Crispy Fried Chicken with Chili Oil
Spicy, slightly sweet, and earth shatteringly crunchy. If you love fried chicken and spicy food, this recipe is for you. By dry brining, the chicken is seasoned all the way through, and the batter is airy and intensely crunchy thanks to the corn starch. The chili oil recipe is adaptable to your spice tolerance and tastes. Don’t be afraid to throw in a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick or fermented black beans. This fried chicken requires a lot of steps, but I promise the end result is worth it.
1-1.5 lbs Local Roots Pasture-Raised Chicken
1-1.5 Tbsp salt or 2 tsp msg
4-6 cups of canola or any frying oil
½ cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup grass-fed whole milk
1 Tbsp Mama Lam's Malaysian Hot Sauce
2 pasture-raised eggs
5-10 dried chilis (however spicy you want it)
3 minced cloves of organic garlic
1 Tbsp sichuan peppercorn
3 Tbsp gochugaru
½ Tbsp of sugar
½ tsp of salt
1 cup frying oil
1 star anise (optional)
Black vinegar (optional)
- Rinse and pat dry your chicken. Generously sprinkle salt or msg all over the chicken. Place the pieces on a wire rack for at least an hour (or preferably overnight) in the fridge uncovered. Make sure to have a sheet tray underneath for any liquid that might come off the chicken.
- When you’re ready to cook, pull out your chicken.
- Prepare the breading by combining the milk, a hot sauce of your choice, and eggs. Mix and put into a shallow bowl or dish.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- Dip your chicken into the wet mix, and then the dry mix. Repeat again so you bread your chicken twice. Shake off the excess breading and place on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of your chicken.
Pour canola or any neutral oil into a deep skillet, dutch oven, or a wok (I found using a wok helps prevent oil splatter) and heat until 325°F.
- For the chili oil, mix together the gochugaru, dried chilis, sichuan peppercorns, salt, garlic, and sugar in a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
Once your oil is at 325°F, carefully slide in a few pieces of chicken, being mindful to not overcrowd the pan. Once the chicken is in the oil, do not move them for at least 3 minutes. This will prevent any breading from coming off the chicken. Try to keep the oil temperature between 300-325°F
If you’re using a different cut of chicken, the fry times will be different. For drumsticks, I fried them for 4-5 minutes on the first side then 5 minutes on the other side. Fry until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- As your chicken is finishing frying, carefully ladle about 1 cup of fry oil into the chili oil spices. Gently stir to combine.
- When your chicken is done, take them out of the oil and immediately into the chili oil. Make sure the chili oil coats the entire chicken.
- Place your chicken on a plate. Spoon over more chili oil and garnish with cilantro and a splash of black vinegar. Enjoy!
*If you want to save some fried chicken for another day, you can fry the chicken at 300°F, set it on a wire rack to cool then freeze it. Fry it at 325-350°F whenever you want fried chicken.
This recipe was created by Local Roots Recipe Contributor Katie Yun/ @bothand.nyc