Korean KFC represents something really interesting about Korean food. That is how the Koreans, or specifically the South Koreans, are totally and completely up for fusion cooking and taking global dishes and putting their own spicy stamp on it. Most other countries are quite puritanical about the rules of cooking their classics and so quick to criticise. Just recently Jamie Oliver put chorizo into a paella and twitter went berserk! There were death threats! Of course Korea has a rich authentic cuisine of their own but having seen them take foreign dishes and flavouring them with one or two of their unique Korean staple ingredients I now feel confident to do the same.
Korean fried chicken is based on the original KFC, from Kentucky. But after the chicken pieces are coated in seasoned flour and deep-fried, they are tossed in a beautiful spicy, sticky sauce, leaving the chicken crunchy and sticky. This version is slightly lower in calories and a lot lower in effort. Deep-frying for any large number involves frying in small batches as otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop. This means that you will be standing in front of a large amount of boiling oil for an extended period. This oven method is much easier.
- 1 Kg chicken drumsticks
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 handful of raw, unsalted peanuts
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 5 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- Mix together the spice rub ingredients and toss the drumsticks in it to coat.
- Transfer to a roasting tray lined with a rack. Sprinkle over any remaining spice rub and transfer to a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Roast for an hour, turning every 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the peanuts and garlic. Stir over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, ketchup, honeyed chilli paste and stir to combine over a medium low heat for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and set aside until the chicken is cooked.
- When the chicken is cooked, the sauce may be over-reduced and jammy. If so, stir in a tbsp of water before piling in the chicken and tossing to coat over a low heat. Then serve.