This post is about Fried Chicken. What did you THINK it was about? Sickos.
I loooooooves me some fried chicken. It seems like everyone does, and everyone has their own special way of making it. It’s one of those things like meat loaf, where we all have that nostalgia factor going on when we eat it, and usually the best version is the one we remember from way back, or the one mom taught us to cook.
My mom made amazing fried chicken, and it always included mashed potatoes, corn, and cream gravy. For whatever reason, I don’t ever make it the way she did though. (Probably because my gravy never tastes as good as hers did.) When I make fried chicken, I follow my friend Clara’s lead. Clara is an amazing cook who does a ton of delicious Asian dishes. Her fried chicken drumettes are what bring all the boys to her front yard. They’re simple, crispy, sweet and salty. I can spend days slaving over an elaborate menu for friends and I guarantee you, the recipe they’ll clamor for are these drumettes. It never ceases to make me grind my teeth and shake my fist in the air, but I get it. They’re delicious. Because I’m a giver, I’m sharing them with you along with my favorite Korean fried chicken recipe (taken from Australian Gourmet Traveller, my favorite cooking magazine) and one done with my favorite barbecue sauce, modified from the recipe I use for Oola’s Crispy Fried Ribs. My partner David pointed out that I would be remiss not to acknowledge him having to stand in the driveway cooking batch after batch of drumettes in the turkey fryer for the 4th of July. Thanks, honey!
Enjoy! Betcha can’t eat just one….
Fried Chicken Drumettes:
48 Chicken Drumettes or Wings
2 cups cornstarch
Canola oil, for frying
Clara’s Magic Drumette Sauce:
2 cups soy sauce
¾ cup sugar
1/8 cup dried chili flakes
¼ cup garlic, peeled and chopped
¼ cup ginger, peeled and chopped
Korean Fried Chicken Chile Sauce:
¼ cup gochujang (Note from Marc-You can find this in any Asian market. If you can’t find this ingredient, a good substitution is not to make it at all—quit your bitching. This isn’t Sandra Lee and sometimes you cant get by subbing in a cup of ketchup or hiding it under some frozen tater tots.)
3/4 cup gochujang
2 tbsp each soy sauce and rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp ginger (about 1” piece), finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Modified Oola Sauce:
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger plus 1/4 cup minced (6 ounces total)
6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/8 cup toasted, ground Sichuan peppercorns (optional…I like the tongue numbing, citrusy smack this adds to the sauce)
For Clara’s Magic Sauce:
- Put soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until sugar has dissolved and incorporated into the soy. Add remaining ingredients and reduce sauce by 1/3. Do this slowly, as the soy sauce will burn and turn bitter if you boil it too vigorously.
For Korean Sauce:
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl, season to taste with freshly ground pepper and set aside.
For the Oola Sauce:
- In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger and the scallion greens and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce, the brown sugar, ketchup and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Add vinegar and Sichuan peppercorn, if using. Cook over moderately high heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro. Transfer the rib sauce to a large bowl.
For the Chicken:
- Put the cornstarch in a large freezer bag and add the drumettes. Seal and shake to ensure all of the drumettes are well covered by the cornstarch.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees Farenheit. Cook the drumettes in batches in the hot oil, cooking until the chicken turns golden brown, about 8-10 minutes per batch. It is critical that you let the oil return to 350 degrees before you add the next batch.
- Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. (Note: As counter-intuitive as it seems you can fry the chicken earlier in the day and even freeze the pieces (once cooled) individually on a sheet pan and transfer to a freezer bag. Just before serving, put the chicken on a sheet pan and blast in a high oven (425-450 degrees) until brown and sizzling, about 8 minutes. You wont be able to tell these didn’t just come out of the hot oil. If you’re planning to do this, cook the chicken in your initial batch a couple of minutes less than you would if you were serving it right away.)
- Divide the chicken and dredge in Clara’s Magic Sauce or the Oola Sauce. For the Korean Fried Chicken, toss the chicken in a large bowl with the chile sauce mixture. Garnish with sliced scallions.
- Stand back. Your guests will eat the fuck out of this chicken and you dont want to get in their way.