Skip to content
About these ads

Universal Fried Chicken–A Recipe for Filipino Fried Chicken

October 10, 2007

I’m convinced. Fried chicken is universal.

In the U.S., we’re most familiar with Southern-style fried chicken–thanks (or perhap, no thanks) to ubiquitous fast food chain KFC–but Southerners weren’t the first people in the world to fry their chickens. Just about every country has their version of fried chicken: Vietnam has ga chien (marinated with fish sauce of course) while Italy has pollo fritto. And then there’s the tongue tickling Indonesian fried chicken*s*–yes, there’re two different types–my mum made when I was growing up. One was ayam goreng kalasan (sweet chicken) made with coconut water, palm sugar, bay leaves, and galangal among other herbs and spices; while the other, ayam goreng kuning (yellow chicken), is seasoned with lemongrass, ginger, and turmeric which gives it its ochre hue. Both chicken dishes have to be braised together with the herbs and spices first before deep frying.

Lucky Seattleites can savor my mum’s signature fried chicken at Julia’s Indonesian Kitchen. Others will just have to wait until I blog about her recipe :).

Or you could try this very tasty and oh-so-simple fried chicken recipe christened Chicken Joy! (exclamation point included). I asked Aunty Neneng, who gave me this recipe, why it’s called as such. She couldn’t tell me but once my teeth sank into the crisped skin of a freshly fried drumstick and I chewed on the moist flesh beneath, I knew the answer. The smile on my face must have spoken of pure joy. (An aside: as a child I used to love chicken wings, I especially enjoyed gnawing on wingtips till they lost their flavor but drumsticks have since overtaken as my favorite chicken part.)

Aunty Neneng is Filipino (and not really my aunt, see here for explanation) and I was a wee bit surprised that she offered up this fried chicken recipe which I thought very “American.” When she was showing me how to make it, I was hoping at every step that she would “Asianize” the recipe, perhaps with some chilies or tamarind juice. No such luck.

Then it came to me. Considering the Philippines was under U.S. rule (1889-1935) and then dominated by heavy U.S. military presence (the last military base closed in 1992) for almost a century, it’s not surprising that fried chicken is common. And like the advent of Chinese-American restaurants (though much tastier and more authentic I’d hope), it’s inevitable that Asian home cooking in the U.S. evolved to include dishes from the adopted homeland or fusion dishes amalgamating both near and far. In a similar vein, many former colonies have embraced offbeat hybrids into their culinary vernacular–Filipino spaghetti and my mum’s spam Mac and Cheese come to mind.

Besides, the recipe differs from traditional Southern fried recipes in that it doesn’t use milk or buttermilk, and the chicken is mixed in with the flour as opposed to dredged in it. And instead of the usual biscuits, coleslaw, or mashed potatoes with gravy, Chicken Joy! is more often than not, eaten with rice. Tell me if I’m hanging on by a thread here …

Regardless of where it originates or how it’s made, we can all agree on one thing–that fried chicken should be eaten with the fingers.

If you have a cross-pollinated home cooked dish to share, do drop me a comment!

Chicken Joy!

 

Aunty Neneng says her Chicken Joy! is a favorite at children’s parties and fiestas to celebrate the days dedicated to patron saints. But this scrumptious crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside fried chicken (also known as yummy yummy chicken to Aunty Neneng’s grandkids) is perfect anytime you’d like a bite of comfort food. Frying always makes a mess and isn’t the healthiest of cooking methods, so if you don’t feel like dealing with kitchen splattering, artery clogging oil for one day, you can always bake the chicken in the oven at 375F for about 45 minutes. It doesn’t turn out as juicy but still tastes pretty good. Tip: younger chickens, broilers, fryers, and game hens are best for frying.

Makes: 6 servings

3-1/2 to 4 pounds of chicken pieces: drumsticks, wings, breasts, thighs, etc.

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper

Juice from 2 small lemons, (about 1/4 cup)

2 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups (or more) of canola oil for frying

Wash chicken pieces.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix well. Set aside and marinate for at least 30 minutes up to an hour.

After 30 minutes, crack eggs into bowl. Add flour and 1 teaspoon salt and mix until chicken is well coated.

 DSC05727

Heat oil in a wok or heavy skillet over high heat until temperature reaches 375F. Reduce heat to medium. Use tongs or cooking chopsticks to lower chicken into the fat, one piece at a time.

Chicken should be completely immersed in oil and do not crowd the pan.

Fry chicken until golden brown and tender, turning the pieces, if necessary, so they brown evenly, about 10 to 15 minutes. When done, drain on paper towels. Use a slotted spoon or a wire mesh strainer to remove any debris from the oil then continue frying the rest of the chicken.

Serve hot with banana ketchup or Thai sweet chili sauce. Mmm…

About these ads
10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2009 11:28 am

    Awesome! I can’t wait to try it :)

    Chicken Joy rocks!!

    • December 2, 2009 1:16 pm

      Hi Sharon,
      It’s so simple and so delish. Enjoy!

  2. October 17, 2007 7:53 am

    Mmm… that sounds yummy! Anything with belachan is tasty. Like bacon :). Do you have a recipe on your blog? I’d love to link to it.

  3. October 16, 2007 8:08 pm

    I love belacan fried chicken of Malaysia. Have you tried it? It’s very addictive and aromatic. Love it.

  4. October 13, 2007 5:06 pm

    Ooh, I’m going to have to try the banana ketchup/worcestershire sauce/tabasco mix! Thx for sharing Perla.

  5. October 13, 2007 6:14 am

    You could use fish sauce instead of soy sauce or salt too, which is how my grandmother would make it. And definitely lots of rice. Dipped in banana ketchup mixed with a bit of worcestershire sauce and tabasco. Comfort food, for sure!

  6. October 11, 2007 11:38 am

    Marvin – Does your Aunty Neneng live in Seattle perchance? :)
    I’ll try adding soy instead of salt the next time I make Chicken Joy! and see how it turns out. Thanks for the tip!

  7. October 11, 2007 8:13 am

    How funny, I actually have an Auntie Neneng and she is really my Auntie! My mother has a similar fried chicken recipe, but adds a bit of soy to the lemon juice for the marinade.

    Also, I don’t think you’re hanging on by a thread, we do eat rice with fried chicken:)

Trackbacks

  1. Adobo ahoy! « The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
  2. Pancit Parade « The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,120 other followers

%d bloggers like this: