Thursday, June 14, 2007

Crispy,Deep Fried Chicken

The 50's and 60's were the days before Colonel Saunders introduced his KFC to Asia and even the term fast food was unheard of.

In the Foochow villages along the Rejang River, chicken was cooked in a variety of ways. However a wedding banquet would call for a crispy,deep fried chicken.

Chickens were reared in a fairly large number at the backyard of the riverine homes of the Foochows. Although snakes and alligators were the main predators, not many chickens would be lost in this way. Chickens were reared naturally, as they were fed on rice and corn and they were free range. Chicks would be hatched and lovingly brought back to the homestead by the hens. It was a joy to hear the chirping of little chicks whenever the mother hens brought them proudly back. Each Foochow home would not be short of a few cockerels to welcome the morning. In this way, even a clock which did not function would hang happily in the living room and no body would bother to correct the time or find out what was wrong with the clock!

Each sunrise would be welcomed by the crowing of the proud cocks and the day would pass with simple tasks of washing, cooking,eating,resting and the normal labour of simple folks.

Crispy Deep Fried Chicken

l fully matured chicken(cleaned and dressed)
2 Tbsp coarse salt
1 Tbsp finely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp red food colouring
l Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp of cinnamon

enough cooking oil for deep frying

Dipping sauce of Salt and lime

1. Stir fry a tablespoonful of fine salt in a dry wok.
2. Add a bit of cinnamon powder and pepper.
3. Dish into a nice Chinese sauce dish.
4. place two or three slices of cut limes on the dish.


1. Clean the chicken well and marinate with the seasoning. Let the chicken dry in the wind for one hour.
2. Heat up the wok and add the oil.
3. When the oil is really hot, place the chicken gently in the wok. Deep fry for 20 minutes on each side or until a chop stick comes out dry from one of the drumsticks.
4. Dish out the chicken. Flatten the chicken with a Chinese chopper and chop into pieces Chinese style.

Chinese way of cutting the chicken

1. Flatten the chicken with a Chinese chopper which is well sharpened.
2. Take out the back bone of the chicken.
3. Take the two wings out of their joins and the thighs too in the same way.
4. In this way you will have two parts of the breast, two wings, two thighs. Cut the breasts into 4 neat slices each, the wings into 4 pieces and the thighs into 4 or 5 pieces. A fairly large chicken would therefore give you about 20 or 22 pieces.

If you are still not confident about cutting a chicken into pieces with a Chinese chopper, always observe a chicken rice stall owner. He would be the best person to help you with cutting of a chicken. (He can usually get more pieces out of a chicken than any one else and he is as quick as a magician.)

Note: When eating with Chinese elders, remember to allow the oldest to raise the chopsticks and dig into a good piece of chicken. Or allow the person sitting next to the elder to do the honour to pick the best piece, i.e. a thigh, and place it on his/her plate. Everyone would beam at such considerate good manners.

Happy eating!

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