Korean Fried Chicken
by Katie Chin, Tastemaker in Residence
My kids were sleeping over at a friend’s house last weekend so I met up with my friend Amy for a little disco dancing. It’s important to slip on your boogie shoes from time to time even if you’ve got young kids! Needless to say, I needed a little pick me up on Sunday morning. Instead of making the usual pancake breakfast for everyone, I decided to whip up a Korean Fried Chicken plate with fried eggs, sticky rice and kimchee. The sweet-hot kick of the Gojuchang (Korean red pepper paste) sauce was the perfect antidote to the effects of a late night out. LOL. The chicken and eggs offer up a power protein combo to give you stamina all day. This is NOT your parents’ Breakfast of Champions, folks!
Korean Fried Chicken isn’t hard to make it just takes a little time. You can use chicken wings or legs and thighs if you prefer but I like to make it with chicken breast because I usually have some tucked away in my freezer. The batter for this recipe calls for buttermilk which makes it super crunchy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. If you have the luxury of time, I recommend marinating the chicken in the buttermilk marinade overnight.
The Gochujang sauce recipe is so easy: you just throw everything into your food processor. I love to make a double batch and use it as a dipping sauce for skewers or you can drizzle it onto any kind of meat or seafood. It’s also delish tossed with meatballs. In fact, culinary pundits are calling Gochujang the new black and will be taking over Srircha as the new go-to Asian sauce. I even mix it with ketchup to make a yummy BBQ sauce. You can find Gojuchang paste at Asian markets, some grocery stores and at Cost Plus World Market’s Gourmet Foods section.
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons. soy sauce
3 tablespoons gojujang (Korean chile paste)
1 1?2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 ½ cups flour
3 tablespoons Korean chili powder or red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Corn oil or vegetable oil for frying
Steaming hot short-grain or jasmine rice
Green onions and chopped chives for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Make the sauce: Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor until blended and set aside.
Make the chicken/rice: Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise and pound to flatten the thick part so the chicken is of consistent thickness. Place the chicken breasts in a shallow glass dish. Pour the buttermilk into the bowl to submerge the chicken. Add the soy sauce and dijon mustard. Stir thoroughly and let sit for 30 minutes covered in the refrigerator (up to overnight). Meanwhile, in another shallow dish, combine the flour, Korean chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Heat oil (1 1/2 inches) in wok or deep skillet over medium high heat. When a cube of bread floats to the top and browns you're ready to fry.
Dredge each chicken breast in the flour mixture, coating it thoroughly. Then dip each chicken breast back into the buttermilk. Dredge in the flour mixture a second time, and gently place into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
Fry the 8 eggs in a non-stick skillet until runny (or desired doneness).
Cut each piece crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces and divide among floor plates. Drizzle the chicken with reserved sauce. Place a scoop of rice and some kimchee onto each plate. Lay fried eggs on top of the rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds.