Bagnet is a famous deep-fried meat dish from Ilocos. The crispier the better! Aside from pork belly, you can use other meats such as chicken or even tofu as long as you boil and double deep fry for that yummy crunchy texture. Here’s Chef Chesca’s very own take on Chicken Bagnet.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
1 whole Spring Chicken
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 tbsp rosemary leaves
Juice of one lemon
3 tbsps garlic powder
2 tsps star anis powder or 3 whole pieces
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp ginger powder
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 tbsps salt and more for rubbing
2 tbsps black pepper
Oil for deep frying
To marinate the chicken:
In a big mixing bowl, place spring chicken, rub salt all over the chicken and inside the cavities, add lemon juice and rub all over. Inside the chicken’s cavity, rub 1 tbsp salt, lemon juice and place lemongrass, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp star anis powder, 1 tbsp garlic powder, and 1 tbsp pepper. Give a good massage inside and then marinate overnight.
To boil the chicken:
Prepare a large pot and fill up with water (about 2 litres). Then add 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsps garlic powder, 1 tbsp ginger powder, 1 tbsp pepper, 5 tbsps salt, 2 bay leaves and 1 tsp star anis. Add chicken (with the lemongrass stalks still intact) and ensure it is submerged. Let it marinate for 15 mins and then boil for 30 minutes.
Take out the chicken and drain for 15-20 minutes. Do not throw away the marinating liquid.
To deep-fry the chicken:
Fill a non-stick pot with about 1.5 liters of cooking oil. Make sure it is hot, you should see bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan. Deep fry the chicken then turn heat to medium. Take out the chicken once golden brown and let it cool.
Reboil and Refry:
Boil the chicken again in the marinating liquid for 10 minutes. Then drain and cool.
In the same frying pot, deep fry the chicken again for 10 minutes or more until the chicken is super crispy.
The double boiling and frying process should make the chicken crunchy and still juicy on the inside.
Serve hot with rice, spiced vinegar, ketchup or Worcestershire sauce.