Southern-style Chicken with Potato Salad

KFC on a diet? The Colonel might not lose any sleep over this recipe, but it’s a good low-cal version

As a former ‘respected’ KFC employee (I lasted three weeks, and quit when they wouldn’t let me have Saturday off to watch Sheffield United vs Bolton), I was looking forward to trying Tom Kerridge’s twist on the Colonel’s secret recipe. Southern-style Chicken with Potato Salad might be missing fries and sides, but this lower calorie imitation is healthier and cheaper than the real thing. And it tastes damn good, too!

Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off. Granted they are off-putting, but most of them are spices and herbs which you’ll use again. The southern-fried effect is created by coating the chicken thighs in low-fat buttermilk and flour and then marinating them for at least four hours (or preferably overnight).

My version turned out reasonably well, although I was little too frivolous with the flour and forgot to shake off the excess before baking them in the oven. Apart from that aberration this was a decent attempt, with the accompanying potato salad being the unexpected star of the show.

Recipe: Southern-style Chicken with Potato Salad

Calories: 510 per serving; 385 without potato salad

Serves: 4

Book: Tom Kerridge – Lose Weight for Good

Prep time: Approx 20 mins plus marinating time (minimum of 4 hours or preferably overnight)

Cooking time: Approx 30 mins


  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1kg in total)
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Sunflower oil spray
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

For the marinade:

  • 200ml low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp white pepper

For the herby potato salad:

  • 600g new potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt (0% fat)
  • 1 heaped tsp low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 40 cornichons (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp each finely chopped chives, flat-leaf parsley and mint

Cost per portion: Approx £2.43


Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, add the chicken and turn to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

For the salad, put the new potatoes into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for about 20 minutes, until tender; drain. Leave to cool. In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt, mayonnaise, mustard and white wine together.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to fan 240 degrees / Gas 10. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

Mix the flour, garlic salt, smoked paprika, thyme and 1 tsp each flaky salt and ground black pepper together in a shallow bowl. Dip each marinated chicken piece into the flour mix and turn to coat well on all sides. Place on the lined baking tray.

Spray each piece of chicken 4 or 5 times with the spray oil. Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 20-30 minutes until crispy, browned and cooked through. To test, poke the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear.

To assemble the salad, halve the cooled potatoes and place them in a serving bowl. Add the yoghurt dressing and turn to coat, then stir through the rest of the ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the hot Southern-style chicken thighs.


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