Fried chicken is loved and well respected across the USA and around the world. Korean’s have a double fry method that makes for great crunch and wild flavor. Japanese Tokyo fried chicken uses smaller pieces and their brining method adds a sweet soy flavor to the lightly coated, nearly translucent skin. My travels bring me across exotic spices and varying methods of cooking that help me achieve restaurant quality meals at home.
There are many methods of achieving yard bird Nirvana. This fusion recipe is one I have tweaked over the years to deliver consistently delicious chicken. We combine a mostly southern recipe with a little Asian flavor and a dash of Ohio ingenuity (the bacon fat on the cooking oil) to deliver chicken so good that even skinny people will be calling for seconds.
*Author’s note: Brine the day before cooking. Yes, it will make a difference. Trust me.Brine
Brining the chicken assures that juicy meat will be under the crunchy, savory coating. Place chicken in a pot or large sealable container. Combine brine ingredients and pour over chicken. Place in fridge overnight or up to 36 hrs.
1 quart of unsweetened green tea (cooled)
2 tablespoons of Chinese five spice
1/4 cup of Kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic sliced thin
*Author’s note: After brining, you can use you own favorite dry rub or sauce to make terrific grilled or roasted chicken. If you take one thing from this recipe and use, let it be the brining. If you trust me this far, follow me all the way to some crisp, juicy oven finished fried chicken. The bacon grease can be strained and frozen days before hand.
FRYING THE CHICKEN
1 1/2 cups Peanut oil with a 1/4 cup of rendered bacon grease
8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken (I prefer legs and thighs)
Salt and pepper, and a teaspoon Chinese five spice
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning
4 large egg whites
Honey and hot sauce, serving time
Heat oil and bacon fat in Dutch oven or cast iron skillet to medium high 350 to 360 degrees (the temp will drop by 30 or 40 degrees as chicken cooks). Prepare a baking sheet with foil and a metal rack. Heat oven to 275 degrees place baking sheet in and prepare chicken.
Remove the chicken from the brine and strain off excess liquid, pat dry. Separate egg whites and whisk thoroughly of hit it in the food processor for 5 seconds. Poor into a mixing bowl set aside.
Add rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder, garlic salt and Old Bay in a large mixing bowl. add in salt, pepper and Chinese five spice. Mix thoroughly with whisk or fork.
Roll chicken in egg wash until coated on both sides. Drag through the cornmeal mix until coated on all sides. Use tongs to place gently into oil. Only do a couple of pieces at a time until you get a rhythm. First side for three minutes, second side for three minutes. Turn down heat if smoky. For the next three minutes rotate pieces on sides until each piece has a uniform crispness and any dangly skin bits are crisp.
Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 25 minutes.
Serve with delicious oven roasted corn and a fresh summer salad, perhaps a biscuit on the side. Serve with honey and your favorite hot sauce on the side. Come on. Ya’ know ya’ wanna’!