Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

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We spent around 2 weeks in Japan during July and managed to sample many dishes of Karaage from various establishments ranging from Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa.

Karaage was best described by a friend of ours as Japanese chicken nuggets. Here are various fried chicken photos brought to you from our Japanese trip

 

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Home Brew – Vol. 1

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The Chick had her hopes set on the magic of a home fried chook. As luck would have it, their kitchen came equipped with a deep fryer. So they dubbed the kitchen, The Chook Lab, suited up and got to work in hope of producing their own Melbourne Fried Chicken.

Take #1

Chook:
Lilydale free range whole chicken, size 15 – sourced from Prahran market

Cut whole chicken into 10 friable pieces:
4 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks

The rib cage we held out for stock, which Hollywood made into a delicious dish, but that’s another blog for another time.

Breading:
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Crumbs
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh ground cardamom

Dredging:
2 free range eggs

Oil: canola, used 2x before, but strained before reuse.

Magic:

Heated oil to 160 degrees C

Mixed the breading ingredients in a bowl.
Whisked the eggs on a plate.
Covered the chicken pieces in the egg and then placed in a seal-able sandwich bag along with plenty of the breading mixture and tossed repeatedly to achieve even coating for each piece at a time. Repeated the process for each piece to get double coating effect.

We placed the breaded chicken into the hot oil and shaked the chicken the frying basket for the first half minute to ensure it doesnt stick. Th temperature of the oil was reduced to 140 degrees C after 5 minutes because the breading was starting to crisp. drumsticks cooked in 8 minutes while the thigh took 9 minutes and the breast took 10 minutes.

Afterwards the pieces were kept in a heated oven (heated to 150 degrees C and then turned off) for 5 minutes.

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Verdict
Skin slightly burnt with hints of the spices in the crust that was falling off of the skin taste. The chicken was warm and cooked through with tastes of the spices to be experienced as we were eating. The cardamom added a good taste to the chicken

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Take #2

Chook:
Lilydale free range whole chicken, size 15 – sourced from Prahran market

2 pieces were used (drumstick and a wing)

Breading:
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Crumbs
No Spices

Dredging:
2 free range eggs

Oil: canola oil

Magic:

Heated oil to 140 degrees C

Mixed the breading ingredients in a bowl.
Whisked the eggs on a plate.
Covered the chicken pieces in the egg and then placed in a seal-able sandwich bag along with plenty of the breading mixture and tossed repeatedly to achieve even coating for each piece at a time. Repeated the process for each piece to get double coating effect.

The drumstick and the wing were cooked in 8 minutes

Verdict:
Chicken was a bit sweet and tasting like breading for a fish fillet. Not what we were looking for. And one of the drumsticks didn’t cook all the way through. Clearly we needed a meat thermometer.
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Take #3

Chook:
Lilydale free range whole chicken, size 15 – sourced from Prahran market

1 chicken breast was used

Breading:
1/4 cup polenta
1/2 cup flour

Dredging:
2 free range eggs

Oil: canola oil

Magic:

Heated oil to 140 degrees C

Mixed the breading ingredients in a bowl.
Whisked the eggs on a plate.
Covered the chicken pieces in the egg and then placed in a seal-able sandwich bag along with plenty of the breading mixture and tossed repeatedly to achieve even coating for each piece at a time. Repeated the process for each piece to get double coating effect.

The breast was cooked in 10 minutes

Verdict:
Coloring was soft golden. The chicken flavor dominated however more spices would give better results. Possibly, cayenne pepper, tobasco, or pepper flakes? Time to take it up a notch were the chick’s thoughts

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Take #4

Ingredients:
Cup of cornmeal/polenta
full container of Oasis KFC spices mixed with flour to have the total mix of 2 cups
Joe’s stuff peppered seasoning added to the KFC spices/flour mix

Ingredients:

Breading mixture:
Cup of cornmeal/polenta
full container of Oasis KFC spices mixed with flour to have the total mix of 2 cups
Joe’s stuff peppered seasoning added to the KFC spices/flour mix

Dredging mixture:
Dairy farmers buttermilk (600ml)
Devondale cream (300ml)
half tbsp “sea spot in heat” AKA hot sauce
pinch of salt
few dashes of cayenne pepper – extra hot

Magic:
The chicken was soaked into the dredging for a few minutes

Coated pieces by tossing in seal-able bags with the breading mixture. Only the a full breast piece was double coated this time

Heated Canola oil to 170 degrees C and dropped 2 drumsticks and then lowered temperature to 150 degrees C.

This time the bird thermometer was used to test the heat of the pieces. The ideal temperature should be 82 degrees C. The chicken reached 60 after 8 minutes. After 10 minutes the chicken still didnt reach the required temperature and the pieces were taken out anyway

The oil was put back to 160 degrees C. The thigh and half chicken breast were dropped in for 9 minutes and the heat was turned down to 150 degrees C towards the end. Finally, the wings and long double coated breast were put in to the 150 degrees C heated oil for 9 minutes. The thermometer showed the right temperature for all remaining pieces.

Verdict
The drumsticks were cooked through and all the pieces had crispy skin. There was a slight heat that slowly creeps up on you with this recipe. Most of the pieces were cooked except the thighs.

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Clearly, we have more work to do to compete with the professionals. Perhaps more sampling will be required. Next up ….