I hadn't actually planned to post a new recipe for this weekend's Wine Pairing Weekend event that looks at lesser known wine regions of the United States. Susannah of Avvinare is hosting this month's #WinePW; you can read her invitation here.
I had planned to hold this bottle for our small, sheltered-in-place virtual Thanksgiving feast to the Hawaiian islands.
But, I never say 'no' to fried chicken and was aching to try this version. Its batter is made with soy sauce, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and rice flour - Mochiko. So, here we are with a Mochiko Chicken paired with the Mele Red Blend. Not for Thanksgiving.
In the Glass
Unlike the other wines I found for this Under the Radar wine event for #WinePW, this one is actually made with grapes! And, it turns out that the only grape-based wine I found from Hawaii - Mele Red Blend - is made with grapes that are grown in California though they say that sometimes the California fruit is mixed with their estate fruit. But information was sketchy on the details. Oh, well.
This was a pleasant enough albeit unremarkable red wine. Nothing stood out as noteworthy. But it was a nice mid-week pour to go with our fried chicken. And it was an excuse for me to do some reading about the wine industry on the Hawaiian Islands. This one - Maui Wine - has ties to the Tedeschi family from Calistoga, California.
On the Plate
I don't fry very many foods. But lumpia, beignets, malasadas, and fried chicken are the exceptions, the delicious, unhealthy exceptions! I make this version with soy sauce, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic. Then it's sprinkled with furikake and fresh green onions just before serving. It's quick and easy and the chicken stays moist and tender.
Ingredients serves 4
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup mochiko flour (rice flour)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1" knob fresh ginger, finely grated
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup or ginger syrup
- 2 eggs
- oil for frying (I use canola oil)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
- furikake, for garnish
Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes or strips.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mochiko flour, soy sauce, maple syrup, and eggs until everything is a uniform color. Stir in the ginger and garlic until well-combined.
Add chicken to the sauce, making sure that everything is covered and submerged. You can refrigerate this and cook at a later time. Or you can just let it stand at room temperature while the oil heats for frying.
To cook, fill a heavy pan with about 1 inch of oil and heat over medium until the oil sputters when you add a drop of the batter. If you are using a thermometer, the temperature should be around 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gently lower pieces of the chicken into the hot oil. Don't crowd the pieces. Fry for 6 to 7 minutes until they are nicely browned on the bottom. Flip them over and fry for another 6 to 7 minutes.
Once they are nicely crisped on both sides, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle the chicken with furikake and top with sliced green onions.
Serve hot with steamed rice on the side.