I’ve been blogging for one and half years now. And most of my readers are already aware of my craziness about (un)healthy food choice. Though I try hard (read, pretend) to lead a healthy life I go gaga over any deep fried item. You just name it and I’ll tell how I cheated on it. Lol. But if you ask me, my favorite guilty food is any kind of street food and among them all I’m crazy about Fried Chicken. Be it American or Mexican or even Taiwanese or Korean; I love them all.
After all who can resist the deliciousness of a crispy skinned juicy fleshed ‘fried chicken’? Actually this simple fried chicken is also a very versatile preparation. Every nation has adopted the simple recipe and enriched it with their style and taste. Thus you will find different taste of fried chicken in different countries; the number is more than a dozen I guess. But all has similar crispy skin and juicy and moist chicken inside. Where Americans prefer the fried chicken with mild dry spices on top, South-East Asians prefer a sticky glaze on top of it. Again English people prefer to season their chicken with salt and pepper only and Indians prefer their curry flavors in the same fried chicken only.
But the interesting part is within South-East Asia there are three/four variaations available of this same fried chicken. I’m blessed to try and enjoy few of them during my stay in Taiwan. Taiwan is popular for their night market and these night markets are over loaded with all types of street foods. I remember three variations of fried chicken from there, Taiwanese fried chicken, Korean fried chicken and Chinese fried chicken. Not to mention I loved the Taiwanese fried chicken (brand: Hot Star) instantly which is almost similar to American fried chicken but with a special spice (I have no clue about it) and the size was huge! Chinese version was also similar but with their unique ‘5 spice’ mixture; it was chopped in small pieces more like nuggets. But the one amazed me most was Korean fried chicken.
The store had only English letter, ‘KFC’ and that was enough to drag me in. After entering we (me & famous Bhatty) realized it was also KFC but with different flavors; it was Korean fried chicken not Kentucky. We ordered one small tray (see, not bucket) for trial purpose. By sitting in the small store I could smell a fabulous aroma which was completely new to me. But we failed to guess it until had a bite on it. Frankly speaking the 1st piece was gone before I could realize anything and within few minutes the entire tray (with 4 pieces) was also gone; say gone with the wind! Curse Bhatty! I had a difficult conversation (due to the lack of my knowledge of their local language) with the owner and somehow managed to understand the recipe from her (thanks to my smart phone with translator) which she gave away with a smile. Happy me! Not to mention I visited her stall 3-4 times more during my stay.
Here is the recipe of Korean Oven Fried Chicken.
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Resting Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 60 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Chicken drumsticks: 4
Cornstarch: 2-3 tbsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
For the Marinade:
Minced garlic: 1 tbsp
Light soy sauce: 3 tbsp
Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp
Red chili sauce: 1 tsp
Honey: 1 tbsp
Vinegar: 1 tsp
For the Sauce:
Minced garlic: 1 tbsp
Ketchup: 2 tbsp
Red chili sauce: 2 tbsp
Honey: 1 tbsp
Orange juice: 2 tbsp
Oil: 1 tsp
Spring onion: 2 tbsp
Toasted sesame seed: 2 tbsp
Non-stick Baking pan
Small mixing glass bowl
Ziploc bag or large mixing glass bowl
Wash and clean the chicken drumsticks. Pat them dry with kitchen towel. Make few thin slits on the skin. The slits will help to absorb more flavors and the inner flesh of drumsticks will be juicy and moist. (See Tips)
In a small mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients under ‘for the marinade’.
Take chicken pieces in a clean and dry zip lock bag and pour 1/3 of the marinade over the chicken pieces. Shake the bag vigorously to coat the drumsticks with the marinade neatly. You can also use any shallow mixing bowl instead of zip lock bag and toss drumsticks in marinade. (See Tips)
Refrigerate the marinated drumsticks filled Ziploc (or clingfilm covered bowl) for 5-6 hrs. (See Tips)
Remove drumsticks from marinade and place on paper towel side by side to pat them dry. Take cornstarch in a shallow plate and roll drumsticks in it to coat well. Reserve the marinade in a small glass bowl. (See Tips)
Arrange the drumsticks on the clean and dry plate and refrigerate for 2 hrs to overnight, uncovered. (See Tips)
Preheat the oven to 2000C and line in the baking pan with parchment paper. Arrange the drumsticks on prepared pan and brush oil on them. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 mins at 2000C. (See Tips)
By the time chicken is roasting heat oil in a small saucepan and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add rest of the ingredients (including previously reserved marinade) into the pan & simmer on low flame for 5-7 mins. Once the sauce starts to thicken remove from flame and allow it to cool a bit. (See Tips)
After mentioned time remove the foil cover and coat the drumsticks with freshly prepared sauce with the help of brush. Be careful the drumsticks will be hot enough to burn your skin. Send back the pan into the hot oven and bake for another 20 mins at 2000C. Keep brushing the drumsticks with the sauce in every 6-7 mins. (See Tips)
By the time drumsticks will be nicely colored and flesh will start falling off the bone. Coat each pieces with ½ tsp sauce while drumsticks are hot. It will give a nice caramelized glaze. If you don’t prefer extra saucy chicken, you can skip this part. Sprinkle chopped spring onion and toasted sesame seeds on top.
Serve the Korean Oven Fried Chicken hot with extra sauce and fresh green or pickled veggies on the side according to your personal preference.
1. Be careful not to cut through the chicken leg pieces; slits shouldn’t be deep. Otherwise pieces will fall apart.
2. Make sure you cover the open surface of the bowl with clingfilm.
3. Refrigerate the drumsticks in marinade for min 1 hr. for juicier chicken.
4. Make sure drumsticks don’t contain any liquid from the marinade at all. Otherwise everything will be messy.
5. Keeping chicken pieces uncovered in freeze is a typical south-east Asian technique for extra crisp skin on drumsticks.
6. If you wish to oil spray the baking pan go for it, but it is recommended to use parchment to avoid the mess from the sticky glaze.
7. The sauce will be thicker when cooled completely and bit darker in color. Transfer to sauce bowl for serving before it’s completely cool.
8. Check the drumsticks with a skewer, if it’s done keep them on wire rack for 5 mins to cool it enough to handle else bake for additional 5-10 mins.