Nadiya Hussain says her harshest critics and biggest fans are her children – and this is one of their favourite recipes.
“Who doesn’t love chicken doughnuts? They were a hit,” Hussain exclaims. She knew she was onto a winner when she first made them – and her kids kept asking her to test them again: “So I’m like, OK, they like it.”
Pulled chicken doughnuts
- Greased baking tray
- Medium-sized saucepan
For the bread:
- 550 g strong bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 175 g unsalted butter softened
- 60 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 14 g fast-action yeast
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 100 ml cold water
- 1.5 litres oil to deep fry
For the chicken filling
- 280 g chicken breast (about one large breast)
- 125 g barbecue sauce
- 60 g mayonnaise
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 small handful of fresh chives finely chopped
For the savoury dust:
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp dried coriander
- Start by making the dough. Put the flour in a bowl, add the butter and rub in until there are no big butter chunks remaining.
- Now add the sugar and salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other side. Mix thoroughly and then make a well in the centre. Mix the eggs and water in a jug, then pour into the well and mix with the dry ingredients until the dough roughly comes together.
- If you are kneading the dough by hand, flour the work surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is stretchy and shiny. But I prefer to do it using a mixer, as the dough is quite sticky and buttery. When using a dough hook on a mixer it only needs kneading for six minutes on a medium speed. Leave to prove in a warm place covered with a wet tea towel or greased cling-film.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by boiling the chicken breast in a small pan of water on a medium heat for 15 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Once cooked, lift the chicken out of the water and leave on a plate until it’s cool enough to handle. Use two forks to shred and pull it apart. Now add flavour to your chicken by adding the barbecue sauce, mayo, chilli flakes and chives and giving it all a good mix around. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, tip out onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut out 12 equal portions of around 90g each. Making them the same size is important if you want them to fry evenly.
- Have a lined and greased baking tray at the ready. Roll out a dough ball to about 12cm diameter. Add a tablespoon of chicken mix, not heaped, into the centre. Gently lift up the edges of the dough from all around the sides and seal the chicken inside, pinching firmly in the centre. Pop it on the tray, pinched side up. Do this to the rest of them, then pop the tray into the fridge for one hour.
- In the meantime, make the dust by mixing the garlic, cumin, salt, sugar and coriander.
- Just before the hour is up, add the oil to a medium sized pan. Make sure the oil is not higher than halfway up the sides. Heat the oil on a medium heat – if you are using a thermometer you want the oil to reach 150°C. But if not, you can drop a piece of bread into the oil and if it sizzles and rises to the top, the oil is ready. Prepare a baking tray lined with kitchen paper to drain the doughnuts on.
- Gently place a doughnut into the oil, pinched side up. Don’t overcrowd the pan, just do three at a time. Cook the doughnuts gently for six minutes until golden brown all over. You don’t need to turn them, just occasionally push them down into the oil using a slotted spoon. When ready, take out and pop onto the paper to drain, then pop in the oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking through, removing the kitchen paper first. While still piping hot, sprinkle with the savoury dust. Do the same to all of them, frying and sprinkling. Allow to cool down, then eat them lukewarm, or even totally cooled. All I can say is: you are welcome!
Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain, photography by Chris Terry, is published by Michael Joseph
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