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I'm trying to make chinese honey chicken - similar to the recipe found here:

https://youtu.be/hfxledIyK6I

For the batter, i used an egg, a tablespoon or so of oil, about 50-50 ratio of corn starch and flour and soda water until i got a pancake like batter.

the chicken and batter fried well and looked well, i fried it twice, 2min then another 2-3 minutes until golden brown

i was disappointed to find the chicken ended up very soggy w no crunch whatsoever after tossing in sauce and had barely any crunch even before tossing in sauce

why was this? where did i go wrong? what could i have done differently? my goal is to achieve lots and lots of crunch - like chinese takeout

  • What temperature was your fry oil? Usually a double fry is done at a two different temperatures (as in french fries...blanch step and fry step...not sure it is necessary here). Also, why add oil to your batter? – moscafj Sep 2 '17 at 18:35
  • all the honey chicken recipe batters seems to include some oil and an egg as an ingredient - not sure why – AnchovyLegend Sep 2 '17 at 21:58
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Deep frying is about moisture management. This recipe adds a lot of excess water to the chicken. Be sure that your oil temperature is at 375 F as recommended in the video. Add only a few pieces of chicken to the fryer at a time. An overcrowded pan will rapidly decrease in temperature, and limit evaporation. If your temperature is too low, the coating will not crisp. Remove the chicken when done, shaking off excess oil, and placing on absorbent towels. If excess oil is not eliminated, you will not have crisp chicken. Then allow the pan to recover back to 375F, before you add more chicken. You will want to use a thermometer.

  • good advice! thanks :) when i look back, it makes sense that oil may have dropped in temp when adding the chicken and didn't maintain a high enough temp - also good point on not overcrowding the pan - i'll give it another try.. – AnchovyLegend Sep 2 '17 at 21:22
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I've found that any pancake-like batter used as a fried coating invariably turns soggy or soft after coming out of the oil. I believe that's because the egg yolk contributes tenderness, while the mixing of the flour batter develops gluten, which also tends to do the same thing.

Here's a coating I've used for General Tso's chicken which results in crispy nuggets. Note the addition of vodka which inhibits gluten formation.

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons 80-proof vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Beat egg white in a large bowl until broken down and lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, wine, and vodka and whisk to combine. Add baking soda and corn starch to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add chicken to large bowl and turn with fingers to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. For the Dry Coat: Combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk until homogenous. Add reserved marinade and whisk until mixture has COURSE MEALY CLUMPS. Dip the chicken pieces in a marinade of your choice before tossing them in this breading. Press lightly on the pieces with your hands to make sure the coating adheres.

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