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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Korean Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken. What a simple name to describe one of the most incredible chicken dishes we have ever had. This chicken was ridiculously crispy with a crunchy popping skin that enclosed moist juicy meat.  The sauce it was tossed in was an amazing combination of sweet, spicy, tangy, and salty.
I was browsing food blogs and ran across this recipe from  blog.  They, in turn, had tested  and tasted it from the web sight.  For good reason.
It is not my nature to regurgitate recipes when I post, but this one is remarkable.  Trust me. I wasn't even going to write about it until we tried it. This chicken was amazing.. With a tiny  bit of adventurous shopping and with  little effort in the kitchen, anyone can savor this chicken.

Korean Fried Chicken

Canola oil, for frying
5 cloves of garlic
1  1 1/2 piece peeled ginger
3 tbls. soy sauce
3 tbls. gojujang (Korean chile paste)
1 1/2 tbls. rice vinegar
1 tbls. Asian sesame oil
1 tbls. honey
2/3 cups flour
1 tbls. cornstarch
2/3 cups water
16 chicken wings ( 1 3/4 lbs.)

1.  Pour oil into a 6-qt. pot to a depth of 2 ".  Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer reads 350. ( I used a digital deep fryer).  Chop garlic and ginger in a food processor.  Add soy sauce, gojujang, vinegar, sesame, oil, and honey; puree.  Put sauce into a bowl.

2.  Whisk flour, cornstarch, and water in another bowl.  Add chicken; toss.  Working in batches, fry chicken until golden, 6-8 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.  Return oil to 350.  Fry chicken until crisp, 6-8 minutes again. Drain again.  Toss chicken in sauce.

The Korean chile paste is the exotic ingredient here.  It can be found at most Asian markets.  I went to a local market and asked for Korean chile paste and then showed the kind gentleman a photogragh of the jar from my phone.  He took me straight to it.  I was going to substitute black bean paste, but decided to try to find the correct sauce. I'm glad I did.  The gojujang was hot, spicy, and intensely red with fermented undertones. When mixed with the honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, it was the perfect balance of salty, sweet, spicy, tart, bitter, and umami.

Double frying the chicken was key, providing  one of the crispiest chicken skins ever. Even after soaking up and in the sauce, it remained scrunchingly loud and scrumptious..  Amazing. 
I served it over sticky rice with Ponzu soy sauce and leftover Schezuan Cucumbers from P.F Chang's.  The cucumbers were crisp marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sprinkled with black sesame seeds.  The tart freshness of the cucumbers sliced through and balanced the sweet heat of the juicy chicken.

Try this chicken.  It is intense.

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