Love fried chicken? You're going to absolutely love this Japanese-style Fried Chicken with Scallion Soy Sauce (Yurinchi). It has an insanely crispy thin crust and succulent meat and is served in an awesome tangy sauce. My family can't get enough of it, and I hope it will be your favorite too.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken, negi
Author: Namiko Chen
For the Scallion Soy Sauce (enough for 3 chicken thighs)
2boneless, skin-on chicken thighs(1 lb, 454 g for 2 pieces; ask a butcher to debone the chicken thighs at the grocery store; you can also use skinless chicken thighs or 1 chicken breast, butterflied and cut in half)
¼tspkosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
Cut and separate the white and green parts of the Tokyo negi and keep the green part for another use. Thinly slice the white part of the negi.
Cut one end of the dried red chili pepper and shake it to discard the seeds inside. Cut into thin rounds. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white part of the negi and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add the red chili pepper and stir-fry for 15 seconds.
Add the sake, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer for 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Set aside. You will reheat the sauce again right before you serve the fried chicken. The sauce is plenty for 3 thighs. If you have an extra, keep the leftovers to drizzle on other dishes (tofu, fish, etc.)
To Make the Fried Chicken
Put the chicken skin side up in a tray or flat container. Prick the chicken skin using a fork or the tip of a knife. This helps the marinade reach the meat under the skin more easily. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Add the sake and soy sauce to the chicken and coat it well. Set aside.
Add the oil to a medium pot (I used this carbon steel pot) and bring it to 340ºF (170ºC) over medium heat. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, you'll know the oil is the right temperature when you insert a wooden chopstick into the oil and small bubbles appear around it.
While heating the oil, prepare the potato starch in a shallow tray or container and coat the chicken with potato starch, pressing the starch onto the chicken and shaking off any excess. The potato starch will absorb the moisture from the chicken and adhere nicely while waiting for the oil.
When the oil reaches 340ºF (170ºC), gently put one piece of chicken into the oil, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Don't touch or flip the chicken for the first 30 seconds until the coating has set. Why do we deep-fry only one piece at a time? You don't want to reduce the oil temperature drastically by adding too much food to the oil at once. Scoop up and discard any fried crumbs in the oil with a fine-mesh skimmer so the oil does not get darker and dirtier with burnt crumbs.
Halfway through, flip the chicken. Keep watching the oil temperature and make sure it doesn’t go higher than 340ºF (170ºC) or else the chicken will brown too quickly while the inside will remain undercooked.
After 5 minutes, transfer the chicken to a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels and let it sit to remove excess oil. The hot oil on the exterior will slowly continue to cook the meat as it sits. After the fried chicken has rested for 3 minutes, check to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165ºF (74ºC) with an instant-read thermometer. Repeat with the second piece of chicken.
Cut the fried chicken into pieces ¾ inch (2 cm) wide and transfer it to a plate. Reheat the Scallion Soy Sauce and drizzle it on top of the chicken. Put the extra sauce in a small bowl and bring it to the table for those who like extra sauce. Enjoy!
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for a month.