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Fried chicken triple tie
Travel with some fried goodness.
“Chicken is like my family”- a kid called Curtis.
“The chicken is the national bird of Peru”-heard in the streets of El Centro de Lima
The best invention after fire was frying. Literally take anything you like eating, submerge it in hot oil, and “voila” in crono time you’ve got a masterpiece. Why does this so simple operation turn a meal into a culinary symphony, cracking crispiness on the outside, tender delicate and smooth in the inside, with heavenly aromas that you can smell blocks away. Apart from the oil crisis due to the Ukraine war, most of the time oil is cheap and abundant making it affordable way to cook worldwide.
Deep fried foods are often extremely sapid and popular all around the world because they implement a complex yet simple way to cook common foods. How? You see, when you fry let’s say a piece of battered chicken, the first outer layer in this case the batter will be in direct contact with very hot oil, instantly drying it out, that is why the frying oil is extra bubbly when you first submerge it: all the moisture (water) is evaporating. But unlike other cooking methods (roasting or pan frying) this action of crust dehydration all around is exponentially fast. Whatever food is being fried is then automatically sealed by its formed crust and continues to cook with its own steam and aromas, no flavours can escape, and all the richness and goodness is sealed in, to be later savour meticulously. It is a hybrid between crispy caramelisation and soft slow airtight cooking. That’s why fried food has such an interesting complex flavour and texture pallet, contrasting between the outside sharp/crunchy to the soft/tender in the inside.
Ok so now, since we are all frying experts let’s get to the chicken diner.
From the other side of the globe, the Japanese… KARAAGE!
Is it ok to say that extra crunchiness is Kawaii? Maybe, how? Kaarage chicken batter is made with corn-starch giving it a different look and bite that cannot be found anywhere else. But even better are the little white pockets of extra starchy batter make Karaage irresistible, something addictive, something you can keep on popping like candy. Especially dipped in some siracha mayo you got the perfect meal for anyone if you are trying the make them fall in love, with chicken… or you too.
That’s what I call better batter…
On the American continent we love Pollo Broster… (inspired by USA KFC chicken but better)
When in Peru, If you are roaming the busy midnight streets of “el centro de lima”, appreciating the beautiful colonial architecture, and all the mayhem around. Take a little break on the corner shop, and order for 3 bucks: half a kilo of yellow potato fries topped with a deep fried “cuarto de pollo”, and for sure add “harto ajicito pa que pique”. Just make sure you have a strong stomach, because you never know when “la tia veneno is on shift”. Pared with Peruvian sweet and fresh spicy aji sauce, you can keep on going, for so long, you realised you have eaten almost a kilo of food and you are still looking to buy some more fruit on street to digest it all.
Like some wise Peruvians would say: “Donde mas vas a encontrar asi pe”
So you already know, “obligado” to have some extra spicy so the “tia veneno” won’t curse or kill you.
Fancy for the last, you got Yangnyeom chicken , 양념치킨 .
Pretty much as close as you get to perfection, now the batter is just so damn consistent and crunchy on the point, a soft crunch that caresses your lips on every bite. Glazed with a sweet Gochujang sauce, yeah, maybe, for some, a little spicy, but you don’t get anything good without a little pain. You even got a sprinkle of sesame seeds and finely chopped fresh spring onion. The chicken is marinated in soy ginger, garlic and onion paste. The magic mix to get that Asian flavour flow going, your taste buds popping, sesame popping and even a bottle of peach soju too.
Of course, there are so many other fried chickens that are not mentioned on this occasion, my deepest thoughts are with them. But I can’t say everything is my favourite neither, that just ain’t fair. Maybe you are already making reservations or maybe you are heading to the super market. One thing for sure : fried chicken takes a little of practice to master but when you get it right you have a superpower, that no one can take away. Just make sure your chicken reaches max 79°C inner temp and let it rest a couple of minutes.
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For the recipes, on the internet there are amazing ones like:
Joshua is a professional cook, so he really knows what he is talking about, plus his videos are fun.
Matty Matheson is also pro, if you want to laugh a little more check his vid below.