Chile-Marinated Fried Chicken

In his outstanding Asian twist on Southern fried chicken, Paul Qui uses chile sauce in both the marinade and the sweet, sticky sauce that's tossed with the chicken before serving.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Time(Other): Plus Overnight Marinating
KEY: Frying, Asian, Southern/Soul Food, Dinner

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Thai sweet chile sauce
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • One 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro stems
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass (tender inner core only)
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian hot chile sauce
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

How to make this recipe

  1. In a bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the sweet chile sauce with 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce. Add the chicken; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of fish sauce with the palm sugar, cilantro, lemongrass and sambal oelek. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of sweet chile sauce; let cool.
  3. Spread the cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Remove the chicken from the marinade, scraping the excess back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the cornstarch.
  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 350°. Fry the chicken at 300°, turning once, until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160°, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the fried chicken to the sauce and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken on a platter and serve right away.
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