Sriracha-Soy Fried Chicken

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Every once in a while my little sister comes across a recipe I find slightly questionable, disregards my opinion, and makes me go through with it. This Sriracha-soy fried chicken definitely started that way. They also started in high school, where my kitchen was more limited, ironically, than it is now in college. It was a time where experimentation was overruled by tradition, and frying was definitely out of the question.

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We still made it happen. Granted my aunt and uncle weren’t too happy about frying things… it happened. Although originally taken from a old issue of Bon Appétit that was randomly laying around the house, this was one of the few recipes that I’ve actively taken time out of my day to find (googling fried chicken recipes probably wasn’t my best move ever).

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This fried chicken is marinaded in Sriracha and soy sauce which gives it a rich asian inspired flavor. Added to the marinade is ginger, garlic, and green onions which helps cut down the meaty flavor of chicken and provide a hint of warmth to the chicken pieces. To make dealing with raw chicken (and dealing with marinade in general) a lot easier, the chicken and marinade ingredients were thrown into a freezer ziplock bag, zipped up, and massaged gently until everything was combined.  Instead of dredging in flour, egg and bread crumbs like my chicken katsu, the chicken is simply coated in potato starch, the secret to asian popcorn chicken. The result is a moist, succulent fried chicken that is crispy and slightly flakey on the outside but moist and tender on the inside.

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Since the recipe uses chicken thigh, frying this was a lot easier than frying drumsticks. I was able to use my handy cast-iron skillet to heat up the oil and fry the chicken. Although this required me to monitor the oil more frequently throughout the process, it wasn’t too difficult and I definitely encourage you to give this a try even if you’ve never fried before. Remember when frying to leave at least an inch from the top to account for oil splattering and to never crowd the pan by adding too much chicken. If too much chicken is added at once, the oil temperature drops too quickly and cold oil will make the crust soggy.

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To serve this as an appetizer or finger food, serve the fried chicken on romaine lettuce leaves and garnish with some radish, mint and cilantro. I ended up serving this as an entree by serving it as is with other sides. Every time since I’ve made the fried chicken, Michelle has made me prepare this fried chicken for her. In fact, my friends enjoyed this so much the first time I made these, I ended up making a double batch fried each batch right before I was going to serve them. Although I don’t necessarily share Michelle’s overwhelming passion for fried chicken, you might! Give this a try and let me know how it goes!

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Sriracha-Soy Fried Chicken

Adapted from Bon Appétit

Ingredients

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Chicken

  • 1 cup minced green onions
  • 6 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup potato starch

Directions

  1. In a ziplock bag, combine green onions, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, sugar, ginger, and garlic. Add the chicken pieces to the bag. Close the ziplock bag and mix by massaging gently. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to a day in the refrigerator.
  2. Right before frying, coat chicken pieces in potato starch.
  3. Heat oil to 350 F. Gently add chicken pieces, about 5 pieces at a time, to the oil. Fry until golden brown and allow the chicken pieces to drain
  4. If desired, create a dipping sauce with Sriaracha sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice. Serve with chicken on the side along with romaine lettuce or rice.

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Bacon-less Chicken Carbonara

We’ve all had those nights where we’re just too lazy to cook. I was having one of those nights. I was also being a picky eater, refusing left overs or microwaving anything. My apartment mate from last year, Gustavo, also came home from a busy day of work. I needed something that would feed the both of us. Something delicious. So, I looked to carbonara.

Carbonara is typically a pasta dish thats made with an egg based sauce, bacon, cheese, and pasta. Its simple, versatile, and delicious. With chicken and mushrooms in the fridge, I was set on making a bacon-less version adopting the same ideas of carbonara.

Truth be told, carbonara actually doesn’t have a sauce that needs to be made separately. Instead, hot, drained pasta is added to onions, bacon, and some form of fat. Eggs, mixed with Parmesan is then added to the hot pasta off the heat and mixed very rapidly so that the eggs coat the pasta and are cooked by the residual heat. Easy. People always fear making scrambled eggs instead of a creamy pasta sauce, but with this basic principle, you’ll be on your way to tasty pasta in no time!

Too lazy to head to the store, I reached for onions, mushrooms and shredded rotisserie chicken. I had all the ingredients on hand, and from start to finish it only took me 30 minutes to finish everything. Including the time it took for me to take pictures in between each step.

I’ve also included one of my pasta making tips in this post – reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. The starchy water is perfect for thinning out sauces. And if you accidentally over thin the sauce, the starch will thicken the sauce right back up with an extra minute on the stove!

Try this, trust me, you won’t regret it.

Bacon-less Chicken Carbonara

Makes : 4 servings or 2 hungry college students

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lb pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan (use more or less to taste)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is boiling, chop onions and slice mushrooms
  2. Cook pasta over medium high heat until just before al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet. Fry onions and mushrooms together until onions are translucent, more if you prefer. I like my onions more caramelized so I left them on the stove for an extra minute. Reserve vegetables.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs with shredded parmesan until there are no clumps
  5. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and heat up the shredded chicken. When the chicken is thoroughly heated, add the vegetables and add the drained pasta. Cook for a minute until the pasta is pipping hot.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the egg mixture while tossing in the hot pan. Do not stop tossing and mixing until the pasta is thoroughly coated. Add the reserved pasta water to thin out as needed. I only needed a few Tbsp to thin it out.

As for the endearing prompt: Talk about the best prank you ever pulled. Reading this on the NaBloPoMo blog sent my mind racing back to the days in first or second grade. My grandparents used to hang out with a friend who had cancer. Their daughter, about 5 years older than me, was the coolest person ever back then. Together, we slowly scooped out the meat of grapes and filled them with ice cream in the middle of July. Today, my grandfather’s friend is no longer with us–but the memories of creamy grapes on a hot summer day will never fade away.