When I was a kid, it was a happy day when my mother cooked fried chicken. We all loved fried chicken. Fried chicken is an ordinary food that has a special taste.
Her fried chicken is cooked Filipino style: no crumbs nor flour but highly seasoned. It has to have a lot of taste. The chicken has to be a good quality chicken, one that turns meltingly tender and juicy when fried. The fragrance is amazing once the chicken hits the oil and everyone happily looks forward to their first bite.
As my mother makes the chicken, my father makes his special ketchup sauce: banana ketchup, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. How good they were with the fried chicken.
Chunky cuts of potatoes were fried in the same oil the chicken was fried in. These potatoes were served as a side dish. Rice was still served, as always.
Here is my mother's recipe of Filipino fried chicken as I remember it. Though I know she won't approve, I baked it to cut back on grease. I must say it tasted the same, if not better. All the seasonings were absorbed in the chicken and caramelized upon baking in the oven. The aroma as it cooks brought me back to our old kitchen. It also brought back the nice, warm, cozy feeling that only being at home brings. I just miss those days.
No matter how happy I become, I will still long for the good old days. I can't turn back the time but I surely can reenact these scenes from my past. They will in turn be part of the good memories that my children will look back to in the future.
1 whole chicken, cut into portions
3 tsps. of lime juice or juice of 2-3 calamansi
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. of fish sauce
1 clove of garlic crushed
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
cooking oil for frying
Mix all of the ingredients, except for the cooking oil, and use to season the chicken with. Leave to marinade for at least an hour.
Transfer to a pan, bring to a boil then simmer very gently for 10 minutes. There will be enough juices in this marinade to pre-cook the chicken.
Transfer the chicken pieces to a lined baking tray. Bake at 350° F/ 180° C for 30-40 minutes, basting with the pan juices from time to time. Turn the chicken pieces when one side is browned. When done brush with honey for a sweet finish.
If you want to fry the chicken, drain the chicken in a colander after marinating for an hour, then pat dry with kitchen paper.
Heat up some cooking oil to shallow fry the chicken. Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, until medium brown and cooked (about 15 minutes). Serve with banana ketchup.
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