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
1317
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.

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.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
94g
100%
Sugar
19g
N/A
Saturated Fat
14g
70%
Cholesterol
252mg
84%
Protein
47g
94%
Carbs
55g
18%
Vitamin A
26µg
3%
Vitamin B12
0.6µg
9.9%
Vitamin B6
1mg
69%
Vitamin C
16mg
26%
Vitamin D
0.2µg
0.1%
Vitamin E
14mg
72%
Vitamin K
33µg
41%
Calcium
112mg
11%
Fiber
3g
11%
Folate (food)
34µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
75µg
19%
Folic acid
24µg
N/A
Iron
3mg
18%
Magnesium
73mg
18%
Monounsaturated
58g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
15mg
73%
Phosphorus
448mg
64%
Polyunsaturated
19g
N/A
Potassium
643mg
18%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.4mg
26.1%
Sodium
2877mg
100%
Sugars, added
16g
N/A
Thiamin (B1)
0.3mg
21.1%
Trans
0.6g
N/A
Zinc
4mg
27%