I still recall the first time I had this fried chicken at my aunt’s kitchen in Trinidad, topped with the juice of lime pepper sauce which had been marinating for a couple months. The succulent pieces of chicken was just outstanding with the drops of spicy sauce, but the crispy skin stole the show. It’s just one of those things (moments) which will forever be engraved in my memory. The recipe itself is very simple and even with minimal ingredients, the flavor really stands out.
1.5 cups light soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 chicken (about 4 bs)
Vegetable oil for frying
Notes: You can add a 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder to the marinade for extra flavor and a little finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper will add the “wickedness” to everything. You’ll also need the juice of a lime or lemon to wash the chicken.
Here’s a tip to know how much vegetable oil you’ll need for frying so you won’t have a dangerous mess with overflowing hot oil when you add the seasoned chicken to the pot. It will also help you determine how large a pot you’ll need. Place your chicken (before seasoning) into the pot you plan on using to fry, then using a measuring cup, pour in water until the chicken is covered. Be sure to write down how many cups of water it took to completely cover the chicken (this will be how much oil you will need). After covering the chicken with water, make sure there is about 3 inches of space before the rim of the pot. Since as you add the chicken to the hot oil it may rise and try to flow over.
Now remove the chicken and get ready to marinade.
Wash the chicken with cool water and lime or lemon juice, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Then place in a large zip lock bag and place the bagged chicken in a bowl which can fit in your fridge. So in the event of a leaky bag, you won’t have a mess in your fridge. All you have to do now is pour in the soy sauce and grate the ginger directly into the bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can as you seal the bag.. then massage the entire chicken so the marinade gets up-close and personal with the entire bird.
Allow the now seasoned chicken to marinate in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove from the fridge and allow to come back to room temperature as you heat the oil for frying (get it to about 325F). Using paper towels, dry off the chicken so we won’t have any liquid causing problems when we introduce it to the hot oil.
With my oil nice and hot (med/high flame) I gently added the chicken to it.
Depending on the size of your chicken, it can take between 40 and 50 minutes to cook all the way though and get you that lovely crispy skin. If you’re using chicken pieces, it should be fully cooked after about 25 minutes. I then placed the fried chicken to cool on a cooling rack in a baking tray. So the excess oil will drain into the tray.
Since we’re using soy sauce to marinate the chicken, you may find that the chicken may turn out to be a bit salty (why we went for light soy sauce). You can certainly rinse the chicken with cool water after marinating overnight to help with that, but the sort of salty base is what’s unique about this fried chicken.. get some Hoisin sauce and the sweetness will work as a good balance for the chicken. Don’t forget to have some good Caribbean pepper sauce ready as well.