long thin strips
  • 100ml buttermilk (or regular milk with 1 tsp fresh lemon juice)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. plain flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch (TFD change for extra crispiness, use flour for original)
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 red Fresno chili, sliced (de-seeding optional for lower heat)
  • 1 green Serrano chili, sliced (de-seeding optional for lower heat)
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced into half moons
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely-chopped
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • ***
  • The Hirshon Spice Bag Spicing Blend:
  • 1 Tbsp. Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly-ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili crisp, drained of oil and mashed with 1/2 Tbsp. fermented black beans (TFD optional addition – add this mixture in only AFTER you have reserved the other dry spices to mix into the chicken flour coating in step 1 – the chili crisp and black beans combo is far too chunky to work into the flour coating)
  • ***
  • Irish Curry Sauce:
  • 1 large onion (peeled and diced)
  • 1 large apple (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato puree
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)


  1. For the curry sauce:
  2. Prepare the spice blend for the sauce. In a small bowl or ramekin add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander seed, and cinnamon. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4 minutes. Caramelized onions add a delicious sweetness to the sauce. Next, add the peeled and diced apple to the pan and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  3. Toss in the minced garlic and ginger. Next add in the aromatic spice blend. Mix the spices and onions together as they cook for another minute. Flour is my sauce thickener of choice. Cook it over medium heat for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan as you combine the mixture completely. The flour can burn and stick to the bottom of the pan very easily, so be careful!
  4. Now let’s get saucy. Gradually add the stock while you constantly stir the mixture to prevent lumps forming. Scrape the bottom of the pan as you mix everything together. Bring it to a boiling point, then reduce the heat so the sauce is just simmering.
  5. Now comes my secret ingredient. I add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, not a typical curry requirement. I just love the extra dimension it adds to the exotic flavors of this sauce. A hint of sweetness is next. Add the tomato paste and two teaspoons of sugar. Season with salt and pepper and mix everything together. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  6. Some cooks like to add a teaspoon of lemon juice at this point, but I prefer not to detract from the sweetness of my curry sauce. Feel free to try it if you want to add a little freshness at the end.
  7. Decision time has now arrived. To blitz or not to blitz that is the question. If you prefer a textured sauce with lumps of apple and caramelized onion then skip this step. In our house, there is no skipping a little spin in the blender. My husband likes onion flavor but detests their texture, so I always make a smooth curry sauce.
  8. Before blending, turn the heat off under the pan and allow the sauce to cool a little. This is a precautionary step just in case of blender accidents. Sticky, boiling curry sauce can easily burn. Believe me – I know. I’ve had a few blender explosions in my day. I now always hold the lid down with a dish towel when I switch the beast on.
  9. When ready pour the sauce into the blender and blitz until smooth (1 to 2 minutes depending on how powerful your blender is).
  10. Return the sauce to the pan and turn the heat back on. Time for another decision – to add raisins or not. I love the sweet surprise of golden raisins in this spicy sauce. If you decide to go with them, then just toss them in and stir them around. Then you’re ready to serve your spicy sauce with perfectly golden chips or fries.
  11. Next, prepare your chicken by steeping it in buttermilk and cumin for an hour to tenderize. In another bowl, add 2 tsp. of the spice bag blend to the flour and cornstarch to season the breading mixture.
  12. For truly crispy chips, it’s a three-step process but totally worth it. First off, parboil the peeled and cut chips in boiling, salted water for two minutes to begin the cooking process as your oil gets to 170ºC / 340 F. Drain the chips well and then fry for 4-5 minutes at this lower temperature to cook through, then remove. You don’t want a lot of color, just a firm exterior (and they will be fluffy inside!) Then, just before serving, crank the heat up to 190ºC / 375 F to fry for a further 90 seconds or so to get that gorgeous golden color.
  13. For the chicken, you’re also going to fry at 170-180ºC / 350 F for around five minutes. Take your chicken strips from the buttermilk (shaking off the excess) and dunk into your seasoned flour to coat, then gently lower into the hot oil. You may need to do this in two batches. When golden brown and crisp, drain and remove to a wire rack over a baking sheet, lined with kitchen paper.
  14. For the flash-fried vegetables, heat a wok or frying pan to a high heat and add 1/2 Tbsp. of neutral oil. When the oil is hot, introduce the onions and keep moving, you want them to soften but not color if you can help it. After a minute or so introduce the garlic and then just before you finish frying add in the sliced chili. Remove from the heat.
  15. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle 2-3 Tbsp. of the spice bag mixture (or use as much as you like) over the chicken, chips, onion, garlic and chilies mix and toss everything together to combine. Serve it with curry sauce alongside (preferred for the true Irish experience!) or not, as you prefer.

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