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Korean Fried Chicken

Jose Mendin brings Korean flavor to fried chicken
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Jose Mendin of Miami's Pubbelly brings Korean flavor to the classic fried chicken. He adds gochujang, a spicy Korean chile paste, to his buttermilk brine, then fries the chicken until it's crisp and golden brown. Drink Mike's Hard Lemonade as a refreshing break between bites of this spicy dish.

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Korean Fried Chicken

Recipe adapted from Jose Mendin, Pubbelly, Miami

Yield: 10 pieces

Prep Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours and 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Gochujang Mustard Miso:

½ cup red miso paste

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons gochujang

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons water

 

For the Korean Fried Chicken:

1 whole 3½-pound chicken (cut into 10 pieces)

4 cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon gochujang paste (Korean chile paste)

1 teaspoon chile powder, plus 2 tablespoons extra for flour mixture

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon schichimi (Japanese seven spice)

1 small head bibb lettuce, leaves separated

Directions

1. Make the gochujang mustard miso: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the miso paste, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Cook it until the miso dissolves and becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and fold in the gochujang, mustard and water using a rubber spatula. Set the miso mixture aside; makes about 1 cup.

2. Make the Korean fried chicken: Combine the buttermilk, gochujang paste and 1 teaspoon of the chile powder. Add the chicken to the buttermilk brine and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

3. Remove the chicken from the brine and transfer to a wire rack placed over a parchment-lined, rimmed sheet tray. Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow the salt to redistribute.

4. Pour enough oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. While the oil is heating, combine the 2 additional tablespoons of chile powder, flour, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder and schichimi together in a large bowl.

5. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, making sure that every piece is evenly coated.

6. Fry the chicken in 2 batches, cooking the larger pieces first, until golden brown and crisp, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155°, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack placed over a paper towel-lined sheet tray. Season it with salt while still hot, and serve it with the gochujang mustard miso and lettuce cups.

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