In the original recipe, the chicken pieces were seasoned and baked in a cool oven before they were dredged in starch, dipped in egg, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. The baking part is a smart way to ensure that the chicken will be cooked through after frying without burning the breading.
But chickens in my part of the world are not so large with the average weighing around 1.2 kilograms. And since I was using chicken wings only, pre-cooking in the oven would have been overkill. If the temperature of the cooking oil is right, chicken wings gets perfectly cooked through by the time the breading turns a beautiful brown.
So, I dispensed with the pre-cooking part. Completely.
I cut the chicken wings into drumettes and wingettes, and discarded the wing tips. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic, and kept them overnight in the fridge.
The next day, I cooked the garlic fried chicken wings.
I started by flouring each piece of chicken. A tip here: If you want the chicken to be lightly but evenly coated with flour, use a large resealable bag. Put the chicken pieces inside, add the flour, seal and shake well.
Alternatively, place the chicken in a large bowl, add the flour, place a heavy plate to cover the bowl and, holding both bowl and plate with both hands, shake continuously for 15 seconds or so.
Next, the floured chicken pieces were drenched in an egg bath. But, instead of plain beaten eggs, I added dried parsley and a couple of tablespoonfuls of yogurt.
Oh, my… that yogurt really did its job in making the chicken meat wonderfully moist. Not to mention the added flavor it gave.
There was excess flour in the bowl where I had floured the chicken. I just added panko to the flour to make the final coat in the breading.
And that’s how the chicken drumettes looked before they into the frying pan.
Drumettes? What happened to chicken wingettes? Well, they underwent the same procedure, of course. But for perfectly even cooking, I cooked all the drumettes together in one batch and the wingettes in another batch.
Because the meat in the chicken drumettes is thicker so the drumettes take longer to cook. It makes more sense to cook similarly sized pieces together.
And, another tip here. It often happens that the chicken pieces that go into the hot oil first browns faster than the ones that go into the oil after it. That’s because after the first pieces hit the oil, the temperature of the oil drops before it goes up again. For even browning, push the darker pieces of chicken to the sides of the pan where the temperature of the oil is cooler than at the center.
Of course, this technique only applies if you are using a regular stove and cooking pan. It may not apply if using a deep fryer.
So, there. Evenly browned drumettes with meat cooked all the way through.
Next came the wingettes. They cooked in a shorter time than the drumettes.
I served the garlic fried chicken wings with sweet potato fries sprinkled lightly with salt.
- Cut the chicken wings into drumettes and wingettes. Set the wingtips aside for another use (simmer them to make broth!).
- Place the chicken drumettes and wingettes in a bowl. Add the salt, pepper, grated garlic and garlic powder. Mix well. Cover and allow to marinate for a few hours (overnight is best).
- Lightly coat each chicken piece with flour.
- Beat the eggs and yogurt. Stir in the parsley. Dip each floured chicken piece in the egg-yogurt mixture until completely coated.
- Roll the wet chicken pieces in panko.
- Heat the cooking oil to 350F (it's that stage just before the oil starts to smoke). Fry the chicken pieces in batches over medium heat until browned, crisp and cooked through.
- Serve the garlic fried chicken wings with your favorite side dishes.
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