Diane’s Vietnamese Fried Chicken

Love at first bite!  Super duper fingerpicking GREAT!  EASY to make — light and crunchy outside and flavorful and moist on the inside. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy–all the flavors of Vietnam.

One of my favorite blogs of the past two or three years is White on Rice (whiteonrice.com) by Diane Cu and Todd Porter, professional photographers and food stylists.  Diane’s Vietnamese roots are evident in a number of their recipes including an umami turkey burger that I completely love.

I have been on a lonnnng journey to find the perfect chicken wing recipe, and (my heart is beating fast as I type this) THIS MIGHT BE IT!!!!

IMG_1062

Serves 4

Do not be fearful of fish sauce as it adds a critical flavor that makes this recipe so special.  If you’ve eaten Vietnamese or Thai food in the pass, fish sauce has been in the ingredients.  Be brave–the chicken is spectacular!

From White on Rice, Diane Cu

Ingredients:

  • about 2-3 pounds chicken drumsticks or thighs or my favorite, chicken wings with wingtips removed, skin-on and bone-in

Marinade (make ahead — chicken should marinade from 1 to 3 hours):

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (I’m a Red Boat fan)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Just before frying:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • about 2 cups cold water
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Marinade:   In a gallon-sized freezer ziplock bag or a medium-sized bowl, combine the vegetable oil, fish sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Add the chicken to the marinade and  toss the chicken in to get it coated evenly. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour (2-3 hours preferred) in the fridge. Turn the bag or toss the chicken a couple of times  to be sure all parts are marinating.
  3. Flour coating: In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the cold water and mix well with a fork. Start with about 1.5 cups and add more water if needed. Break up any clumps of flour so that the mixture is smooth. The batter should look like thin pancake batter.
  4. Heat a large frying pan or Dutch oven and then add about 1″ of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 350-375 degrees F.
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let the excess drip off. Dip the chicken in to the wet flour mixture. Allow excess to drip off and place the chicken in the hot oil.
  6. Cooking in small batches, fry the chicken on both sides till crispy and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes — about 8 minutes for the wings. Turn the chicken two or three times as it fries.  Don’t crowd the chicken.
  7. Garnish with minced cilantro (optional). Serve warm with sriracha and/or rice.
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