One of the challenges of traditional fried chicken is achieving the balance of fully cooked chicken with a perfectly browned, crispy coating. This recipe for Asian-style fried chicken from Chef Susan Feniger of Street restaurant in Los Angeles (now closed) makes it easy by starting with baked marinated chicken. When you’re ready to fry, just dip the cooked chicken in a rice-flour batter and deep-fry for a few minutes until the outside is crispy. It’s perfect party food: It fries quickly, and the coating stays crispy even at room temperature. Dip it in spicy yuzu mayonnaise or any other kind of tangy dipping sauce.
What to buy: Yuzu juice can be found in the ethnic aisle or freezer section of well-stocked gourmet or ethnic grocery stores, or you can buy it online.
Yuzu kosho chile paste is a fermented mixture of yuzu zest, chile peppers, and salt.
If you can’t find the ingredients for the yuzu mayonnaise, a good substitute is to mix together 2 cups mayonnaise, 2 roasted and minced serrano chiles, 4 teaspoons lime juice, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
White rice flour is produced from long-grain rice and is gluten-free. Do not purchase sweet rice flour, also known as glutinous rice flour or mochiko; it is produced from sticky rice grains and will not yield the same results.
Furikake, a Japanese seasoning blend, can be found at most well-stocked and gourmet grocery stores, or online.
For the chicken:
- 2 cups low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 cups mirin
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 10 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from 1 [3-inch] piece)
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (about 4 pounds)
For the yuzu mayonnaise (optional):
- 2 cups Japanese-style mayonnaise, such as Kewpie
- 2 tablespoons yuzu juice
- 2 tablespoons yuzu kosho chile paste
- 2 quarts vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup rice flour
- 2 tablespoons furikake
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups sparkling water
For the chicken:
- Combine the soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, honey, garlic, and ginger in a large, nonreactive bowl. If using chicken breasts, cut them in half. Add all of the chicken pieces to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours, or overnight.
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and arrange them skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest chicken piece reads 160°F to 165°F and the meat near the bone is no longer pink, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the chicken cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. (The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day at this point.) Meanwhile, make the yuzu mayonnaise, if using.
For the yuzu mayonnaise:
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- When the chicken is ready, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer. Set a wire rack over a second baking sheet; set aside.
- While the oil is heating, place 1 cup of the all-purpose flour in a shallow dish; set aside. Whisk together the remaining all-purpose flour, rice flour, furikake, and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the sparkling water until you have a light, smooth batter; set aside.
- When the oil is ready, coat 3 of the chicken pieces with the reserved flour and shake off the excess. Dip each piece in the batter, let the excess drip off, and place in the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove the chicken to the rack on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Serve immediately with the yuzu mayonnaise, if using.