Korean Oven Fried Chicken is SO. DANG. GOOD. Simple crispy oven-fried chicken with an exciting and flavorful oh-so-simple Spicy-Sticky-Sweet sauce you just mix in a bowl. Consider your chicken world ROCKED!
Growing up in a family of 8 necessarily required everyone in the family to pitch in and do their share, from household chores to cooking. I was the 2nd of 6 of girls all born within a span of just under 8 years. Informally, (at least in my mind) we were kind of divided into the “older set” of 3 and “younger set”. Our mom, who was brilliant seamstress, would make many of our clothes, buying a single pattern and making 3 outfits (we chose our color) for the older set, and occasionally, a pattern for the younger set, and do the same – although those 3 were often recipients of well-made and well-worn hand-me-downs. She also taught the three of us older girls how to cook, beginning with easy things like cookies, to more difficult things like a chicken dinner. Eventually, each of the three of us had a chicken recipe we could cook. My older sister could make Barbecued chicken (maybe it was ‘Shake-n-Bake’, because I’m pretty sure we kids didn’t grill). My younger sister could make Oven-fried chicken, and I would make skillet-fried chicken. In those days, we made 2 whole chickens for the 8 of us. My memory is slipping, but I’m guessing Mom must’ve cut those chickens, although I’m pretty sure she did show us how to do it. This is because at that point, I don’t remember doing the cutting, but strangely, I know how to cut a chicken. And we would do the cooking – again, I’m sure with PLENTY of help. Because Mom was very patient.
I always loved that skillet-fried chicken. For me, it was chicken at its best – crispy, salty, tender. You may have had a skillet similar to the one we used, at your house. That Sunbeam brand skillet was the most frequently-used cooking vessel in our entire kitchen. A square skillet on legs, that plugged into the wall, it was used not only to fry chicken, but for bacon, eggs, sloppy joe, you name it, that skillet was used! I don’t know if my fried chicken was any good at that point in my life, but I do remember making it. And I remember Mom’s lesson to brown it on both sides, then cover and let it simmer “until it’s done”. Not 20 minutes, not 30 minutes, but until it’s done. Because why count the minutes? There’s no hurry. These days, for various reasons, I don’t often fry foods in oil. Since I love a good fried chicken, but don’t want to skillet-fry it, I’ve found different ways to make it nice and crispy. When I came across this recipe for Spicy-Sticky-Sweet Korean Oven Fried Chicken on Food52 from The Pastaman Blog, I knew I had to try it. My love of spicy food leads me to all kinds of recipes, and, as evidenced by my Braised Korean Brisket Sliders, you know how much I love Korean-style food.
Aside from the outrageous flavor, the best part of this recipe is how (almost embarrassingly) EASY it is. Over the years, I’ve found simple ways to make oven-fried Chicken nice and crispy, and coating that crispy chicken with the spicy and sweet sauce from Saveur, I made this dang good Korean Oven Fried Chicken. I just can’t get enough of that Spicy-Sticky-Sweet sauce! Garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and honey all combine with the Gochujang to make it positively addicting! I served the chicken with rice and some veggies, but you could serve it in cultural fusion fashion with noodles or pita, or just on its own!
So go find (or order some !) Gochujang! The condiment you didn’t know you need! It’s so worth it! Enjoy!
Korean Oven-Fried Chicken
Inspired by and adapted from this recipe I found on Food52, which used a Korean BBQ Sauce recipe from Saveur, I made my own oven-fried chicken and topped it with the spicy-sweet sauce.
You can find Gochuang in most Grocery Stores. It’s got plenty of heat. For me, I could go to 4 T for this recipe, but my family would likely have revolted, so I recommend starting with 3 T.
Note the chicken is cooked on a wire rack, skin-side up the entire time.
Since the chicken is not deep-fried, leftovers may not be super-crispy anymore, but rest assured, they are still phenomenal, especially with any leftover sauce!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 50 min
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Korean
For the Oven-Fry:
- 1 Whole cut-up chicken, 4 Bone-in Chicken Half-breasts, or 8 Bone-in Chicken thighs
- 3 T Kosher Salt, divided
- 1/4 c AP Flour
- 1/4 c Baking Powder
- 1 t Black Pepper
For the BBQ Sauce:
- 5 Cloves Garlic, peeled, minced
- 1 T Minced Ginger
- 3 T Soy Sauce
- 3 T Gochujang
- 1 1/2 T Rice Vinegar
- 1 T Sesame Oil
- 2 T Honey (or Brown Sugar)
Prepare the Chicken:
- In a large bowl, combine 2 T Kosher Salt and 1 c warm water. Add the chicken pieces. Cover with cold water and a couple handfuls of ice cubes. Refrigerate for 2-10 hours, or overnight. If possible, remove the chicken from the refrigerator an hour prior to roasting.
- Remove chicken pieces from the water, drain and pat very dry with paper towels.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, then place a wire rack over the foil to hold the chicken. Spray or oil the rack generously.
- When ready to roast, preheat oven to 400F. Mix together the flour, baking powder, 1 T salt and pepper, in a gallon sized zipper bag.
- Making sure the chicken pieces are dry as possible, place them 2 at a time into the flour mixture, shake, and remove each dredge piece 1 at a time, making sure to shake off any excess. Place each piece skin side up on the rack.
- Roast in preheated oven 35-40 minutes.
Sauce the Chicken:
- While chicken is roasting, prepare the sauce. Place all of the sauce ingredients into a wide, shallow bowl. Stir until well-mixed
- After the chicken roasts the initial 35 minutes, remove the pieces from the rack, one at a time, and roll in the sauce until covered. Re-place them on the wire rack.
- Return baking pan with chicken to the oven. Roast 5-10 minutes longer. Watch carefully, so chicken does not burn. Serve.
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Very interesting memories from your childhood, Laura And this chicken! You’re so right – it looksand sounds phenomenally delicious. Love this sticky garlic sauce.
Thanks, Ben! This chicken makes me with I’d even heard of Gochujang as a kid! Ha! Thanks for your visit!
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
korean fried chicken > american fried chicken. any day, all day long (: i’d serve this with mountains of pickled radish!
Heather, I agree about the Korean FC being better than the Kentucky FC! Totally, any day for sure! Pickled radish sounds like the perfect accompaniment! Thanks for visiting!
Greedyeats -Neha says
I am super impressed with your mom, Laura! Also the chicken looks fabulous. Loving the blend of flavors and spices in the recipe.
Thanks so much, Neha! I love spicy food, so this has been on my “make it!” List for a while! Appreciate your visit!
David @ Spiced says
Wow, your mom really must have been a patient woman! I can’t imagine 6 girls all within 8 years of each other. (Actually, your dad must have been really patient!!) Seriously, though, I love how your mom taught you to cook different foods. I learned bits and pieces growing up, and I’ve added to that over the years. I definitely plan on teaching Robbie, too. He needs to know his way around a kitchen! Plus, then I can get him to make dinner for me. 🙂
I love this korean twist to a classic dish. I actually have some gochujang sauce from another recipe…so I’m all set there! (P.S. Check that gochujang link…it’s a little funky.) Thanks for sharing this one and the fun story behind it!
Hi, David! Yes, my parents were always quite patient! At least most of the time?. I think that’s something you get better at as you have more kids. Or maybe it results in more kids, what do I know? But you’re so right in getting them cooking for themselves! In my house, they can all do basics at least. The most important part (which I wasn’t so good with) is teaching them to clean up after themselves. Thanks for spotting my questionable link – much appreciated!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
Reading about you coming from a family of 8 makes me think I can totally handle 3 kids, haha. 8 would be so much!!! Your mother is amazing. I come from a family of 3 and we also had our own chores to do, although cutting chicken was never one, so I am still not very good at it. Oven fried chicken is a fave around here, so I know this would be a hit! Can’t wait to try!!
Thanks, Katherine! I don’t know either how my mom did it! I have 3, and my experience is that you “just do it” and it becomes normal. I can’t imagine 6 but somehow, my Mom and Dad managed it! Thanks for your kind words and your visit – wishing you a short wait to see Baby Girl!
Kim Lange says
My mom was a wonderful seamstress as well and she made a lot of our clothes. I was always amazed at her handy work. This chicken looks so amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I love the idea how it’s supposed to taste but never knew how to make it that way. Now I do! Thank you for sharing! xo
Thanks, Kim! I feel like sewing one’s own clothes is such a lost art! I know I learned how, but for the life of me, I can hardly even thread the machine! Thanks for visiting and your kind words!
Kelsie, indeed she was a fine seamstress! I once asked for (of all things) a red jean jacket and matching skirt, and she made it for me! Strangely, all we ever wanted were store-bought clothes. But she was able to make the most magnificent things for us! Thanks for you visit!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Your mom sounds like a very impressive woman! I can’t imagine being such an accomplished seamstress–I sew a little and know it’s not easy. This chicken looks and sounds delicious. Your pics are making me hungry!
Kelsie, indeed she was a fine seamstress! I once asked for (of all things) a red jean jacket and matching skirt, and she made it for me! Strangely, all we ever wanted were store-bought clothes. But she was able to make the most magnificent things for us! Thanks for your visit!
Wow. Just wow. You almost rendered me speechless because I can’t stop drooling! Mouthwatering doesn’t do your recipe or photography justice. Your story brought back memories of my childhood. My mom wasn’t much of a cook but my sister and I cleaned the house all the damn time. Because of that I’m now obsessed with the smell of Pledge wood cleaner. But screw Pledge right now, I’d rather be smelling your amazing oven fried chicken! Pinning!
Thanks, Christina! I understand the drooling. Ha! I love this chicken so much, I think I’ve done it too! I remember the cleaning, too. I always got the job of cleaning the “kids’ bathroom”, you can imagine with 6 girls what that was like! I feel your pain, though. Still some jobs I hate doing! Thanks for the pin! And your visit!
Love your story ! I grew up a bit different way but had my share in cooking and it was and still is one of the best “investments” my grandmother, mother and nanny have given me ! Thank you so much for this recipe. I am sure we will enjoy it ! Thank you so much ! Enjoy the week end !
Thanks so much! I believe food is so much more than fuel for the body and appreciate when I can share why I cook what it is I cook. Thanks for visiting!
I can hardly wait to make this! Thanks for the inspirational story.
Debbie – thanks so much! And you’re welcome! I hope you enjoy this chicken, it’s outrageously delicious!