I don't think anybody expects us to make fried chicken as our Thai dish. Do read on.
It has been more than two years since we actually fried chicken.
In a pot.
With actual oil.
It was for our nephew's birthday party and we wanted traditional buttermilk fried chicken, to go with the spaghetti his mother, CSC, had requested. You know, familiar children's party fare from our childhoods. ;)
Little did we know how hard it was going to be, frying about 80-some plus chicken parts! Working with three pots on the stove at the same time to speed up the process, since we have guests who were hovering already and wanting the food. It was too stressful, worrying about getting the food out on time and worrying about oil splattering on guests.
After that, we learned our lesson. No more fried chicken. It was just too much work and we never know what to do with the oil afterwards. I know we can reuse the oil for a few more times, but. . . well, you know the but.
But I saw Chez Pim's post on Thai-marinated Fried Chicken -- and as I was reading the recipe, I can smell the allure of the marinade. I knew the flavours were going to be fantastic.
Luckily, I had some chicken drumsticks in our fridge, waiting for their turn.
I prepared the marinade for approximately 20 pieces of chicken, consisting of fish sauce (1/2 cup), oyster sauce (6 tbsp), cilantro (mostly stalks but some leaves, about 2-3 tbsp) and garlic (12 cloves). The original recipe called for mashing all of these into a paste: I was too lazy so I just chopped the garlic and the cilantro up as small as I could and dumped them into the fish sauce and oyster sauce. I added about a tablespoon of black pepper, doubling the amount in Pim's recipe.
(The black pepper is quite essential, I found. It gave the fried chicken nice spikes in flavour.)
I slathered the marinade onto the chicken pieces and left the chicken in the fridge for 4 hours.
I couldn't wait to fry these drumsticks up. I can smell the marinade and the combined smell of the the ingredients, especially of the fish sauce and the cilantro, was positively intoxicating. I can imagine this marinade going well with other meats.
Onto the frying!
It was not as bad as I thought it would be. I broke open the bottle of "Hongkong's best peanut oil" (as stated on their label), the bottle that I've been saving for a special fry job. I waited for it to heat up, started dredging the chicken pieces into the rice flour -- and then it was time to fry!
We don't have a thermometer for frying, but I suppose that the oil temperature was about medium. Can't crank it up too high or else the outside of the chicken would start to get burnt while the inside was still raw.
As soon as the chicken pieces were golden brown, as per the recipe, I stashed them in an oven that's preheated to 225 degrees.
It was still a batch frying job, but since I only had about 20 pieces of chicken to fry and nobody was at my elbow wanting a piece of not-quite-finished-chicken, I did not mind this job as much. Dare I say it, it was quite relaxing even, listening to the gentle sizzle of the chicken in the oil.
As soon as I was done with the chicken pieces, I looked at the marinade and couldn't bear to throw it away, smelling all heady like that.
I figured I could stir-fry some greens with some of the marinade. I washed a bunch of gai lan, chopped the stalks and leaves into slivers, threw in some chopped up oyster mushrooms we had sitting in the fridge, and poured some of the marinade over them all. Cover and wait for them to cook until the texture desired (slightly crispy still).
The vegetables were also quite delicious!
We ate the chicken and the vegetables with plain white jasmine rice. Some of us even dispensed with the spoon and fork, going primal.
Oh and the biggest compliment?
My father who usually slathers ketchup on ALL fried chicken incarnations (nay, even ROAST chicken incarnations) -- much to my chagrin, of course -- had one bite of the chicken and decided, probably for the first time ever, that the chicken DID NOT NEED ketchup.
Recipe: Chez Pim's Thai-marinated Fried Chicken
Thai creations at [eatingclub] vancouver:
Pad Thai (Tamarind Series, Post #1)
Waterfall Beef Salad
Thai Basil Stir-fry
Thai-marinated Fried Chicken (and the Ultimate Compliment)
Thai Basil Tofu Stir-fry
We're submitting this to Regional Recipes, a blogging event created by Blazing Hot Wok that celebrates food from all over the world.
This edition is hosted by Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok. The region is Thailand.
Regional Recipes information
Our Regional Recipes posts:
Greek Meatball Soup (Giouvarlakia)
Simmered Saba Mackerel with Daikon Radish (Saba Oroshi-ni)
Thai Fried Chicken
Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils
Beef "Ribbon" Kebab (Pasanda Kabab) with Cilantro Chutney
Canadian Onion Soup with Oka Cheese
Börek with Beef Filling
Korean Pork Bulgogi (with Muu Namul, Kong Namul)
Lobster Congee from a Lobster Feast
Pork Jowl (Pork Cheeks) with Brown Sugar Rub
Cuban Arroz con Salchichas (Yellow Rice with Vienna Sausages)
Cuban Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso (Guava and Cheese Pastries)
Vietnamese Spring Roll (Cha Gio)
Grilled Fish Fillet on Oregano
Pastéli (Greek Sesame Snaps)