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Recipe: Korean Fried Chicken from 'Seoultown Kitchen'

Here's the recipe for Korean Fried Chicken from Debbie Lee's "Seoultown Kitchen," featured in today's Buffalo News. Lee's recipe calls for no flouring or breading of the drumsticks. They're fried twice for extra crispiness, and tossed in a tangy glaze based on roasted garlic.

(From "Seoultown Kitchen: Korean Pub Grub To Share with Family and Friends," by Debbie Lee, Kyle Books, $24.95)

Your first bite into this succulent version of a twice-fried bird will change your concept of breadless chicken forever. Traditionally referred to as tong dak, the recipe typically calls for a whole chicken, and you are served half a fried chicken along with pancakes, pickled daikon, and various dipping sauces. When developing this recipe for my food truck, I wanted to make it a little easier to consume on the streets, so I stuck to chicken drumsticks, which are more in line with the American conception of fried chicken. The crispiness of the crackling skin, the result of frying the chicken twice, gives it that bacon-esque quality. Bite into your first leg and you will be a convert for good!

Korean Fried Chicken

serves: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Vegetable oil, for deep frying
12 large chicken drumsticks, skin on
1 cup Pickled Daikon
For Roasted Garlic–Soy Glaze:
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup mirin
2 cups roasted garlic cloves, puréed
2 tablespoons chopped scallions, for garnish
1 tablespoon roasted and salted
sesame seeds, for garnish

1. In a deep stockpot, heat 6 to 8 inches of vegetable oil until it reaches 375°F when measured with a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Add the drumsticks and fry for about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cookie sheet and set aside, reserving the oil in the stockpot.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients for the Roasted Garlic-Soy Glaze and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Heat the reserved oil until it reaches 375°F again. Fry the drumsticks again, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg; when the temperature reads 160°F, the chicken is done. Transfer immediately to the saucepan of Roasted Garlic–Soy Glaze and let sit for about 2 minutes to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors.

4. Shake the excess glaze off and transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chopped scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately, with daikon on the side.