This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. We only make fried chicken about twice a year and when we do, it has to be this recipe. Crispy, light batter doesn’t overwhelm the chicken and it’s SO crunchy, you’d think it was double coated. Koreans know what they’re doing with fried chicken, and I think if you did this preparation to some chicken wings on Game Day, you would definitely be the hero of the hour. The blue cheese celery salad is an amazing side for the chicken. Crunchy and tangy and creamy – the perfect slaw/salad for fried chicken!
Korean Fried Chicken*
3/4 cups corn starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 pounds chicken wings (about 12 whole wings)
2 quarts peanut oil or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vodka
Combine 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add chicken wings and toss until every surface is coated. Transfer wings to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, shaking vigorously as you go to get rid if excess coating. Transfer to refrigerator and let rest, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
When ready to fry, preheat oil to 350°F in a large wok, Dutch oven, or deep fryer. We used a wok on the stove.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, flour, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and vodka and whisk until a smooth batter is formed, adding up to 2 tablespoons additional water if batter is too thick. It should have the consistency of thin paint and fall off of the whisk in thin ribbons that instantly disappear as they hit the surface of the batter in the bowl.
Add half of the wings to the batter. Working one at a time, lift one wing and allow excess batter to drip off, using your finger to get rid of any large pockets or slicks of batter. Carefully lower wing into hot oil. Repeat with remaining wings in first batch. Fry, using a metal spider or slotted spatula to rotate and agitate wings as they cook until evenly golden brown and crisp all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. Keep warm while you fry the remaining wings.
We dipped ours into traditional buffalo sauce, which we love. The chicken is so gloriously crispy that we didn’t want to totally coat it in sauce. Do as you please. The original recipe calls for a mighty fine sweet soy sauce that I highly recommend.
*absolutely did not mess with this perfect recipe from Serious Eats
Celery and Blue Cheese Slaw*
Celery Ribs (thinly sliced at an angle)
1/2 Red Onion (very thinly sliced; 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley leaves (chopped)
1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated Lemon Zest
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
In a large skillet, add one tablespoon of butter and saute the celery and onion until just beginning to soften, but still crunchy, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, toss the parsley, vinegar, olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Fold in the celery, onion and blue cheese and serve!
*adapted from Carla Hall’s recipe