Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken With Cabbage Slaw

by | Nov 2, 2015 | 9 comments

A delicious hipster twist on the world-famous American Buttermilk Fried Chicken by adding quinoa to the batter for added crunch and a dash of hot sauce for a chilli hit makes this an instant crowd pleaser. Serve heaped on tangy coleslaw in raw cabbage leaves bowl at your next party or game night!

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

It is hard to believe that I have been cooking for almost three decades – almost. Over the years I have accumulated my share of cooking battle scars, mostly on my hands and forearms. The occurrence of minor splatter burns was more frequent when I first started cooking along with the odd cut from a freshly sharpened knife. With practice and experience, the splatters receded and the angry welts from burns faded away. The knife cuts are still frequent once in a few months.

It was then to my surprise and frustration a few weeks ago that I managed to burn myself with an oil splatter while I carefully slid some chopped onion in a frying pan. The oil splattered onto my face and settled on my upper lip. I knew instantly that it was not a good sign that it stung and clung to the soft skin. Immediately, I ran some cold water and drizzled it over my upper lip with a glass. (One of the worst things you can do when you get a minor splatter burn is to hold an ice pack over it). After a couple of glasses, I moved onto a sponge and soaked it in cold water (still from the tap), squeezing it over my burn repeatedly while angling my head.

Almost 20 minutes into this exercise and once I was satisfied that the oil had washed off and the stinging pain seemed to be holding, I moved on to my first line of defense for house burns – Burnaid*. A tube of soothing Burnaid gel is a staple in my medicine cabinet. Applied to a minor superficial skin burn after treating the area with cold water ensures relief from the stinging pain and helps soothe and cool the burn. I must admit that this is the first time in the past few years that I burned myself and I was glad to be equipped with the right treatment.

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Burnaid Gel - Cook Republic

So getting back to the burn story as you can see from this iPhone picture I took moments after the oil splash, the burn on my upper lip became an angry red welt and I was worried about scarring. After repeating Burnaid application over the next 12 hours, the burning sensation had disappeared. I then dabbed pure Vitamin E oil on the scar for a couple of days. I saw new pink skin forming on the second day and there was no wrinkling or tightness. 6 weeks later, I am happy to report that there is no scar.

Kitchen burns are unpredictable and often sudden. They don’t see rhyme, reason or experience. Knowing how to administer first aid for yourself or someone else who needs it, is very important. I hope you will stock Burnaid, because you never know and it really does help. Every time I have been burned in the past, I revert to eating salads (just kidding!) but I am more cautious with my cooking. What better recipe to share with a burn story then the most amazing Buttermilk Fried Chicken you would ever eat.

I often call this Hipster Fried Chicken because not only has fried chicken been elevated to the ranks of seriously-cool-modern-bistro-food-truck-fare but this fried chicken also has a shot of quinoa in the coating to get that added crunch. It is important to use chicken on bone for maximum flavor and succulence. I have used thigh cutlets and then sliced them in half leaving the bone in one part while the other is boneless. You could also use drumsticks or wings. I massage the chicken pieces in a buttermilk bath spiked with hot sauce (hello Tabasco!) and leave it to marinate in the fridge overnight. If I am time poor, an hour or two is fine for marinating. After a quick drain on wire racks, the chicken is ready to fry and get all golden and crunchy. I have served it with a deliciously good-looking purple cabbage slaw. In the past I have served the chicken in cabbage leaf bowls on top of the cabbage slaw. Perfect party fare!

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic

Quinoa Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Cook Republic



A smashing buttermilk fried chicken recipe with a hipster twist! Quinoa in the crust adds an amazing crunch to this delicious fried chicken and heaped on tangy cabbage slaw and served in cabbage leaf bowls, this lip-smacking street food becomes an instant party hit.
Print Recipe
Course // Canape, Dinner, Party
Cuisine // American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4


For the chicken

  • 8 (1 kg) chicken thigh cutlets, , skin on
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce

For the coating

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dried garlic granules
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

For the slaw

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon rapadura sugar
  • 150 g purple cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 zucchini shredded, liquid squeezed and discarded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • whole cabbage leaves, to serve
  • oil for frying


  • Cut the chicken cutlets in half leaving the bone in one portion while the other is boneless. You will have 16 portions in total.
  • Place chicken portions in a shallow rimmed bowl. Pour buttermilk and hot sauce over the chicken. Massage the buttermilk mixture into the chicken using your fingertips. Cover with cling wrap and brine in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, place in the fridge to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  • Place a wire rack over a large bowl or chopping board. Place marinated chicken on the wire rack to drain the liquid marinade.
  • In another shallow rimmed bowl add all the ingredients for the coating and mix well. Place drained chicken portions in the flour mix and coat evenly.
  • Heat oil (with a high smoke point preferably sunflower oil or rice bran oil or canola oil) on high in a small deep saucepan or fryer. When the oil starts to smoke, reduce heat to medium and gently lower 4 chicken portions in the hot oil. Be careful to slide them in gently to avoid oil splashes. Cook the chicken for approximately 8-10 minutes, turning with a slotted spoon every now and then to ensure even frying. When golden and starting to brown after the said amount of time, remove from hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Repeat with remaining chicken portions, adjusting the heat (increasing it when you feel the oil has cooled and decreasing it when it starts to smoke again).
  • To make the slaw, place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  • To serve as party canapés, scoop coleslaw in cabbage leaves. Add fried chicken over the coleslaw and top with extra mayonnaise and hot sauce.


Fried chicken can be kept warm in the oven on low heat until ready to serve. If preparing ahead, warm the fried chicken in the oven at 160C for about 5-6 minutes. This will refresh and crisp it up.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic


Disclaimer – This post was sponsored by Burnaid(R) gel.  

* Burnaid(R) gel is for the first aid treatment of minor burns. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. (R) Burnaid is a registered trademark. CH-0012 10/15




I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Rosa

    Mouthwatering fried chicken and slaw! That’s a nasty burn. Hot oil can be very treacherous…



  2. Tori

    This looks amazing to say the least, Sneh! I adore your styling and photography and the recipe sounds delicious! Pinned…several times!!

  3. Sarah | Broma Bakery

    Buttermilk fried chicken is one of the best things to ever happen. Ever. Loving the shots, Sneh!

  4. Susan Peeples

    I love the idea of crispy chicken on a bed of slaw. My twist will be to spray breaded chicken with cooking spray and “oven fry.” The slaw needs a crunch element.

    • Sneh

      Susan, this is crispy. The quinoa in the batter makes it crunchy 🙂

  5. Hannah | The Swirling Spoon

    Ahh, that looks painful!!! I was shallow frying tofu last night and it kept spitting on my arms, so I had to put the oven mitts on to keep frying 😛
    But this chicken?!! Hooooly moly. It is perfection!

  6. Jasmine

    Ouch! Nasty little burn there, it’s amazing how little splatters can make such big welts.

    Ermagaaawd this chicken (with levitating fork – very impressed with your balancing skills there) looks ah-mazing. I have some buttermilk in my fridge so might have to try this recipe out. Will grab my Dad’s bee keepers suit, just incase 😉

  7. Carole from Carole's Chatter

    Hi Sneh, this is great. I would love you to stop by Food on Friday: Chicken over at Carole’s Chatter to add this to the recipe collection! Cheers!

  8. Ana Maria

    What a creative and tasty salad with tons of great flavors.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂


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