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Bone-in Japanese Fried Chicken

edited August 17 in General

While the recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, I tend to buy whole chickens from a local farmer - these chickens are on the smaller side. I am wondering how I might adapt the recipe to use bone-in thighs and drumsticks.


  • Hi Micah - Karaage or, Japanese Fried Chicken, is traditionally done with boneless, skinless pieces of chicken thigh to make it easier to eat with chopsticks and make flavorful fried chicken really fast. To fry bone-in pieces would be making fried chicken as opposed to Japanese fried chicken. So my first recommendation would be to debone and skin the chicken yourself and use the boneless pieces. You can reserve the bones and use them to make a really flavorful stock. If that option doesn't work for you, you can fry the whole pieces as you would typical, American-style fried chicken. However, frying bone-in pieces vs. boneless strips is really two different animals. First, I would remove the skin to ensure that the coating will still stick. Since this recipe was developed with skinless pieces of chicken, I can't guarantee the coating on skin-on pieces will behave the same. When marinating the whole pieces I would err on the longer side of marinating time (1 hour) since these are larger pieces. Next, frying whole thighs and drumsticks is going to take significantly longer than the strips called for in the recipe. I would say anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes total. Thighs and drumsticks should register 175 on an instant read thermometer and that's what I would use to determine doneness rather than a time. When you drop in the bone-in pieces into the oil the temperature of the oil will drop. You want to maintain the oil temperature between 300 - 325 so the chicken won't brown too much before it's cooked through. Depending on how much chicken you have (you will need probably an extra pound of bone-in pieces to yield 4 servings), you might have to fry in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. In my opinion, the added time and effort of deboning the chicken yourself will probably end up being less effort all in than the added time of frying whole pieces. Plus, you end up with a more accurate version of karaage! Hope this helps! Best, Lynn C.

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