The Hideaway's buttermilk fried chicken

Wellington's The Hideaway Bar and Restaurant is famous for its outstanding menu of classic American comfort food. Here is the recipe for its incredible buttermilk fried chicken

  • 24 hrs preparation
  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
The Hideaway is a retro speakeasy-style cocktail bar and eatery on Wellington’s Plimmer Steps. Executive chef Frank Schatz presents a menu of classic American comfort food with an emphasis on preparing as much as possible in-house. Everything from the burger buns, cheeses, pickles, bacon and patties in their burgers, to pastrami and black pudding are made by Frank and his team. You can dine and drink to the tunes of Murray Giblin, ‘The Piano Man’, on Wednesdays and Saturdays and DJs on Thursdays and Fridays.
The Hideaway
2 Plimmer Steps, Wellington


  • 2 litre water
  • 100 gram table salt
  • 50 gram sugar
  • 1 kilogram boneless chicken thighs (skin on)
Chicken flour
  • 1 kilogram standard flour
  • 200 gram cornflour
  • 40 gram sumac
  • 20 gram ground indonesian long pepper
  • 10 gram ground sri lankan cinnamon
  • 20 gram hot paprika
  • 20 gram salt
  • 300 millilitre buttermilk
  • 2 litre canola oil
Habanero dressing
  • 600 millilitre buttermilk
  • 90 millilitre white wine vinegar
  • 50 gram habanero sauce
  • 50 gram yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon xantana (see tip)
  • 500 millilitre olive oil
To serve
  • coleslaw


  • 1
    Stir water, salt and sugar together until salt and sugar have dissolved. Add chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    Combine the ingredients for the chicken flour until uniformly mixed then store in an airtight container.
  • 3
    The next day, drain the chicken and discard brine. Pat dry and place in the buttermilk for 30 minutes.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, prepare the habanero dressing. Combine everything apart from the oil in a Vitamix (see tip). Blend on low to combine for 1 minute. Turn up to high and add oil, blending until emulsified and thick.
  • 5
    Heat the canola oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 160°C (use a food thermometer here).
  • 6
    Take chicken, shake off as much of the buttermilk as possible and dredge in flour mixture. Cook chicken, a couple of pieces at a time, for 8-9 minutes or until the centre has a reading of over 75°C.
  • 7
    Drain chicken on paper towels and serve with habanero dressing and coleslaw.


  • Xantana (xanthan gum) is a modified corn starch used as a thickener. It can be bought online or at specialist food stores - If you don’t have a Vitamix, a blender will work here (but not a food processor).