Thai-Style Fried Chicken My Way

(Serves 6)

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4 pounds chicken drumsticks (or a combination of your favorite chicken pieces)


6 large cloves of garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns

2 tablespoons finely-chopped cilantro roots or stems

3 tablespoons oyster sauce (or a mixture of 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules for those avoiding gluten)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar


1 1/2 cups rice flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (optional but highly recommended)

One cup of limestone water (can be substituted with equal amount of plain seltzer water or one cup of plain water mixed with 2 teaspoons baking soda)

Dry coating:

About 2 cups of rice flour

Garnish (optional):

3-4 shallots, very thinly sliced and left to dry out in a single layer on a plate

Aromatics (optional):

2-3 Pandanus leaves, bruised and knotted or

1 large yellow onion, quartered with the skin on

Pound the first four marinade ingredients in a granite mortar until they form a smooth paste. (You can use a small chopper or food processor for this.)

Add the paste to the chicken along with the remaining marinade ingredients.

Let the chicken marinate in a covered bowl, in the refrigerator at least 6 hours, up to overnight.

Whisk together the batter ingredients. The batter will be somewhat thin.

Dip each piece of chicken (no need to wipe off the marinade) into the batter; make sure it's entirely coated.

Immediately coat the battered chicken with rice flour; shake off some of the excess flour. Lay each piece out on a cookie sheet and allow to dry 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

While waiting for the chicken to dry out, heat up the oil in the fryer along with your aromatics of choice, if desired.

When the oil temperature reaches 350 F, remove and discard the aromatics and gently drop the chicken pieces into the oil (don't fry too many at the same time; this causes the oil temperature to drop too low and results in soggy coating).

Fry the chicken until the inside is thoroughly cooked and the outside is golden brown. If you're not used to cooking fried chicken Thai-style, cook your chicken to the point when you normally remove it from the fryer, then leave it in the oil about 10 minutes longer, adjusting the heat as needed.

Once all the chicken pieces have been removed, gently drop the shallot slices into the oil. Once they're browned and crispy, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

To serve, sprinkle the crispy shallots over the chicken..