The boys are suckers for anything crispy and so I indulge them at least once a week.Â My last post was fried-and-crispy dumplings and was our lunch about a couple of weeks ago. With fried chicken, breaded ala-Jollibee is already a given but I am thinking more ala-Maxâ€™s.Â My usual take was salt-and-pepper marinated, deep-fried with water sprinkling to make crispier skin.Â Then a couple of months ago I stumbled upon few recipes online that involve steaming the chicken first before frying.Â Malouâ€™s in particular is the one that inspired me the most.Â Makes perfect sense; like boiling pork belly before frying to make lechon kawali.Â Â From then on, when I plan on serving unbreaded crispy chicken – whole, halves or drumsticks – this is how it goes.Â Crispy on the outside, succulent and juicy inside.
1/2 corn-fed free range chicken
Freshly ground pepper
Spring onion stalks (optional)
Bay leaves (optional)
Patis (fish sauce, optional)
Rub chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper, and let stand for at least 15 minutes.Â Add spring onion stalks, bay leaves and patis to water in a steamer.Â Steam chicken for about 20 minutes.
Remove chicken to cool down.Â Sprinkle more salt (or rub patis) all over and leave to dry for about 10-15 minutes.
Heat enough oil in a wok.Â Deep-fry chicken for 5-8 minutes each side.Â Scoop out and drain on paper towels.Â Let stand for 5 minutes. (You’re free to stop here and serve.)
Again, heat wok with oil and fry the second time, approx. 3 minutes each side or until desired.Â Drain on paper towels and let stand for at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving. The 20-minute steaming time plus the additional 2nd frying is just right to cook the chicken to the bone but not dry. Let the meat rest after each frying so that juices can sink back into the meat and stay succulent.
The boys love ‘em with homemade gravy.Â I also made a side soup out of the liquid used to steam chicken.Â I added few cups of chicken stock to the steamer pot and Â cook potatoes in it.Â Best to garnish with spring onion and crispy fried garlic.
Some may argue that taste-wise thereâ€™s no difference between free-range chicken and ordinary chicken.Â I beg to disagree. In my opinion there really is a major flavor difference.Â Well, at least here in NZ.Â Iba talaga ang lasa lalo na yung corn-fed, mas malinamnam talaga.Â I am still happy buying regular chicken when cooking the likes of adobo, curry and fried chicken wings but I opt for organic to cook chicken rice, pinaupo, tinola and fried whole chicken or drumsticks (below).
- ½ corn-fed free range chicken
- Freshly ground pepper
- Spring onion stalks (optional)
- Bay leaves (optional)
- Fish sauce (optional)
- Rub chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper, and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Add spring onion stalks, bay leaves and fish sauce to water in a steamer. Steam chicken for about 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken to cool down. Sprinkle more salt (or rub fish sauce) all over and leave to dry for about 10-15 minutes.
- Heat enough oil in a wok. Deep-fry chicken for 5-8 minutes each side. Scoop out and drain on paper towels. Let stand for 5 minutes. (You may stop here and serve.)
- Again, heat wok with oil and fry the second time, approx. 3 minutes each side or until desired. Drain on paper towels and let stand for at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving.