overnight marinated chicken karaage bites
Does it matter if you marinade these chicky bites overnight? Honestly, I've tested it with these little nuggets of gold and the verdict? YUP. It matters, y'all.
The first time I made this was with my brother for his birthday! We used whole, skin-on chicken thighs and whipped up some black sesame seed waffles to accompany. WOWZA. it.was.so.good.
I ended up adapting the recipe, even more, to make this an easy weeknight dinner at the casa de nosha. How often do we eat these nuggets of gold? Almost weekly. #noshame
4 - 5 chicken thighs (skin on or off, whatever you have or prefer)
1/2 can coconut milk
3 thai chilis
4 cloves fresh garlic
2" fresh ginger, peeled and mashed
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP potato starch or corn starch
canola oil (frying oil)
salt + peppa'
red pepper flakes / aleppo pepper
Slice your chicken thighs into strips, and then cut those strips in half so they're nugget size. Note: go for bigger nuggets vs. smaller. Trust me. The chicken tastes so good, you will want more chicken than crispy crunchy breading FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER (at least for me). Also, I like to prep everything in a baking dish/any oven-safe dish and cover it with tin foil so it can hang out in the fridge to marinate and easily go into the oven to bake!
Chop up your garlic and skin + mash up your ginger! Then, rub them all up in your chicken. Get to know your nuggets, throw on some gloves and really massage the ginger and garlic in.
Grab your lime and slice it into 4 parts. Juice each lime segment over your nuggets + throw them into the baking dish to hang out and marinate. This seems weird, but trust me, it makes a huge difference! The zest from the lime becomes something special after baking.
Use the end of your knife to smash your thai chilis (or a mortar and pestle). Then, throw them into the mix. I like to keep seeds in for guaranteed heat to balance the sweet coconut. But, remove if you don't like spice.
Use fish sauce instead of salt for this stage! I usually go for 5-6 shakes of fish sauce (or more) over the chicken, but use more/less depending on your love of the fisha sausa. Me? loooove it. Don't forget to keep massaging all of this goodness into your chickey as you go!
Add half a can of coconut milk to the mix and mix with your hands until everything is well combined and covering the nuggets. Cover with tin foil and throw in your fridge for at least 4 hours, HIGHLY recommended overnight.
Once you've marinated // pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Pull your chicken out of the fridge, mix in 1/3 cup of water, and recover with your tinfoil.
Once your oven is to temp, throw in your covered nuggets and let them cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 min, pull the chicken out and leave uncovered for at least 10 min. Note: you just need them cool enough to handle.
Add 2 TBSP of flour to one dish and 2 TBSP of potato/corn starch to another dish. I like to add 2 tsp of aleppo pepper to the potato/corn starch.
Dredge each piece of chicken in flour first, then potato/corn starch. Make sure to shake off any excess in between each dredge. Once dredged, rest the nugget on a parchment-lined pan.
Once you've dredged all of the chicken, let it hang out in the fridge while you preheat your oil in a dutch oven (to 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Why the fridge? Helps to set the coating on the chicken so it holds on for dear life during frying. And, you can use any heavy-bottomed pot to deep fry. I like to use enough oil to easily cover each nugget (a real deep fry). But, let me know if you do a shallow fry! Would love to hear how it comes out.
When your oil gets to 350, drop in your nuggets and fry each for about 2:30 sec. total. Once you pull them out of the oil, top with salt.
TASTE A NUGGET AND THANK YOURSELF FOR MAKING THIS.