Monday, July 11, 2016

Chicken & Waffles: An Asian Permutation

This was our dinner last night (and possibly tonight, too): Fried chicken (brined w/Thai aromatics), green papaya salad, and instead of scallion pancake, I made scallion waffles.  (And instead of maple syrup, I did a drizzle of sweet chili dipping sauce.)

I hope that the chicken will crisp back up in the toaster oven tonight. It truly was a thing of beauty.

I was so fortunate to see that Viet World Kitchen had linked to this recipe for Ruhlman’s Twenty Leads to Kaffir Lime Fried Chicken Recipe, which I used as my guide, and my only variations on the aromatics was to use garlic scape paste, gojuchang, lime juice, galangal and lemongrass. Truly, the brine was essentially the broth for tom yum goong, minus the shrimp and mushrooms.  

I pressure cooked the aromatics in a bit of chicken broth, cooled it completely and put my chicken in that, and let it sit for two whole days, before draining, drying off, and leaving in fridge uncovered most of the day to air chill/dry off a bit more before frying.

My green papaya salad was a MacGuyvered affair, using some of the garlic scape/cilantro pesto I made, using up some left over fresh made pico de gallo, nam pla, mung sprouts, cuke, shred carrot, green papaya shredded up a la minute, canned diced pineapple, lime juice, and peanuts. 

The scallion waffles were made with a pancake mix I bought from the Korean market, which I augmented with an egg, some buttermilk, and scallions. 

And of course, I made too much of everything! 

Related to the frying, this was the third time using the same batch of oil I have been using this month. And thanks to this tutorial on how to clarify my oil, it has made a HUGE difference in the quality of my deep frying.    
  • The first fry was vegetable oil straight from the bottle. I fried up some haloumi, then clarified;
  • The second fry was deep frying chiccarones, so it's not 100% vegetable oil at that point. I clarified that, no problem, it left the oil/fat crystal clear (though, in the fridge there was an obvious indication where the fat/lard layer was vs the oil, and the lard layer was not solid, but obviously a different weight/viscosity than the vegetable oil); 
  • The third fry is the fried chicken from last night. I set up the gelatin routine for the clarification, and I wonder how well this will work, given there was so much carbonized flour in the oil. Only time will tell!

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