This restaurant style Chicken 65 will remind you of your favourite thela or Andhra mess! Cubes of crispy fried chicken packed with robust south Indian flavours. See my tips on how to make the marinade, how to get that extra crispy outer layer, etc!
This chicken appetizer recipe has been on my must-make list for sooo long. Finally got around to it because I was in the mood for experimenting and was craving fried chicken. KFC isn't a patch compared to this dish - Chicken 65 is the OG Fried Chicken that y'all need to try ASAP!
Why is It Called Chicken 65?
A quick search on the internet will give you many bizarre explanations about why this dish is called Chicken 65. Here's one that I think is logical - Apparently, this dish was first made in a Chennai-based restaurant called Hotel Buhari in 1965. It quickly gained popularity as a quick snack or munchies and has become a party favourite all over the country! Do you have any theories on why it's called Chicken 65? Tell me about it!
How Should Chicken 65 Taste?
Definitely spicy, but also full of strong flavours. The chicken is crunchy on the outside and succulent on the inside. The marinade makes sure each bite of chicken is a party in the mouth! Curry Leaves add that fresh herby fragrance that I LOVE. You can’t skimp on those!
What Cut Of Chicken Should I Use?
We recommend using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They'll remain juicy and can withstand the deep frying without getting dry or rubbery. The chicken pieces should be bite sized, so cut small pieces, approximately ¾ inch in size. Small pieces will also fry faster.
Marinade For Chicken
The marinade for Chicken 65 is an easy one made with pantry staple ingredients from the Indian kitchen. And it's robustly flavoured and full of spunk. This is what keeps you coming back for more! This is a simple yoghurt-based marinade made with ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. I've also added some turmeric for colour, and sprigs of curry leaves for freshness.
Note: The longer the chicken is marinated for, the better the flavours. Ideally, it should sit in the refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours. If you're in a hurry, marinate for at least 2 hours.
Fried Chicken That's Extra Crispy
That extra crispy outer layer is why fried chicken is a bestseller on most menus. It's so addictive and that's why it's important to get it right. I've used a mixture of rice flour and corn flour to coat the marinated chicken pieces. The chicken pieces should be coated well. However, if this layer is too thick, it'll get soggy after deep-frying. Watch the video to see how it's done!
It's always good to use a heavy bottomed kadai to fry the chicken pieces so they don't get burnt. If you're looking for a healthier option, you could even put your air fryer to use (I have not tried this yet, but it should work).
Tempering - The Final Touch
Chicken 65 truly comes together in this last step - the tempering. It's almost like a stir fry of sorts, where the fried chicken is tossed with fresh ingredients like ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. All the aromatics sauteed in oil add that final layer of flavour to the chicken that makes this dish NEXT LEVEL. In this step, you can add some more chilli powder - make it as spicy as you like!
Top Tips To Making Chicken 65 SUPER YUMMY
- Since the pieces of chicken are small, they cook quickly. So make sure that you don't over-fry them
- Gently massage the marinade onto the chicken pieces
- The flour and cornflour coating should be done just before frying to get that crispy layer
- Most restaurants add red food colour to get that bright red chicken. But as always, we like to keep it natural, so we used Kashmiri red chilli powder
- Don't skimp on the curry leaves! It's what makes the chicken so yummy!
Serve Chicken 65 hot with lemon wedges, raw onions, and green chutney! This dish is a great appetizer for both family dinners and game days!
More Chicken Appetizers
- Chicken Lollipop
- BBQ Chicken Wings
- Chinese Chilli Chicken
- Korean Popcorn Chicken
- KFC Style Popcorn Chicken
- Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
Watch the Video
Chicken 65 - Crispy and Spicy
- 500 Grams Chicken Thighs boneless, skinless, cut into approx ½ inch small cubes
- ¼ Cup Curd
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder refer to Note 1
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Jeera Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- ¾ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Sprigs Curry Leaves chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Rice Flour refer to Note 2
- 3 Tablespoons Corn Flour refer to Note 2
- Oil for frying, refer to Note 3
Chicken 65 Fry
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger finely chopped
- 5 Green Chillies halved
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
- Combine all the ingredients for chicken marinade except rice flour and corn flour. Cover and marinade for at least an hour or overnight if possible.
- In a heavy bottomed vessel or kadai, heat enough oil on a medium flame for deep frying.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 10 minutes prior to frying and add rice flour and corn flour. Mix well to combine.
- Carefully drop in the chicken pieces one by one into the hot oil. Deep fry for 2 - 3 minutes or until bright red in colour and crispy. Remove from oil and place on a tissue paper lined plate.
Chicken 65 Fry
- Heat oil in a saucepan and allow it to heat up. Once hot, add garlic, ginger and green chillies and fry lightly over medium flame. Once fragrant, curry leaves and saute for a minute.
- Add red chilli powder and saute. Add fried chicken and stir fry on high flame for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and serve hot.
- Use Kashmiri red chilli powder to get the bright red colour on the chicken. If necessary, you can also add 1-2 drops of natural red food colour.
- Corn flour and rice flour make the fried chicken crispy. If necessary, either can be substituted with all purpose flour.
- The oil must be at temperature of 170C - 180C for frying.