I used to have a blog with nothing but chicken recipes. It was live for about two months then I gave it up. Apparently, eating chicken every day can trigger the worst kind of allergy. These days, we eat poultry only about once every two weeks.
This recipe used to be in that blog. After I took the blog offline, I didn’t republish the recipe here to create a redirect. The reason? I really didn’t like the photos.
The one above… Well, the drumsticks were originally stacked by the bony ends for better visual appeal but they slid down before I could take photos. The glaze was still slippery (it turns sticky as it cools) and it was hard to make the drumsticks stay in place.
And the ones below… According to the EXIF data of the photos, I cooked this dish between 1.00 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. Harsh sunlight was streaming through a glass wall and the shadows in the kitchen were even harsher.
Until a few hours ago, I still wasn’t planning on reproducing the recipe here but, as I was staring at the photos, I felt a sense of clarity. In the age of AI, I decided I should republish the recipe and the photos. Never mind the imperfection of the images. It’s real food, and the recipe was created and tested by a human. Imperfectly lighted images and slightly screwed food plating done by a human should be embraced over perfect images of immaculate dishes created by artificial intelligence.
So… we go to the fried chicken. The total cook time of eight hours and 22 minutes specified in the recipe might make you frown but that’s just because the chicken needs to be marinated. They’re drumsticks and the thickest portion of the meat is about an inch thick. Season just before cooking and the seasoning stays on the surface. To get all that flavor all the way to the bone, you have to give the chicken time to take it all in. The eight hours is for marinating.
The now tasty-to-the-bone drumsticks are ready to be cooked. Coat in starch for a crispy crust. Then, double fry.
Double fry? Yes. It’s an Asian thing. The Koreans and the Japanese have perfected the technique. Fry over medium heat until the meat is cooked through then fry over high heat to puff up the crust. The photo above shows the chicken after the first frying; the photo below was taken after the second frying.
After the second frying, set the chicken aside to allow any steam to escape. That will help the crust retain its crispiness after the chicken is tossed with the glaze.
The glaze is a mixture of sweet (honey), tart (mustard), spicy (chili and garlic). There is no right or wrong proportion here. While there are recommended amounts in the recipe, feel free to tweak. Want more heat? Add another chili. Like it more tart than sweet? Add more mustard. Cook down the mixture to reduce until it’s really thick and the color has deepened.
Then, you add the fried chicken to the sauce and toss them around to coat every inch. In the process, you’re reheating the chicken as well.
Chili honey mustard fried chicken
- 4 to 6 chicken drumsticks about 500 grams in total weight
- 1 tablespoon rock salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
To cook the fried chicken
- ¼ cup potato starch
- cooking oil
Marinate the chicken
- Dry the chicken with paper towels and dump into a bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the marinade and mix well.
- Cover the bowl tightly and chill in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.
Fry the chicken
- In a thick-bottomed frying pan, heat enough oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Drop the chicken into a resealable bag, add the flour and shake to coat each piece well.
- Over medium heat (about 310F), fry the chicken until lightly crisp, about six minutes.
- Scoop out the chicken and rest on a rack.
- Turn up the heat to 350F and fry the chicken a second time for about two minutes until nicely browned and very crisp on the outside.
- Scoop out the chicken.
- Pour the honey and mustard into a clean pan, the add the sliced chili and minced garlic.
- Cook the honey mustard sauce until reduced by half.
- Add the chicken to the sauce and toss well to coat every inch of the surface.
- Scoop out the chicken and serve at once.