I was first introduced to Taiwanese XXL Fried Chicken when I visited Taiwan! I had the best time exploring all of the Taiwanese night markets and noticed this dish being offered at every one I visited! It’s a classic Taiwanese street food dish and is super popular for good reason. The chicken is super crunchy but juicy, and it’s tossed in the signature sweet & savory seasoning. You’re going to love this one!
XXL Taiwanese Chicken is traditionally made with chicken breast but if you prefer dark meat, you can substitute with chicken thigh! I like to make it both ways, depending on what I have in my refrigerator.
COARSE SWEET POTATO FLOUR
This is a KEY ingredient in this recipe, as it is what makes for the unique crunch! I get mine from 99 Ranch but I’ve also seen it sold on Amazon. The bag may be labeled ‘sweet potato starch’ – it’ll be labeled as ‘thick’ for the coarse kind. If you cannot find this, you can sub with tapioca flour or cornstarch – you can drizzle a little bit of marinade into the flour or starch to create some craggily bits.
I get asked all the time if you can sub black pepper for white pepper – and my answer is, it depends BUT you need to watch the ratio. White pepper has a milder flavor profile than black pepper, so it’s a 1-1 substitute. I would start with less black pepper and add as you go. (But really, you should have white pepper in your pantry! It’s a staple in mine!)
FIVE SPICE POWDER
Five Spice Powder is a commonly used spice blend in Chinese cooking – you can make your own at home but it’s also easily obtained at most grocery stores. It’s comprised of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds.
MARINATE YOUR CHICKEN
I highly recommend you marinate your chicken for at least 1 hour but up to 24 hours in the fridge. Marinating your protein is an easy way to build flavor in your dishes. You also need the moisture from the marinade for the dredge to stick properly!
NO BALD SPOTS
Make sure to pack in the sweet potato flour – you want to avoid any bald spots!
Do not let your frying oil drop below 325-350F when frying! I highly recommend you use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. Frying at a low temperature will result in too much moisture (AKA SOGGY!)
Taiwanese XXL Chicken
- Butterfly chicken breast & pound fillet to about 1/4" thick.
- Marinate chicken with light soy sauce, sugar, white pepper, garlic, and ginger. Let rest in fridge for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours in the fridge).
- Dredge marinated chicken in sweet potato flour – make sure to pack in the flour! Chicken must be wet from marinade to ensure dredge sticks well.
- Fry at 350°F for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown.
- Dust with spice mixture & enjoy!