9 Fried Chicken Recipes from Around the World
From the spice profile to method of breading, everyone has a favorite way to fry up America’s second most important bird. There are so many factors to choose from when it comes to preparing, cooking, and serving fried chicken. Stick to the classic chicken wing, or get creative and fry up boneless wings, breasts, and thighs. Some enjoy hot sauce on the side, while others swear by a smothering of gravy. With so many ways to prepare fried chicken, it can’t hurt to try a few new recipes. National Fried Chicken Day may be on July 6th, but we’re celebrating all year long with these nine different preparation methods from around the world.
Origins of Fried Chicken
While many associate the iconic flavor of fried chicken with America’s southern states, Scottish immigrants are actually credited with the invention of fried chicken. They were the first to introduce the concept of frying chicken in fat, rather than boiling it as their English counterparts did.
Types of Fried Chicken
If you’re looking to spice things up in your restaurant, check out these tried and true fried chicken recipes from around the world.
This classic dish is prepared by soaking wing, breast, thigh, and leg cuts in buttermilk, then coating them in flour mixed with cayenne, black pepper, and other spices. Finally, the chicken is fried with vegetable oil, traditionally in a cast iron skillet, and served up in grease-resistant chicken buckets. Home cooks and Southern chefs alike attribute the crispy, crackly breading to the buttermilk bath.
Japanese Chicken Karaage
Chicken karaage, or Japanese fried chicken, uses skin-on chicken thighs marinated in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sake. The thighs are then dredged in potato starch and deep fried, creating a crispy, golden brown outer coating similar to tempura.
Italian Pollo Frito
Marinated in the classic tastes of Tuscany, pollo frito mingles the flavors of garlic, thyme, bay, olive oil, and lemon before being fried with vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet. More lemon, cracked pepper, and herbs garnish the finished product.
Brazilian Frango a Passarinho
This South American favorite gets its charismatic taste from the traditional tempero baiano seasoning blend used to coat the chicken. This blend features a combination of aromatic flavors including cumin, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Combine these spices with a heaping pile of minced garlic and plenty of lime juice to create a marinade worth waiting for. And for a truly authentic experience, frango a passarinho is topped with sauteed garlic and olive oil right before serving.
Indonesian Ayam Goreng
Even amongst the local population, there are countless variations of Indonesian fried chicken, known as ayam goreng, served at restaurants or family gatherings. In its most basic form, this nationally beloved dish can be made using cut up pieces of any part of the chicken marinated in an aromatic blend of spices and simmered in oil until it becomes golden and crispy. One of the most popular variations is ayam goreng kuning, which can be identified by its rich yellow coloring thanks to the use of turmeric in the marinade. Other popular spices include coriander, garlic, and bay leaves.
Korean Yangnyeom Chicken
Korean fried chicken is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and other spices before it's fried twice. The double frying process works with the lack of breading to create a crispy, but not greasy outer skin. The same spices used in the marinade are then applied again after frying. Wings cook especially well with this method, and the Korean style chicken wing is gaining popularity in bars and restaurants in the US. The wings are often served with a sweet glaze, beer, and pickled vegetables on the side.
Austrian Wiener Backhendl
Wiener Backhendl, or Viennese fried chicken, originated as a popular dish for the upper class in 18th century Austria. Today it is a staple at Oktoberfest in Munich, served with coleslaw or potato salad, and of course, a mug of beer. Backhendl is made with skinless chicken pieces coated in egg, flour, and breadcrumbs. The chicken is then fried in a skillet and served with parsley and lemon.
Taiwanese Xiang Ji Pai
Xiang Ji Pai is Taiwanese fried chicken breast that is unmarinated, coated with sweet potato starch, and deep fried. What makes the flavor special is the use of five spice powder in the breading, which consists of Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel seeds, star anise, and mandarin orange peel. The result is a flavorful, crispy chicken with a spice profile you can only find in the outdoor markets of Taipei.
Dominican Chicharron de Pollo
Chicharron de Pollo, or “chicken cracklins” is the Dominican take on fried chicken. It’s made by marinating thighs, wings, and drumsticks with olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, and garlic. Then it’s coated with a mixture of flour, sazon, and adobo. This deep fried chicken dish can be served on its own or with an olive oil, cilantro, and jalapeno sauce.
Tips for Frying Chicken
No matter what region of the world has inspired you with their recipe, there are a few tips and tricks to always keep in mind when producing fried chicken.
- Take advantage of every part of the chicken, not just the legs. Break down larger breasts and thighs into smaller, more manageable pieces before frying.
- Cooking chicken that’s too cold will drop your oil temperature and cause the chicken to cook unevenly. Be sure to take the chicken out of the fridge at least 30 minutes beforehand.
- This is the order in which you should bread chicken: brine (if one is being used), flour, egg or buttermilk, then flour again. This ensures an even, golden brown coating on every piece.
- Season the chicken before breading since seasoning won’t touch the meat once it’s been coated.
- If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can use a cast iron skillet or dutch oven instead.
- Always use neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil or peanut oil.
- Crowding the pan with too much chicken will cause the oil temperature to drop, which will make breading greasy and increase your cooking time.
Whether you grew up eating Indonesian fried chicken or you swear by the taste of the South, be sure to branch out and try something new for National Fried Chicken Day. You may even discover a new favorite or become inspired to travel in search of the perfect bird. Other regions may do it differently, but when chickens are fried in oil, it’s hard to go wrong.