Here in Malaysia, chicken chops are EVERYWHERE! Crispy chicken chops with salted egg yolk sauce. Grilled chicken chops with peppered gravy. In the local grocery store, chicken chops come already deboned and ready to be covered in spice, sliced up and served next to rice and sambal or wrapped up in a kebab.
I can’t lie, I could eat chicken chops everyday. The dark meat of the leg and thigh with crispy skin attached tastes like what dreams are made of. The world should be so in love with this cut of meat the same way Malaysians are. It might seem a bit intimidating to debone a tricky cut of meat like a chicken leg but it’s actually easier than it seems and takes a lot less time than expected. I got the hang of it pretty quickly and am now tempted to debone everything. Much like the chicken chop, I must show restraint otherwise I just might fall down the slippery slope towards other culinary endeavors like foam and molecular gastronomy.
3-4 chicken legs (legs with thighs attached)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups flour
3-4 tbsp sambal or chili paste
1 tbsp of onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
vegetable oil or any other oil suitable for frying
2 eggs (beaten with 2 tbsp of water)
How to Debone a chicken leg:
On a cutting board, place chicken leg skin side down. Using a sharp knife, make long and shallow cuts along the line of the bone until bones and joint are exposed. Keep cutting away until all meat has separated from the bone. Once bone is exposed from the top, start cutting the meat away from under the bone (without turning it over!) with the same long and shallow cuts on the underside until bones are fully separated from the meat. Once chicken chop is boneless, remove any remaining bone fragments stuck in the chop along with any cartiledge or chewy tendons (especially near the base end of the leg).
You can do this yourself or have your butcher prepare it for you. Go here for a visual demonstration.
Once chicken chops are deboned, mix 1 tablespoon of sea salt with sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle both sides of chicken chops with the salt sugar mix. Place over a grate or sieve with a container underneath to catch the liquid that drains off. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.
When ready for cooking, rinse chicken chops with water in order to remove excess salt and sugar. Drain excess water off and pat dry.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs with 2 tbsp of water.
Lightly brush chicken chop with sambal or chili paste and dip in flour mixture, then beaten egg, then flour once more.
In a large frying pan or wok, heat a generous amount of oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot (you’ll know if you drop a little bit of batter into it and the oil bubbles around it), shake excess flour off meat add chicken chop skin side down.
Depending on the size, you’ll want the chicken chop to cook in the oil anywhere from 15-20 minutes in order to get the skin crispy and meat fully cooked. Keep oil hot but not so hot that the outside burns before the center is cooked. Keep the oil at a steady medium high heat with a fairly moderate bubble. Nothing too hot or with a furious sizzle.
After 15-20 minutes, outside should be golden brown and crispy with a tender and juicy inside. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on paper towels. Serve with your favorite sauce or gravy and enjoy.