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Recipe: Korean Fried Chicken from 'Seoultown Kitchen'

Here's the recipe for Korean Fried Chicken from Debbie Lee's "Seoultown Kitchen," featured in today's Buffalo News. Lee's recipe calls for no flouring or breading of the drumsticks. They're fried twice for extra crispiness, and tossed in a tangy glaze based on roasted garlic.

(From "Seoultown Kitchen: Korean Pub Grub To Share with Family and Friends," by Debbie Lee, Kyle Books, $24.95)

Your first bite into this succulent version of a twice-fried bird will change your concept of breadless chicken forever. Traditionally referred to as tong dak, the recipe typically calls for a whole chicken, and you are served half a fried chicken along with pancakes, pickled daikon, and various dipping sauces. When developing this recipe for my food truck, I wanted to make it a little easier to consume on the streets, so I stuck to chicken drumsticks, which are more in line with the American conception of fried chicken. The crispiness of the crackling skin, the result of frying the chicken twice, gives it that bacon-esque quality. Bite into your first leg and you will be a convert for good!

Korean Fried Chicken

serves: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Vegetable oil, for deep frying
12 large chicken drumsticks, skin on
1 cup Pickled Daikon
For Roasted Garlic–Soy Glaze:
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup mirin
2 cups roasted garlic cloves, puréed
2 tablespoons chopped scallions, for garnish
1 tablespoon roasted and salted
sesame seeds, for garnish

1. In a deep stockpot, heat 6 to 8 inches of vegetable oil until it reaches 375°F when measured with a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Add the drumsticks and fry for about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cookie sheet and set aside, reserving the oil in the stockpot.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients for the Roasted Garlic-Soy Glaze and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Heat the reserved oil until it reaches 375°F again. Fry the drumsticks again, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg; when the temperature reads 160°F, the chicken is done. Transfer immediately to the saucepan of Roasted Garlic–Soy Glaze and let sit for about 2 minutes to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors.

4. Shake the excess glaze off and transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chopped scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately, with daikon on the side.

Authentic Chinese at Tonawanda's Peking Quick One

If you've stopped going to Chinese takeout places because all their dishes seem the same, and not in a good way, consider Peking Quick One, which I reviewed in today's Gusto section.

It's not a first-class Chinese restaurant; it doesn't even have waitstaff, in the classic sense, although they will bring your food out to where you're sitting. If you want water you can get a styrofoam cup by where the pot of free tea sits, and go over to the soda cooler, where you can pour yourself some water from one of the pitchers on the bottom shelf.

What Peking Quick One does have is the kind of Chinese food that Chinese people like. Which is rare enough in Western New York that it deserves a bit of spotlight.

The small restaurant (359 Somerville Ave., Tonawanda, near Brighton and Eggert; 381-8730) has been serving a largely Asian clientele during my visits. The reason is not the American Chinese menu on the counter, but the Chinese Chinese menu (it's labeled "Home Style") kept behind the counter. Ask for it.

Here's a picture of the "Spicy Double-Cooked Pork" (No. 27, $8.50) that my friends and I enjoyed there last month. It's not a pretty picture (blame the phone camera and low light, not the photographer - thanks, Doug!) but I can testify that the flavors were outstanding.

Spicy double cooked pork at Peking Quick One
"Spicy Double-Cooked Pork" (No. 27, $8.50) at Peking Quick One. Photo: Doug Levere



15-for-a-dozen's price on Friday for Paula's Donuts 15th anniversary

One of the last independent doughnut shops, Paula's Donuts (380 Kenmore Ave., 862-4246), celebrates its 15th anniversary with a 15-to-the-dozen special on Friday.

We've previously explored their huge "Texas" doughnuts, which people use as birthday cakes and even wedding reception desserts. Paula's has a lot of fans, but may be moving to Clarence in the near future, this Buffalo Rising story says.

National cooking stars on stage in Niagara Falls culinary weekend

This weekend, the Niagara Holiday Market hosts Taste of the Season, an event-packed slate of cooking demonstrations and tasting tips from national food stars.

Sponsored by Wegmans, the free events include cooking demonstrations by Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga (1 p.m. Sat., roast goose with cranberries, chestnuts and oranges) and Food Network host Roger Mooking (2 p.m. Sun., jerk shrimp with avocado puree) from "Everyday Exotic."

Wegmans chefs will demonstrate turkey brining (4 p.m. Sat.) and holiday braciola, or Italian roulades (4:30 p.m. Sun.).

Besides the ongoing European-style holiday market outside, there'll be wine tastings inside from local wineries, plus nibbles of Yancey's Fancy cheeses, Niagara Popcorn's chocolate-covered popcorn, Rosina meatballs and more from food companies.

Events are in the Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls. Hours: Fri.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Check out the website for more details.

Correction: Scheduled demonstrations by baker Zilly Rosen and cheesemakers Trystan and Max Sandvoss of First Light Farm and Creamery have been canceled by the organizers. A previous version of this article said they would be on stage Sat. and Sun.

Live chat with food writer Andrew Galarneau

Come by at high noon for questions about restaurants, cooking, shopping and today's recipes - real Greek tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt dip with garlic and dill), meat braised with celeriac in lemon-egg sauce, and Buffalo chicken meatballs.

Signing on is simple. Join the conversation. 


Recipes: Spanakorizo (Greek rice with spinach) and more

When News December Cook of the Month Christina Schweitzer makes Lamb with Celeriac in Avgolemono for Christmas, it's often accompanied by Spanakorizo. That's how she put together the plate featured in today's Buffalo News.

She also offered a simple yogurt-and-nuts combination favored by her grandmother. Yiasou.

Spanakorizo (Spinach Rice)

A family favorite. Quick and easy either as a main course alone or as a side.


1/2 cup olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 pounds fresh spinach, trimmed, washed and chopped. You can substitute frozen (thawed, and drained of excess liquid. Preserve the liquid and use instead of water or broth.)

1 small bunch chopped fresh dill or parsley

1 cup long grain rice (instant brown rice works well too. Do not use regular brown rice as it prolongs the cooking time)

1 ¼ cup vegetable broth or water

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add rice and sauté gently for about 5 minutes.

Add spinach, fresh dill or parsley and cook until just wilted. Dissolve the tomato paste in the broth (or water) and add to pot. Bring the liquid to a slow boil, cover and lower heat to medium low. Let simmer (about 30 - 40 minutes).

Halfway though cooking time, taste for salt and pepper and stir gently. If the spanakorizo appears too dry add a little water or broth. Make sure that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot.  If it is too soupy, continues to simmer uncovered.

Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice and Yiayia’s Tzaziki. 

Yogurt with Honey and Fresh Shelled Nuts

My Yiayia used to serve this yogurt and honey dessert, claiming that it was great for the digestion.  She would put us to work cracking open walnuts and almonds that we gathered out in the orchard. This is a wonderful and healthy dessert that can be enjoyed any time - even for breakfast.


1/2 - 3/4 cup of strained Greek full fat yogurt per serving

1 tablespoon of Greek thyme honey per serving (any good quality honey will do)

Crushed walnuts and/or almonds (optional, but do try)

Sprinkle of ground cinnamon and/or cloves.


Plate yogurt in individual bowls, drizzle honey over the yogurt and sprinkle with almonds, walnuts, and spices. Enjoy.