I had actually started a post called "Goodbye Alice".... I had finally used up the last bottle of Park's Brand Kimchee Sauce, and made my last batch of Chicken Alice Fried Chicken. If you're wondering who Chicken Alice is, and what's the big deal about her fried chicken, you can read the Honolulu Star Bulletin article from 2005 here. And if you'd like to read about how much I enjoyed Chicken Alice's Fried Chicken my original post is here. Well enough of that..... this is part of what I thought my last batch of Chicken Alice's chicken looked like:
And over the years, whenever I had visitors who asked me what I wanted.... I'd say Park's Brand Kim Chee Sauce.... boy did I get some really interesting responses....... of all the things I'd want from home, it was a second rate Kim Chee base. Needing refrigeration, I knew it was a hassle getting this for me, so I decided to stop asking...... and so I thought I'd made my last batch.
Until, on a recent visit to Marukai Gardena, I spied this:
I couldn't believe my eyes...... after making sure that I wasn't suffering from some sort of dementia, I bought three bottles. You see, I'd been less than pleased with my last couple of batches.... I still enjoyed the chicken, but it tasted a bit dated. Personally, I think people enjoy bolder flavors nowadays, and this recipe was starting to be a bit..... well, "Chicken Alice a la King".... a recipe from another generation. Now that I had a decent stock on hand, I decided to experiment a bit. Recently. I've been updating my mochiko, and other chicken recipes replacing flour with rice flour, which creates a lighter, sweeter, a slightly more crisp batter. So my first shot was replacing the flour in the recipe with rice flour:
Based on the amount of water in the recipe, I should have known better...... the batter was too thin, and didn't adhere well to the chicken. I think I could have done some neato-Korean voodoo-Kyochon-double frying, and perhaps have gotten a better results, but I love the crunchy batter. In the end, the changes were minor. I added sugar, because I enjoy a tad more sweetness. I upped the garlic to one entire bulb. I added a teaspoon of Korean Red Chili powder for more heat, and the biggest change, to lighten up, and give me some good crispness, I added baking powder. Nothing like a bit more leavening to get things crisp and light.
Compare it to the first photo, and you'll notice a much more crunchy batter. One real serious item...... adding sugar means that these babies will burn if not tended right. I did end up double frying. The Missus, who is suffering from PPTSS (Post Poultry Tramatic Stress Syndrome, as detailed in this post), ended up taking most of the chicken to work. And I heard it went over well.
Chicken Alice Fried Chicken revised
5 pounds chicken wings
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 cup Parks brand kim chee sauce
1 bulb galic minced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2-1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Korean Red Pepper powder (optional)
Add chicken pieces to batter, mix well and marinate in refrigerator overnight.
Heat oil to 350 degrees.Deep-fry chicken pieces until chicken rises to surface and is light brown. Remove and cool for five minutes return to oil and fry until coating is deep brown, and chicken pieces float.It's important to keep the oil at this temperature in order to assure the perfect crisp coating.