David Chang Fried Chicken Recipe

Why David Chang’s Chicken is So Good

David Chang is widely renowned for his delicious yet straightforward fried chicken recipe. While the ingredients are simple, the technique required to nail this dish perfectly takes some finesse.

In this beginner’s guide, we will break down exactly how to make David Chang’s signature fried chicken step-by-step. We will take you through choosing the right chicken, the marinade and wet dredge process, frying at the correct temperature, and ensuring your crust comes out perfectly crispy every time.

So let’s get clucking! By the end of this guide, you will be frying up the best fried chicken of your life.

Choosing the Right Chicken

When cooking any chicken dish, it all starts with using high-quality poultry. For the juiciest and most flavorful fried chicken, David Chang recommends using air-chilled chicken. The air-chilling process helps the birds retain more moisture than traditional water chilling.

You also want to make sure to brine the chicken first before cooking. This helps season the meat thoroughly and keeps it nice and juicy when fried. Chang calls for brining bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks since dark meat has more connective tissue and stays tender when cooked.

Creating the Spiced Brine

Before frying, the chicken needs a bath in a zesty brine mixture. The brine not only lends lots of flavor but also helps the meat retain moisture. David Chang’s signature brine contains plenty of aromatic spices, herbs, sugar, and salt.

For the brine, you’ll need to whisk together water, salt, sugar, garlic, spices like cayenne and paprika, bay leaves, and citrus. Once the dry ingredients fully dissolve, submerge your chicken pieces completely in the liquid. Cover and let them soak in the fridge anywhere from 4 hours to overnight.

Allowing the chicken ample time to brine is crucial for fully-seasoned meat and a juicy interior. Don’t rush this essential first step.

David Chang fried chicken recipe

The Three-Part Wet Dredge

After brining, it’s time to dredge the chicken before hitting the hot oil. Chang’s wet dredge technique is unique in that it contains three components:

1. Flour Mixture Whisk together all-purpose flour, more spices, salt, pepper, baking powder, and cornstarch. This will create a super crispy and seasoned crust when fried. Make sure there are no lumps in the dry mixture.

2. Buttermilk Dip The buttermilk soak adds further tang and tenderizes the crust. Whisk together low-fat buttermilk, hot sauce, spices, garlic powder, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl.

3. Final Dredge Back into the dry flour mixture! The third dredge ensures maximum crunch factor. Really pack on the flour coating. Shake off any excess before transferring the chicken straight into the hot oil.

This triple-dredge method makes the skin ultra crispy while keeping the meat very moist and flavorful. The steam created from the wet components getting trapped under all that flour is what gives the crust its signature crunch.

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Time to Fry

Now, we’ve made our brine, allowed the chicken to soak thoroughly, and triple-dredged each piece. The only step left before enjoying the fruits of your labor is to fry the chicken properly.

You’ll want to use a heavy-bottomed pot and fill with at least 2-inches of high smoke-point oil like peanut or vegetable. Heat the oil slowly over medium-high heat until it reaches between 325°F to 350°F. Use a deep-fry thermometer to accurately regulate the temperature.

Gently add the chicken pieces one by one to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot or the temperature will drop drastically. Fry the chicken in batches if needed, allowing the oil to come fully back up to temperature between each.

Fry the chicken until deeply golden brown and crisp, between 12-20 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Drain the fried chicken on a cooling wire rack over a baking sheet. Make sure to tent it loosely with foil so it stays nice and crispy as it cools.

Required Frying Equipment

To achieve the same level of fried chicken success as David Chang’s iconic recipe, having the right equipment is key. Here is the essential frying gear you’ll need:

  • Heavy-Bottomed Pot (at least 6 quarts) – Ensures the oil heats evenly and prevents burning
  • Deep-Fry or Candy Thermometer – Lets you regulate temperature precisely
  • Wire Cooling Rack – Allows air flow so fried chicken stays crispy
  • High Smoke-Point Oil – Peanut and vegetable oils can withstand high heat
  • Tongs and Slotted Spoon – Essential for safely transferring chicken in and out

Having proper frying tools like a thermometer and heavy pot makes all the difference when it comes to getting Chang’s perfect crispy coating. Don’t skip this step in the equipment.

David Chang

Sauces and Sides

No fried feast is complete without dipping sauces and fixings. Chang serves his signature fried chicken with a few tasty condiments:

Ranch Dressing – Cool, creamy ranch complements the crispy chicken beautifully Fermented Sambal Chili Sauce – Brings a punch of spice and tang to balance the rich meat Cucumber Salad – Fresh cukes tossed in rice wine vinegar offer crisp contrast

In addition to these housemade sauces, try experimenting with other dippers like honey mustard, blue cheese dressing, or hot sauce. And don’t forget to include some pickled vegetables, coleslaw, biscuits or fries alongside.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

One of the great things about fried chicken is that it actually holds up very well after cooking. Follow these tips for making the recipe ahead of time and storing leftovers:

  • You can brine the raw chicken a full day in advance before dredging and frying.
  • Let fried chicken rest at least 5 minutes out of the oil before tenting loosely with foil. The steam ensures it stays crispy for storage.
  • Once cooled fully, fried chicken keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze it up to 3 months. When ready to eat, reheat gently in a 300°F oven.

Properly storing David Chang’s iconic fried chicken gives you a head start on entertaining! You’ll have an impressive, tasty platter ready to reheat and serve whenever hunger strikes.

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Variations and Substitutions

Once you master Chang’s original recipe, half the fun is trying out your own tweaks and ingredient swaps. Play around with flavors to put your own personal spin on these fried chicken pieces!

Try using different cuts of chicken like wings, tenders, boneless breasts or skinless thighs. Change up the brine by using buttermilk or lemonade as the acidic base.

For the spiced dredge, experiment with swapped flour options like cornstarch, potato, chickpea or almond flour for gluten-free variations. Toss in cajun seasoning or Italian herbs for a flavored crust.

The possibilities are truly endless when riffing on fried chicken. Chang’s timeless recipe is so versatile and the perfect blank canvas to unleash your creativity in the kitchen.

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