This recipe is long overdue, but one of my readers, Erika, had requested this recipe, and I finally had the chance to write it! Chicken carbonara is a dish that is quite trendy in Korea these days; I'm not sure exactly why it's called chicken carbonara, since most versions do not have bacon or eggs in it (as traditional carbonara does)-- perhaps they named it carbonara because of the cheese-cream based sauce. There are several components that make a successful execution of this dish; as with all fried chicken dishes, the most important part is the chicken itself. You want to make sure that the chicken is very crisply fried, since it will be covered in the cream sauce-- so you want to make sure that the chicken maintains its integrity and remains crunchy. Second, you want to make sure that the cheese-cream sauce is well-seasoned and not too thin. Lastly, because this can be a rather heavy dish, you want to add some fresh thinly sliced onion on top to be enjoyed with the sauce and the fried chicken. While making good fried chicken usually involves soaking the chicken in brine for several hours or overnight, to reduce the cooking time as much as possible, I chose a method that doesn't require too much time. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
- 4-5 chicken breast cutlets (about 1.5 lbs)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (optional, but highly recommended!)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but highly recommended!)
- 1/2 cup potato starch powder
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- oil for frying (canola, peanut, grapeseed)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
prep time: 10-15 min
cook time: 30 min
(pictures coming very soon!)
1. Slice the cutlets into bite-size pieces.
2. In a bowl, combine the ingredients from salt to the egg, and mix with a fork. Do not over-mix.
3. Add the chicken pieces to the coating mix, and press firmly with your hands to ensure that each chicken slice is completely coated. Let the chicken rest and come to room temperature while you prepare the cream sauce.
4. Mince the garlic cloves. Slice the onion in half. Cut half of the onion into thin slices, and mince the other half. Set the onion slices aside.
5. In a skillet on medium-high heat, add some oil, and cook the minced onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until the onions become transparent.
6. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the heavy cream. Heat through for about 5 minutes, and season adequately with salt and pepper. Add the cheese, stir well, then turn off the heat and let rest.
7. Pour frying oil ((about 1 inch in depth) into a deep skillet or pot, and let it come to about 350F. You'll know it's hot enough when you stick the back of a wooden spoon into the oil, and you see tiny bubbles forming around it.
8. Fry the chicken in batches. You don't want to overcrowd the pan. Fry for about 1.5-2 minutes on the first side until it becomes golden brown, then flip over and fry the other side for another 1.5-2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow the excess oil to drip off. You could use a paper-towel lined plate, but this can make the chicken pieces soggy, so I don't recommend this!
For extra crispiness, double-fry the chicken: put the once-fried chicken back to the skillet and fry for another minute or so.
9. When you're cooking the last batch of chicken, heat the cream-cheese sauce on medium heat until hot.
10. Pour some of the sauce on a serving bowl, add the chicken, then pour some more of the sauce over the top. Arrange the raw onion slices over the top, and sprinkle some parsley flakes or purple cabbage over the top if you wish.