This is another dish from Cho Cho, a marvelous cook I visited near Bagan. She fried some drumsticks and thighs in a wok set over a wood fire, using this simple method, which guarantees that the chicken will be cooked through with no risk of burning the skin.

The chicken is first steamed briefly, then shallow-fried. Cho Cho fried the pieces whole; I like to steam them whole and then chop them smaller for frying, to get more crispy fried surfaces.

Serve with a dipping sauce as an appetizer or as part of a meal with a fresh salad or green vegetable. I usually make Sticky Rice when I am serving fried or grilled chicken; it’s great with the dipping sauces and other accompaniments.

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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken drumsticks and 2 thighs, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • About ½ cup water
  • Peanut oil for shallow-frying

Method

Put the pieces of chicken in a wok or a deep cast-iron or other heavy frying pan and place over high heat. Sprinkle the salt onto the chicken pieces, then pour the water down the side of the wok and cover as tightly as possible. When the water has come to a vigorous boil, lower the heat slightly, maintaining the boil, and cook until the pan is nearly dry, about 5 minutes. Pour off any remaining liquid, reserving for another purpose and wipe out the pan.

Use a cleaver (or chicken shears) to chop each drumstick and thigh into 2 or 3 pieces. Put the chicken back in the wok, place the wok over medium-high heat, and pour about ⅓ cup oil down the side of the wok. Fry the chicken, turning the pieces frequently to expose all sides to the hot oil, until the skin is crisp and golden and the meat is cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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