Serves 4 to 6
This recipe hits all the flavor notes of KFC, Korean Fried Chicken—sweet, salty, spicy, extremely savory. But instead of going through the trouble of setting up a deep fryer or panfrying on the stovetop, which is always a pain and a mess, this is a just-as-delicious recipe for the oven that will impress your family and friends. Please have a lot of napkins handy.
For the Chicken
1 whole organic chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
Kosher salt to taste
For the Glaze
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon Korean chili paste
¼ cup mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Steamed rice and banchan of your choosing for serving
Preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the lowest position. Using latex gloves, rub down the chicken with oil and salt to taste, making sure to season inside the carcass, as well. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish breast side up, tucking the wing tips under the bird so they don’t burn. Bake for 1 hour on the bottom oven rack, rotating the bird once halfway through so it browns evenly.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pot over medium heat, then add the garlic, browning it lightly. Add the remaining glaze ingredients, stirring everything together well, and slowly reduce the glaze by one-third, until it becomes thick enough to coat a spoon.
Once the chicken has baked for 1 hour, remove it from the oven and spoon or brush the glaze all over the bird. Return the chicken to the oven for 5 more minutes, then remove it and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before eating. I like to eat this with white rice and whatever banchan I have on hand.
Reprinted from LEARNING KOREAN by PETER SERPICO. Copyright © 2022 by PETER SERPICO. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. This selection may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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