I know the sweet stuff has been missing from the blog for a while. I had been on an Asian food kick lately and my cravings didn’t seem to include cakes, pies or cookies. Chocolate is the exception, that’s a whole different food group in my universe, and having a little square of bittersweet chocolate with my espresso had been enough to satisfy my sugar cravings.
I’m sure with the first signs of sweet, flavor-packed strawberries, I’ll be enticed again to indulge in some sugar high.
For now, it’s back to the comfort food of childhood: fried chicken.
Whenever I see fried chicken lollipops I get excited. So easy to eat, so finger-licking good – the perfect appetizer or picnic food.
Me? I can have it for dinner, no problem.
But is it easy to make?
For a visual method on how to form the lollipop, Maki of Just Bento has the perfect step-by-step tutorial. You need chicken drummettes, the drumstick portion of the wing to do this.
I used a Japanese karaage recipe for the marinade. Normally, chicken nuggets are used with this recipe, but after seeing Maki’s chicken lollipops, how can one resist not making this adorable version.
adapted from Shizuo Tsuji Japanese Cooking, a simple art
12 drummettes (around 600 g)
6 tbsps sake
3 tbsps light soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh ginger juice
2 tbsp very finely chopped green onion
oil for deep-frying
3/4 cup cornstarch
Prepare the drummettes.
Cut through the skin and sever the tendons at the base of the drummette. Scrape the meat and skin down to the fat end and turn everything inside out to form a lollipop.
Mix ingredients for marinade in a bowl, add chicken drummettes and mix thoroughly with your hands. Marinate for 30 minutes.
To deep-fry: Bring a generous amount of oil to medium temperature (340F/170C) in a heavy-bottomed pot or deep-fryer. Drain the marinade from the chicken and dust the chicken lightly with cornstarch. Use your hands to toss and coat individual pieces thoroughly. Let coated chicken rest for 2-3 minutes.
Slide chicken into hot oil, a few pieces at a time. Turn and separate individual pieces as they deep-fry. Skim the oil occasionally. As the chicken is finished, remove and drain on absorbent paper toweling.
I loved all this fried-chicken goodness! I was going to add some mirin to the marinade until I tasted the sake, I realized that it was sweet enough already. The original recipe used flour but I prefer using cornstarch when it comes to fried chicken because I think it makes for a crisper chicken. Also, soy toughens the meat so you don’t want to leave the pieces in the marinade for too long.
The drummettes cooked in about 6 minutes while keeping the temperature of the oil between 320 and 340 F, any higher and the chicken would turn too dark.