Ever since we brought Juni Bug into the family, everyone wants to come over and see the baby. We have become very popular lately. 🙂 Last night, my friend Elizabeth and and my friend Suzanne both joined us for dinner. It was a fun evening with good food, good friends and good fun, and of course, having a new puppy made it even better.
Usually when Elizabeth comes over, she is the one who is doing the cooking, since she wants to learn how to cook. She has an ever-growing list of things she wants to learn how to make. But this time, she was pre-occupied with Baby Juneau, so I did all the cooking instead. Elizabeth said she wanted to do something Asian, so of course, I obliged. Originally, she said she wanted Panang style shrimp. But we have already made that, so I decided to make something different. We made some Panang style fried chicken with fried noodles and vegetables and potstickers on the side. My orange cake was dessert. An Orange Cake. My friend Suzanne also wanted to meet the baby, so I invited her over as well. After dinner, we played games and had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.
What is Panang style cooking? Panang (there are many spellings of Panang) style cooking is Thai style cooking that is usually made with a thick red curry sauce with bold, spicy flavors. Often times, it is is made with crushed peanuts and lime juice mixed in with the chilies and the curries. Panang curry originates from Thailand’s central region, but its popularity quickly spread as people moved to find work elsewhere. The earliest records date back to 1890, and call it phanaeng. There are two main theories on how the dish got its name. One is that it takes its name from the Thai word for cross, as in sitting cross-legged on the floor. Originally, Thai cooks would grill chicken by crossing the chicken’s legs and hanging it upright. They’d baste it continuously with a fresh, spicy paste to impart flavor, then add coconut cream before serving it. Another theory of how Panang style food gets its name is that it came from the city of Penang, on the west coast of Malaysia.
Panang Style Fried Chicken
This is very crispy, very flavorful way of cooking chicken. Part of what makes it so crispy is the “drying out” of the chicken before frying it. When done properly, this can take up to a full day or two before actually frying it. I did not do that this time, but next time I will. it was still delicious and a big hit with everyone.
3 lbs chicken pieces
salt to taste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 TBSP curry powder
2 tsp dry mustard
3-4 TBSP coconut milk, mixed together well
2 TBSP ginger paste
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/2 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch or rice flour
canola or peanut oil for cooking
Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, then rub the chicken pieces with salt.
Combine all the ingredients together except the flour, cornstarch and additional salt. Dip the chicken pieces into the mixture and coat completely. You can marinate the chicken for up to 2 days before cooking.
Drain the chicken pieces, shaking off the excess sauce and place the chicken on a baking sheet to dry. Let it dry completely for about 3 hours, or if you would like to speed up the drying process, blow it with a blow dryer until the chicken pieces are dried.
Mix the flour, additional salt and cornstarch together and completely coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.
Fill a deep pan with about 2 inches of oil and get to 350* F or 180* C. Then carefully place the chicken pieces in the hot oil, cooking it in batches. Cook the chicken until it is crispy and completely cooked, for about 15 minutes.
I sprinkled fresh basil green onions and cilantro on top of my chicken right before serving it.
The chicken and the meal itself were a big hit with everyone. The chicken was crispy and tender and full of flavor. This is most definitely a “do-over” dish.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.