Matt Preston Dishes Up His Fave Fried Chicken Joints In Australia

And yes they deliver to your door.

Matt Preston is a busy man -- he's in the middle of the tenth season of MasterChef Australia after all -- but he's never too busy to chat about chicken.

Fried chicken to be specific. Which just so happens to be on the menu for the upcoming Immunity Challenge episode tonight.

Not that Preston -- one of the three beloved MasterChef judges -- needs much excuse to talk food.

So what does Preston look for in a perfect serve of fried chook? A super-crunchy batter is key. And the meat inside must be juicy -- not over or under-cooked -- and there should be something to refresh the palate on the side. Think pickles, slaw or a spicy sweet chili sauce.

We asked the food critic where he gets his fried chicken fix and he was only too eager to share.

For surefire chicken joy Preston turns to the Hot Chicken Project in Geelong, Melbourne. Why? He knows that the owner, award-winning chef Aaron Turner -- he also owns fine dining restaurant Igni -- spent time in Nashville perfecting that quintessential southern flavour. HCP -- as it's known -- serves buckets of fried chook, burgers, waffles and a delightful range of sides.

Preston's other hot chicken tip is also Victoria-based. You can find Belle's Hot Chicken across three locations: Fitzroy, Richmond and Collins Square. Just follow the heavenly scent of sizzling bird. There you'll likely find founder Morgan McGlone -- who used to work with Turner and also toured Tennessee -- serving up tenders, wings or drumsticks.

But choose your sauce wisely. They range in potency from 'southern' -- which is fairly mild -- through to 'Really F**kin Hot.' You have been warned. And for those north of the border don't despair. There are three Belle's Hot Chicken spots across Sydney to choose from.

It's all chook come tonight, when the MasterChef contestants do battle with professional chefs in the Immunity Challenge. And don't let the words 'professional' or 'chef' put you off. Preston earmarks this episode in particular as accessible to all cooks including those at home.

'You'll watch Tuesday's episode and you'll think, "I'll have a go at that myself",' he told ten daily.

In Preston's opinion the entire tenth season builds on fundamental techniques and flavours that educate both the contestants and wannabe MasterChefs at home. And that's what Preston is all about. Before dashing off to his next press commitment he hints at an upcoming dish that really knocked his socks -- or cravat -- off. It's one of our all-time favourite pub dishes: the schnitzel.

'An unbelievable schnitty is always going to be more exciting than a floating ice cream,' he chuckles in reference to last season's epic Pressure Test dish -- an ice cream dessert suspended by a helium-filled sugar balloon. And we tend to agree.

MasterChef airs 7.30 Sunday to Thursday on TEN and tenplay

Featured image: Instagram @BellesHotChicken / Network Ten