The frying fumes. The calories. Not to mention, mopping the floor … For these reasons, I hardly ever make fried chicken.
So when I do make it, I make sure it counts. As in you’d better be damn effing delicious or I will not cook you level of delicious.
And mum’s turmeric fried chicken never fails.
There are many versions of ayam goreng kunyit, but nothing can beat my mum’s version. And believe it or not, it has only THREE ingredients.
After watching her do it a few times, I thought I could easily replicate it by myself back in KL.
And the few times I made it, it was nice. Except… my turmeric fried chicken didn’t taste quite like the way mum’s did.
I scratched my head. What was I not doing correctly?
Determined to get to the bottom of it, on one of my trips back, I asked her to demonstrate how she cooked it step by step.
In between the naggings (one reason I’m sometimes reluctant to ask her to teach me haha), the secret slipped through her lips. It boils down to technique.
It was a game-changer that completely transformed the flavour of the chicken. Yet when she told me, I couldn’t believe the “secret tip” was so simple.
Here’s the recipe for the best fried chicken you’ll ever eat ☺
Turmeric Fried Chicken
- frying pan or wok, spoon, bowl, knife, mortar and pestle
- bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
- fresh turmeric root
- cooking oil for frying
- Using a spoon, scrape off the skin of the turmeric. Cut into small pieces.
- In a mortar and pestle, pound turmeric to a rough mince (see note)
- In a stainfast bowl, put the pounded turmeric. Turmeric can stain like crazy so BEWARE! Now add salt into the turmeric and mix thoroughly. This step is important for maximum flavour.
- Rub turmeric into the chicken and put aside for at least half an hour. This helps some of the grated turmeric to stick to the chicken pieces.
- Heat up oil for frying. Put in the chicken pieces and fry until golden brown. Some of the fried turmeric will roll off. Save them – these crispy bits are the most delicious parts!
- To avoid staining your fingers, put them into a plastic bag and pound them roughly in a mortar and pestle. Got this great tip from cooking ace Home Cooking with Somjit.
- Can you substitute fresh turmeric with turmeric powder? Yes you can, though you won't get the nice crunchy turmeric bits. Still tasty though!