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Friday, June 19, 2009

Crispy Aromatic Fried Chicken

The Baked Lemon Thyme Chicken Wings is arguably the most popular post in this blog. It is also the one that I got most email for. The questions rising from the post were mostly if it can be fried and also if I could do a Malaysian/Asian version which can also be baked or fried. I thought I'd share my crispy fried chicken which which is first fried then finish in the oven and remain crispy and ideal for picnics.

The fried chicken of my dreams is moist in the inside and crunchy on the outside. And you achieve this by first marinating it in yoghurt or buttermilk for at least 4 hours or overnight if you can. You can use buttermilk and yoghurt interchangeably and I have success with both - I just use whatever I have in my fridge. Then it is rolled in a combination of flour, then coated in eggwash and then roll in breadcumbs. It sounds like hard work and but I think it is totally worth the effort.

To make things clearer, I divided the recipe into a few section.

Crispy Aromatic Fried Chicken
1 kg chicken whole legs - cut into thighs and drumsticks
2 eggs - beaten lightly
1 cup breadcrumbs - I used panko
cooking oil

Yoghurt/Buttermilk Marinade
500ml yoghurt/buttermilk
3 cm ginger - peeled and crushed
7 garlic - peel and crushed
black pepper corn
star anise

1. Toast the cinnamon, star anise and black pepper corn in a heated pan until fragrant for about 2 minutes.
2. Combine the yoghurt with the crushed ginger, garlic and toasted spices.
3. Add in the chicken pieces. Massage the marinade in. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Spicy Flour Coating
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp chili powder or chili flakes

1. Heat the Chinese spice powder and chili powder in a wok for about a minute, add all the flour in and stir quickly. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in the salt. Leave to cool down. You can make a large batch of this and keep in a tight container for 6 months.
1. When you are ready to fry the chicken, preheat the oven to 150C
2. Set up your work station. Place a shallow plate with the spicy flour, a bowl of egg wash and a shallow plate with the bread crumbs next to each other.
3. Prepare a metal strainer lines with kitchen paper to catch the fried chicken and a baking sheet.
4. Remove the access marinade from the chicken pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper.
5. Roll the chicken pieces in the spicy flour, dusting off excess flour.
6. Coat them in the eggwash piece by piece.
7. Roll in the washed chicken in the breadcrumb.
8. do this until you're done with all the chicken pieces. You can fry immediately or you can leave them to rest in the fridge for about 10 minutes while you get your oil ready.
9. Heat up cooking oil in a deep saute pan or a wok til about 180C.
10. Add the chicken pieces and don't crowd the pan too much. If you hear a lovely sizzle, you're doing it right. Otherwise, lower the heat at this point. Make sure that the oil doesn't get too hot otherwise you get a chicken that is cooked on the outside and raw in the inside.
11. Cook the chicken until it is golden on all sides, then leave to drain off the access oil on the paper lined strainer.
12. When all the chicken is fried, arrange in the bake sheet and then leave to finish in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately!


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