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chicken breast or thighs - 2 to 3 large pieces, about 1.5 pounds, boneless (if with bone, try to chop in slim slices with the least bone in)
soy sauce - 1 Tablespoon, to marinate chicken
lemon juice - 1 Tablespoon, to marinate chicken
all purpose flour - 1 cup
salt - 1 teaspoon
black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
fresh ripe mango - 1 large, sliced into 2-inch long pieces
red onion - 1 medium, sliced
salt - 1/2 teaspoon, to season the mango-onion relish
boiled jasmine white rice - for serving
sriracha sauce - for serving
Prepare ahead the mango-onion relish. Choose a fresh mango that is almost at a ripened stage, the outer part will feel firm to the touch, the skin a gold yellow. To cut open, hold the mango firmly with one hand, as it stands lengthwise, the pointed part at the bottom. From the center where the pit is, slice the cheeks off the fruit. Take out the flesh with a sharp knife. Slice the nearly ripe mangoes in slim slivers, about 2 or 3 inches long. Mix the mangoes with sliced red onions. Season with salt. Keep covered in a bowl in the refrigerator till ready to serve with the cooked fried chicken.
Using a sharp butcher’s knife or cleaver, chop the chicken in small, thin slivers, about 2 inches long, and half an inch wide. If using chicken with bones, try to use only the meat part or as little of the bone as possible. This will help deep fry the chicken very quickly if there is hardly any bone.
Marinate the chicken pieces with soy sauce and lemon juice for 15 to 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to the flour. Separately in a bowl, prepare the chicken pieces by dredging in the flour, coating each piece well all over.
In a large, deep skillet or wok, add the cooking oil. Let the oil’s temperature get very hot (but not burning) to about 350 F degrees (if using a thermometer). The heat of the oil affects the crispness of the chicken. If you have no thermometer, the oil heats up over medium high in about 5 to 6 minutes. (Note: do not leave the skillet unattended while waiting for it to heat up; oil may burn if too hot).
Once the cooking oil is the right temperature in the skillet, add the chicken pieces a few batches at a time to ensure crispness. The chicken pieces will cook thoroughly in about 10 to 12 minutes for this amount indicated. Use a turner and turn the chicken around for even frying.
When cooked and crisp, move the chicken pieces to a platter with parchment paper or paper towels. Drain the pieces to remove excess oil.
Serve chicken hot and crisp with the side relish of mangoes-onions, boiled jasmine white rice and sriracha sauce.
Cook's comments: When I cooked this recipe, I had chicken wings in addition to the thighs. I used the wings, too and chopped them slim and thin with a sharp cleaver. If you prefer not to have any bone parts in the fried chicken, use boneless breast or thighs.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site AsianInAmericamag.com.
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