Here’s another one of those classic Chinese dishes you’ll find in restaurants and food trucks on islands where Chinese Indentured Laborers settled in the Caribbean, after the end of slavery. Especially Trinidad and Tobago, where this was part of that classic Saturday lunch my brother and I would have when dad took us to the afternoon show (Kung Fu or Western) at the movies n San Fernando, Trinidad.
5 chicken legs (legs and back attached)
1-2 tablespoon Mushroom Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
Note: my sister recommended using the mushroom soy sauce and I’ll say it makes a HUGE difference in taste. However, regular dark soy sauce will work as well. If you wanted to add a tiny bit of sesame oil you can, but I have no luv for that flavor to be quite honest.
I used chicken legs with the skin on as I find that I get the best flavor with dark meat and the skin is lovely when it’s fried.
Give each piece of chicken a couple shallow cuts, so the marinade is allowed to go deep within the flesh to give it that deep flavor all the way through.
Now season with the Mushroom soy sauce, ginger and Chinese 5 spice powder. Yea a very SIMPLE marinade, but TASTY!
I used my hands to work it all over the chicken pieces… if you intend to do as I did, I recommend wearing gloves as your hand/fingers can discolor with the soy sauce.
Allow this to marinate for at least 4 hours. Overnight for best results. << It can go a bit salty if you marinate overnight, so hold back a bit on the amount of soy sauce you use.
When you’re ready to fry, remove the marinated chicken from the fridge to get it back to room temperature. Then using paper towels, pat the chicken pieces as dry as you can get it. Now heat your oil on a med/high flame (about 3 cups vegetable oil or any oil you like frying in), then gently add the pieces of chicken into the pot. I’d say 2 pieces at a time so you don’t crowd the pan. Watch the video below for additional tips.
Fry each piece for about 17-20 minutes (flip if the oil is shallow), then place on a wire rack to cool and dip off the excess oil. The cook time will vary according to your heat and the size of the chicken pieces. The oil was at about 375 F when I was frying.
I much prefer to drain the fried chicken on a wire rack as opposed to paper towels. I find that they steam on the paper towels and go soggy (where it’s in contact with the paper towel). All I do is place the wire rack (I got at the local dollar store) onto a cookie sheet, so the excess oil drips there and it’s easy to wash after.
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