Juniper Cafe Vietnamese Hot Fried Chicken
- 4 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 6 tablespoons turmeric, divided
- 6 tablespoons onion powder, divided
- 4 tablespoons garlic powder, divided
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 6 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more for seasoning the fried chicken
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for seasoning the fried chicken
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced Thai chili
- 1 whole chicken (3 pounds) cut into 8 pieces
- Canola oil, for frying
- 2 cups cornstarch
- 2 cups rice flour
- MSG, to taste
- Chili oil (see recipe), to taste
- Coleslaw (see recipe), for serving
- Sliced green onions and cilantro sprigs, for garnish
- In the jar of a blender or large bowl, add the buttermilk, egg, 4 tbsp turmeric, 4 tbsp onion powder, 2 tbsp garlic powder, smoked paprika, 4 teaspoons of salt and sugar. Blend or whisk until smooth to make a marinade. Add the mint and chilli and stir just enough to finely chop but not puree.
- Place the chicken in a large bowl and cover with the marinade. Using your hands, rub the marinade over the chicken, massaging for several minutes. Cover chicken and marinade and refrigerate overnight.
- When you’re ready to fry, take the chicken out of the fridge. Line a baking sheet with paper towel. In a Dutch oven, heat at least 2 inches of oil to 325 degrees.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, rice flour, remaining 2 tablespoons turmeric, remaining 2 tablespoons onion powder, remaining 2 tablespoons remaining garlic and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Starting with the legs and thighs, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and allow the excess to drip off, but do not shake too much. Pieces of mint should still adhere to the chicken. Put the first piece of chicken into the dredge mixture and press the mixture on all sides.
- Carefully put the thighs and legs into the hot oil, but do not overcrowd them. Fry for about 12 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees. Move thighs and legs to prepared baking sheet. Fry the breasts and wings for about 10 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees, then move to a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle fried chicken with salt, sugar and MSG to taste. Coat the chicken with a generous amount of chili oil, tossing to make sure it is well mixed so that the chicken is brushed with oil and chili pulp.
- Divide the coleslaw between serving plates. Top with chicken and garnish with green onions and cilantro sprigs. For 4 people.
Per serving: Per serving: 958 calories (percentage of calories from fat, 60), 46 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 63 grams total fat (12 grams saturated), 195 mg cholesterol, 1,092 mg of sodium.
This chilli oil is very spicy. If you are sensitive to chili peppers, wear gloves when preparing and be aware that as the chili oil heats, it will emit strong fumes. Do not breathe fumes directly.
- 1 cup crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 5 Thai bird’s eye chilies, stems removed, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 cups canola or grapeseed oil
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, shallots, cayenne pepper, honey, vinegar, chili peppers, salt, Sichuan peppercorns and salt . Process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan over low heat.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil to 300 degrees.
- Slowly add the hot oil to the pepper mixture, 1 ladleful at a time, stirring after each addition until well blended. Keep adding oil until everything is used up. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 300 degrees. Cook for 10 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. Makes 3 cups.
Per serving: Per tablespoon: 92 calories (percentage of calories from fat, 88), trace protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, trace fiber, 9 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 73 milligrams sodium.
To preserve the crunchiness of the vegetables, this coleslaw is best served chilled. Prepare the vegetables and dressing before frying the chicken, then toss the vegetables and dressing just before serving. At the restaurant, they use a mandolin to cut thin strips of carrot and jicama.
- 1 head nappa cabbage, heart removed, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, cut into thin strips or grated
- 1 small jicama, cut into thin strips or grated
- 1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
- 4 sprigs mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, jicama and red onion.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and salt.
- Just before serving, pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and mix. Stir in sesame seeds and mint and serve immediately. Makes 8 cups.
Per serving: Per 1 cup serving: 144 calories (percentage of calories from fat, 48), 1 gram protein, 17 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 6 milligrams cholesterol , 787 milligrams of sodium.
On the menu at… Juniper Cafe, 2260 Marietta Blvd. Northwest, Atlanta. 470-427-3057; juniper-cafe.com.
Is there a recipe from a restaurant in metro Atlanta that you would like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We will also test it and adapt it to the home kitchen. Due to volume, we cannot accommodate all requests. Send your request, address and telephone number to [email protected] and put “From the menu of” and the name of the restaurant in the subject line.
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To exploreReview: Juniper Cafe in West Midtown
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