Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Little Korean Goes A Long Way

Whenever I fry food, I typically try to stay true to some of the basic batter ingredients. Whether that is a standard dredge when making a Wisconsin beer battered fish fry, or even frying chicken for a Sunday dinner. There are, however, plenty of times when I experiment with creating a really crunchy exterior while maintaining a succulent interior. Sometimes that is not easy. This was not one of those times. This fried chicken was a homerun, and everyone really loved the fried chicken.
If you have never had Korean style fried chicken, it’s a must . Not only do you get a great crunchy exterior, but you get some really great flavors embedded in the chicken from the marinade, and a nice sauce that is glazed on the exterior. In a nutshell, it’s pretty awesome.

Korean Fried Chicken

Ingredients for the marinade:
8 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into chunks
4 chicken drumsticks, skinless
1 medium onion, grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
Ingredients for the batter:
½ c. flour
¾ c. cornstarch
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. ice cold water
Ingredients for the sauce:
6 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. chili flakes
2 tbsp. honey
1 pinch of salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped
Kimchi, optional
Sounds like a lot, but it’s not.  Start by getting your marinade together. When grating the onion, you will get some of the moisture from the onion, which will help marinate the chicken. Place everything in a sealable plastic bag, give a good mix, and let marinate for at least 4 hours, if not, overnight.
You can make the sauce ahead of time if you want. Add everything to a saucepan and cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring along the way. Remove from the heat, let cool.
When you are about ready to fry the chicken, take the chicken out of the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature. You can do this while bringing some oil in a pot up to temperature. Add enough canola oil in a pot, about 3 inches deep. Bring this up to 350. This will take about 20 minutes to heat up, depending on your stove.
Make your batter. Mix your everything but the ice cold water in a mixing bowl. Slowly begin powering in the water, and whisking along the way. You will basically end up with a fairly thick batter. Just make sure it is nice a smooth and no lumps remain.
When the oil is heated, pour off any access liquid from the marinade into the sink and discard. Take a few pieces of the chicken out, and dip them into the batter, making sure to thoroughly coat each piece. Gently lay them into the oil, slowly, then let them submerge. Cook these for about 8 minutes, or until a nice golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon, or spider if you have one, and place them on some paper to soak up any access oil.
Repeat until all of the chicken is cooked.
Once all of your chicken is cooked, bring the oil up to 375. Take half of the cooked chicken and place it back into the oil. This is the double fry technique and allows for a nice and crispy exterior. Cook for 2 minutes, remove with your slotted spoon, gently shaking off any access oil, and place into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Now you have some options here, especially if you have kids around. You can take the chicken as is, and plate and serve, or you can take your sauce, pour it over the hot chicken, and toss to coat.
Now you are ready to plate. Add the nice and crispy Korean fried chicken onto your serving plate. Shower them with some of the green onions, and serve with some nice spicy kimchi.
Give it a shot. You might be making this more than you think, if not, you might be using that double fry technique! Enjoy.

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