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BFC – Ballarat Fried Chicken. The dirty rat Vs Dirty Bird.

WP_20170709_18_24_50_ProBallarat Fried Chicken. The Name pretty much says it all.This is no ripoff of of the dirty bird’s secret spices- its a whole new original effort, tangy and spicy, inside and out, with marinaded tenderized chicken, encrusted in a crispy and spicy coating.

Easy as pie to make at home- and takes very little effort or skill thankfully.

Yes, there is salad in this pic, but that’s 100% optional.

The differing point in this recipe is the use of breakfast cereal biscuits for a very coarse and crispy crumb finish, mixed with delicious spices.

Crushed weetbix, becasue of its sharp and angular crumbs achievesa very good, and thick adhesion to the chicken meat- far superior to traditional breadcrumbs as the edges stick into the meat quite nicely.

Key Ingredients:

  • 3 Large chicken breasts
  • 7+ bricks of Weetbix or budget equivalent
  • Cup of corn flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 500ml rice bran oil for frying

Suggested Special equipment:

  • Steak griddle pan (ridged base)

Spice & marinade ingredients:

  • 3 Dried chillies
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 colour grinding pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Cooking rice wine (sake)
  • Centuries ahead Mexican spice mix (Salt, onion, oregano, chilli, garlic, thyme, cumin)
  • Centuries ahead Pepper steak spice mix (unknown composition)

Suggested salad:

  • handful Leafy green fancy salad mix
  • half of a slightly underripe pear
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • Salt + pepper (on tomatoes)
  • liberal shaving of Gran padano hard Italian cheese
  • small handful of black grapes.
  • splash of balsamic vinegar


Step #1- meat preparation & marination

  1. Cut chicken breasts thinly into 3cm wide strips (or larger if so desired) and tenderise lightly with a mallet
  2. Place chicken meat in a large bowl with a tightly fitting lid
  3. Cut lemon, squeeze juice onto bowl of meat, stir gently.
  4. slice skin of 1/2 of the lemon thinly, then dice vigorously, add to bowl
  5. dice chillies, add to bowl
  6. add spice mixes to desired strength
  7. introduce 4 tablespoons of sesame oil to bowl
  8. add sesame seeds
  9. splash in rice wine / sake
  10. stir meat gently, ensuring spices sesame seeds, and lemon pieces are distributed evenly
  11. cover, and place in fridge for 30mins +

step #2 Preparation of batter & crumb, frying.

  1. Break two eggs into a cup, and whisk with a fork to break and mix white & yolks, add milk to thin.
  2. Add in salt, pepper & spice mix to taste.
  3. Pour spicy egg batter mix into a large, shallow dinner plate or bowl
  4. Crush weetbix biscuits by hand in fists into a shallow dish- mix of fine and course pieces is best.
  5. Mix cup of corn flour with wheat biscuit crumbs, and add spices, salt, pepper to taste.
  6. Dip marinaded chicken meat into egg mix, then transfer to crumb plate
  7. Pat crumbs firmly into the marinaded, battered chicken.
  8. Pour rice bran oil into steak griddle pan till 1cm deep over high point of ridges.WP_20170709_18_06_52_Pro
    1. Griddle pan is best for shallow frying- the ridges discourage sticking, and ensure good oil coverage on bottom of chicken pieces.
    2. Shallow frying is ideal, as care needs to be taken to ensure crumb does not fall off chicken pieces.
  9. Use tongs to carefully hand shallow fry each chicken piece.
  10. Place chicken pieces on absorbent paper toweling after cooking to ensure a crisp and less oily finished product- pat dry with paper on the top side also.
  11. The finished product shudl be golden, crispy, spicy and delicious
    1. great on it’s own with a dipping sauce, or cut up, in a salad, if you are feeling guilty and bloated after eating most of the chicken straight from the pan once its cool enough to bear


Cross continental, Subcontinental Burger

This burger recipe took inspiration from my father and grandmother, who always made the most succulent, tasty hamburger patties and rissoles I had ever known when I was growing up.

The point of difference is the concept of what a hamburger should be. burgers are more than just meat!

If you walk into Mcdonalds, or most other fast food venue that serves American style hamburgers and cheeseburgers, with or without the lot, and various other delicious additions, the meat pattie is just that, MEAT, meat, and more meat. It’s bland, unseasoned, and invariably, not that appetising.. especially if you have known and had better.

The meat pattie that goes into an american hamburger should contain more than just minced and formed meat, with possibly a few disturbing additives, only known by their number codes, to hold the pattie together.

Greek restaurants seem to have the right idea- their rissoles contain onions, spices, vegetables, sauces and herbs… and they do it well. I could never really remember the exact classic taste to replicate it, so i decided to make my own personal version.


  • 2 large brown onions
  • 150gms Short cut bacon
  • one tablespoon cumin seeds.
  • One large carrot
  • 1/2 zuchinni (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 500gms quality lean mince
  • 4 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup strong Japanese Sake Rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce (optional, can cause blackening during frying process due to sugar content)
  • 4 Heaped tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 heaped tablespoons Strong Sri Lankan Hot curry powder (leela brand is good)
  • One tablespoon mixed Italian herbs
  • One tablespoon Oregano.
  • 3 eggs
  • One cup breadcrumbs (variable)
  • Rice bran oil for frying and cooking as necessary


Finely dice the onion and bacon, and garlic, Peel, and finely grate the carrot, mix well in a large mixing bowl to make the initial

Lightly fry well mixed ingredients in rice bran oil on high, then medium heat till reduced and caramelized, then lay out flat on a cold plate or ceramic dish to cool.

Put mince in a large mixing bowl, and stir in Balsamic vinegar, Rice wine, sesame oil and Sesame seeds, then three whole eggs, Italian herbs, oregano and curry powder.

Stir thoroughly, then introduce the cool pre-fried herbed onion and bacon mixture tot he mix and combine well.

Add breadcrumbs until mixture becomes “pasty” and smoother in texture, denoted by the firm, but not crumbly peaks and smooth surface the mince will form when the back of a metal spoon is run firmly though the mix.

The consistency of the mix is very important for burger making- the mince, bacon and vegetables must be well bound together by the egg and breadcrumbs for the burger pattie to hold together, and “squash” nicely, without cracking or getting misshapen when cooking.

Form balls of mixture around 3/4 of the size of a tennis ball, and place in a hot, heavy based frying pan with around 4mm of rice bran oil, and press down with a slotted flat ladle or other suitable implement to create the classic flat, round burger pattie. Cook each side till dark brown, and place on absorbant paper to drain and cool.

Serving suggestion:


  • Large Burger roll
  • Hot yellow English mustard
  • Thousand Island cocktail sauce
  • Pickled Jalipenoes
  • Polish Gherkins
  • Cheddar cheese

Burgers are best served hot, with hot, yellow english mustard spread thinly over the inside of the burger roll like butter, with cheese, pickles and jalapenos wither side of the pattie, then heated till the cheese melts- a microwave does the job best.


Artisan Home baked Fruit banana bread of Ballarat

This bread is a bit special because it uses a special yeast starter culture derived from brewing- the sediment and liquids from a ginger beer plant, and a long, slow fermentation process, and its super easy to make, even for novice bread maker like myself.

I like eating this for breakfast, and it makes a great start to your day.



400gm Flour

250 brewed ginger beer plant and sediment slurry

Handful of dried raisins or Sultanas

Dates (optional)

4 overripe bananas, mashed

Tablespoon Cinnamon.

50 grams whole-seed and ancient grain protein breakfast topper mix (i.e. 24/7 brand)

4 Tablespoons sugar

100ml + milk


  1. Combine flour, sugar and ginger beer plant slurry in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in sultanas, cinnamon and other fruit including bananas.
  3. Mix in seeds and protein breakfast topper mix sparingly- clumps, and surface seeds are great in this bread.
  4. Add milk if necessary to fully combine into a sticky dough consistency that is not too dry.
  5. Let stand, covered with a tea-towel for at least 2 hours, but preferably 12-24 hours for the yeast to consume the sugars and ferment.
  6. Shape mixture into a cobb loaf form (round) on a flat baking tray.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven.

This bread is quite heavy and rich, slice thinly, and toast in the toaster, server with a glass of milk or hot earl grey tea, and is great for breakfast.

The bread will keep at room temprature and refrigerated for a number of days, but is nicest on the first day of course.




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