Dakgangjeong (Koreatown Fried Chicken)

Try this recipe for Korean fried chicken from the 'Koreatown: A Cookbook'
Dakgangjeong (Koreatown Fried Chicken)

Same Horine

Dakgangjeong (Koreatown Fried Chicken)

When it comes to the art of frying chicken, Koreans could give Southerners a run for their money. There, said it. Korean fried chicken (KFC) chains have set up shop in the Koreatowns of New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. KFC combines savory, spicy glazes and skin that shatters like glass. And guess what? We have the secret. Booyah!

Many have said that frying the chicken twice achieves a next-level crunch, which we aren’t going to deny. But the real key is the batter. Ours uses soju, which inhibits gluten formation and keeps the batter light. If you have a little extra time, we highly recommend partially frying the chicken, then freezing it for at least two hours before a second fry.

We offer recipes for two classic sauces you will find at Koreatown chicken joints: spicy and soy garlic. You can also simply season with salt and pepper and dot with Frank’s Red Hot, which elevates any fried chicken experience, Korean or otherwise. 

Reprinted from Koreatown: A Cookbook. Copyright © 2016 by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Sam Horine. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

4
Servings
1127
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 8 Cups vegetable oil
  • 2 Pounds chicken wings or thighs
  • 1/2 Cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 Cup soju or vodka
  • 1/2 Cup ice-cold water
  • Soy Garlic Glaze or Hot Sauce Glaze (recipes below)
  • 1/4 Cup sliced scallions

For the soy garlic glaze:

  • 1/4 Cup Korean rice or corn syrup
  • 1/4 Cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil`

For the hot sauce glaze:

  • 1/2 Cup gochujang
  • 5 Tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot

Directions

For the chicken:

Heat the vegetable oil over low heat in a heavy pot or Dutch oven with high sides until the oil registers 350 degrees F on a frying thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the heat by spooning a bit of batter into the oil. If it sizzles immediately and floats to the top, chances are you’re ready. (If you’re using chicken wings, while the oil heats, use a sharp knife to feel for the joints between the wings and drumettes, and cut through to separate them.)

2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, all-purpose flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, soju and cold water. Dip chicken parts in batter until evenly coated, shaking off excess batter, and place on a platter or tray.

3 Set up a tray or platter lined with paper towels. Raise the heat to medium-high and maintain the oil at 350 degrees F. Carefully lower the chicken into the oil, as many pieces as will fit comfortably, and fry for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. With a heatproof slotted spoon, remove the chicken pieces and drain them on the paper-towel-lined tray. Immediately season with salt. While still hot, toss the chicken in a large bowl with just enough glaze to coat. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

A RECOMMENDATION: Instead of frying for the full 8 to 10 minutes, fry just until the skin reaches a light blonde, 4 to 5 minutes. Cool on a paper towel-lined tray until room temperature and freeze for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. When you are ready to serve, heat the frying oil to 375 degrees F and drop the cold, partially fried chicken in for 4 to 5 minutes, until deep golden brown and cooked through. Immediately season with salt, toss with glaze, and garnish with scallions. Adding the frozen, partially cooked chicken to hot oil is the key to achieving the ideal crust. In nerdier terms, the water particles in the crust freeze, and as a result the ice shards break open the starch cells, creating more surface area to crisp. Shouts to Francis Lam for that info.

For the soy garlic glaze:

Combine syrup, soy sauce, garlic and mirin in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Allow to cool to room temperature and stir in sesame oil. Hold until ready to use.

For the hot sauce glaze:

Combine gochujang and hot sauce in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Hold until ready to use.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
58g
83%
Sugar
12g
13%
Saturated Fat
16g
67%
Cholesterol
211mg
70%
Carbohydrate, by difference
92g
71%
Protein
55g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
103µg
15%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
6mg
8%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
4µg
4%
Calcium, Ca
95mg
10%
Choline, total
11mg
3%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Folate, total
126µg
32%
Iron, Fe
7mg
39%
Magnesium, Mg
77mg
24%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
16mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
450mg
64%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
65µg
100%
Sodium, Na
1640mg
100%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
187g
7%
Zinc, Zn
5mg
63%

Fried Chicken Shopping Tip

Buy whole chickens and ask the butcher to quarter them for you. You will save an average of $5 per pound, or more.

Fried Chicken Cooking Tip

Wash everything that chicken touches with soap and hot water.