Thai Fried Chicken

Thai Fried Chicken - Hat Yai Style

3 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken, (Drumsticks and thighs are best, but breast can work too)
10 cloves garlic
16 cilantro stems, chopped
1.5 tsp white peppercorns, or black
5 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp Thai soy sauce, (Thai Soy Sauce if possible)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Cup water
2 Cup rice flour
Oil for frying (any neutral flavored oil)

Sticky rice, for serving
Sweet chili sauce, for dipping

Fried Shallots
6 heads shallots, or however much you want
a pinch salt


Prep the Chicken
1. For drumsticks, score the thickest part of the meat on either side of the chicken, about 1 cm deep.
2. For thighs, trim off any hanging excess skin, then flip the chicken so the meat side is up, then make a 1 cm incision on either side of the bone.

Make the Marinade
1. Place peppercorns in a food processor and process until fine.
2. Add garlic and cilantro stems and continue to process.
3. Add sugar and continue to process.
4. Place the processed ingredients in a large bowl.
5. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and water and stir to mix.
6. Add the chicken, mix well, and let marinate in the bowl or in a zip-lock bag for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Flip the chicken half way through.

Fried Shallots (Optional)
1. Peel and slice shallots evenly, crosswise, into 2mm thick pieces and place them in a bowl.
2. Add a pinch of salt and give it all a toss to mix. Let it sit for about 10 mins.
3. Spread the shallots out on a paper-towel-lined plate and press another piece of paper towel on top to dry off the drawn out moisture.
4. Add about 2 inches of frying oil in a wok or a large pot (this will also be for your chicken).
5. Add one test piece of shallot into the oil. Turn the heat on high and keep an eye on it.
6. Once the test shallot has a constant stream of bubbles coming out, turn the heat down to low and add the remaining shallots, stirring them frequently as they fry, (about 5-8 minutes).
7. Meanwhile prepare a large plate or baking sheet lined with double layer of paper towel.
8. Once the shallots are golden and the bubbles have mostly subsided, scoop them out with a wire skimmer onto the paper towels.
9. Use this same oil to fry the chicken.

Frying the Chicken
1. (Use the shallot oil or:) Heat 2 inches of oil in a wok or a large pot to 375°F (190°C) on medium heat.
2. Meanwhile, if the chicken is in a bag, transfer them into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add about ¾ cup of the rice flour and mix until there are no more lumps.
4. Add more rice flour as needed to get a thin batter that thinly, but thoroughly, coats the chicken. If the batter has become too thick, add a little water at a time to thin out.
5. Once the oil is ready, add the chicken in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan.
6. Allow the oil temp to drop to about 300°F/150°C - and from this point on, adjust the heat to maintain the temperature at 300°F/150°C.
7. Fry the chicken, flipping them every 1-2 minutes until dark meat reaches 175°F/79°C internal temp, and breast reaches 155°F/68°C. The chicken should have a deep brown colour. Drums and thighs should take 10-12 minutes.
8. Let the chicken cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

Serve with sticky rice and fried shallots. Put the shallots on the sticky rice, but if not serving sticky rice you can just eat it along with the chicken.

Also Try dipping it in sweet chili sauce.

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