I’ve written about my take on Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) before and waxed poetic about how those spicy crispy wings make me swoon, but heating a big pot of oil and double frying wings is not a project that I’d want to undertake on a weeknight.
That’s why I’ve come up with this fast alternative to tame those urgent KFC cravings, on days when I just don’t feel like dealing with a pot full of used oil and a grease spattered stovetop.
The trick to getting the skin crispy is to throw the chicken into a cold pan with no oil, and then slowly raise the temperature, coaxing most of the oil out of the skin.
By weighing down the chicken it ensures an even contact patch between the skin and the hot pan, leaving a paper-thin layer of impossibly crisp skin.
Coated with a sweet and spicy glaze, it makes for the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of steamed rice or a frosty cold beer.
Spicy Crispy Chicken
- 2 teaspoons soju
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon gochujang
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
- 260 grams (9 ounces) skin-on boneless chicken thighs
- In a small bowl, combine the soju, sugar, soy sauce, gochujang, sesame oil and grated garlic, stirring to combine. Lightly salt both sides of the chicken.
- Place the chicken skin side down on a cold skillet. Place a cast iron skillet or pot filled with water on top of the chicken to weigh it down. Put the skillet on the stove and cook over medium low heat until the skin side is uniformly golden brown and crisp (about 8-10 minutes).
- Remove the weight and flip the chicken over.
- Drain as much oil from the pan as you can, then turn up the heat to high and pour the sauce mixture in around the chicken, being careful not to get any on the crisp skin.
- Let the sauce boil down until it's thick and bubbly, and then flip the chicken over a few times to coat both sides of the chicken with the thick glaze.
- Slice and serve the chicken immediately with steamed rice.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.