Monday, July 18, 2016

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn chicken in Taiwan, otherwise known as Yiansu Ji, is a popular and tasty snack. It is very common in snack bars, as well as bubble tea shops. I have probably spent too many nights debating random trivia with friends over several plates of these, while chasing them down with a cold beverage as neon bright as disco lights mixed with chewy black peals of tapioca. Amazingly, the Barbecue flavoured Chicken Salt makes a great seasoning for this snack. Enjoy!

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
by Douglas
Recipe modified From Food52's "How To Make Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken"

2 pounds chicken thighs (boneless)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Shaoxing Rice Wine
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Original Chicken Salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 cup sweet potato flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups neutral oil
1/2 teaspoon Barbecue Chicken Salt + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper + 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cut up chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. In a zip-top bag, toss the chicken in with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine, white and black pepper, salt, sugar, and five spice powder. Seal the bag and gently massage the contents to ensure that everything is mixed together thoroughly. Marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator, or overnight.

In a medium bowl, add the sweet potato flour and baking powder and mix together. Take the chicken pieces out of the bag and dredge them in the flour mixture until well-coated. Let the chicken sit for a few minutes so that the coating can fully adhere to the meat.

Set a heavy pot or wok over a stove set to medium heat. Add the oil and let it warm up until it measures between 350°F to 375°F on an instant-read thermometer. Fry the chicken in batches, until golden brown. Take the chicken out using a metal strainer and drain over paper towels.

Season the chicken by tossing it with the Barbecue Chicken Salt combination, or set the salt aside for dipping.

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