Serious Eats' Korean Fried Chicken
Make This Super Crispy Chicken
Flour contains proteins that can cause a crust to turn a little leathery or tough. Cornstarch, on the other hand, is a pure starch, so chicken dipped in cornstarch stays super-light and crisp- it's the key to the texture of Korean fried chicken. Just as we do in our french fry recipe, we fry the chicken twice. The first time is to help it cook all the way through; the second is to crisp up the crust just before serving.
This recipe is excerpted from the new cookbook, "Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are"
Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and toss in a large bowl with 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt until well coated. Spread on a wire cooling rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside at room temperature while you make the sauce.
Combine the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and chili-garlic paste in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until syrupy about 4 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and set aside.
Heat the peanut oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup cornstarch with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 cup water. Stir with a fork until a smooth slurry is formed. Working in two batches, dip chicken pieces in the cornstarch slurry with tongs, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl; then carefully add the chicken to the hot oil. Fry, agitating constantly with a wire-mesh spider, until the chicken is light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Return to the wire rack and repeat with the second batch of chicken.
When ready to serve, reheat the oil to 400 degrees. Return the chicken to the oil in a single batch and cook, agitating constantly with the wire-mesh spider, until the chicken in deep golden brown and the center of the largest piece registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 5-8 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a paper-towel-lined bowl to drain the excess oil. Transfer to the bowl with the sauce. Add the scallions and toss the chicken to coat. Serve immediately.
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