Thai Fried Chicken Bites
A two-day brine and the crispiest crust you can imagine will change everything you thought you knew about fried chicken.
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 2 days
for the chicken:
2 ¼ cups|300 grams kosher salt
¾ cup|160 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
10 hot Thai chilies
6 sticks lemongrass (bruised)
2 handfuls kaffir lime leaves
1 handful chopped galangal
1 handful cleaned cilantro root
1 handful garlic
1 large knob chopped fresh turmeric
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
4 pounds ice
2 cups lime juice
4 pounds|1437 grams chicken thigh fillet (cut into 2 inch pieces)
for the crust mix:
2 tablespoons fried garlic
2 tablespoons fried shallot
1 ¼ cups|228 grams potato starch
2 cups|228 grams rice flour
1 ½ cups|228 grams tapioca starch
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons|124 grams cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
for the spicy mayonnaise:
1/4 cup|80 grams sriracha
¾ cup|200 grams Japanese mayonnaise
vegetable oil, for frying
6 egg whites (whisked to soft peaks)
1. Brine the chicken: In a large saucepan, combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, chilies, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, cilantro roots, garlic, turmeric, red onion, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool slightly, then add the ice to cool completely. Stir in the lime juice. Place the chicken thigh into a large container then tip the cold brine over the top. Cover and refrigerate immediately for up to 48 hours.
2. Make the crust mix: Grind up the fried garlic and shallot in a small mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, then combine well with the remaining ingredients. Set aside.
3. Make the spicy mayonnaise: In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and the Sriracha and refrigerate until ready to use. Mayonnaise will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.
4. Heat 3-inches of oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 375°F.
5. Strain the chicken, discarding the brine and aromatics. Working in batches, dip the chicken into the whisked egg whites, then straight into the crust mix making sure every little nook and cranny is completely covered. Gently add the chicken to the hot oil and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown. If you are using a pot of oil on a stovetop make sure the oil is at least 325°F while frying so you might want to crank the heat after the chicken is in and it stops spitting. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, then transfer to a serving platter. Serve with a generous amount of spicy mayo on the side and a cold beer! ENJOY!!!