It seems like back in Hawaii, every okazuya and plate lunch place has their own secret recipe for garlic chicken and they've all been refined to pungent perfection. Hence the absence of Vampires in the Isles. Generally speaking, garlic chicken is boneless chicken thighs or wings that are floured and fried and then dipped in a garlic sauce. Sounds like it should be simple to make right?
I don't remember eating much garlic chicken growing up but I have to say I'm a big a fan. I'll take a garlic chicken wing over a Buffalo wing any day. There aren't many dishes which one can continue to enjoy into the next morning after eating it even after brushing your teeth twice. Only a well executed, authentic Hawaiian style garlic chicken can deliver the punch to make good on that promise. Only problem is, nobody up here on the mainland knows how to make it properly. Of course some of the Hawaiian barbecue places offer it on their menus but somehow, the mainland folks just haven't seemed to crack the code (or the garlic clove) yet. They all seem to be shy when it comes to garlic, perhaps a cautionary measure to appeal to lowest common denominator palates. Come on now... Really... It's called "garlic chicken".
Although I've eaten many variations over the years, I haven't actually cooked it very often so I decided to once and for all come up with my own garlic chicken recipe, (although slightly embellished). Here it is.
I seasoned some chicken wings with salt and pepper, put them in a Ziploc bag with flour and garlic powder and shook them up to coat evenly. Next, I deep fried them in vegetable oil. I've found that if I'm only making a small batch, a pot works best rather than a pan. I can use less oil this way and as long as I fry the chicken in a single layer, the oil level, as displaced by the chicken wings, rises up to cover the chicken completely, essentially deep frying them. Also, the higher walls of the pot prevent oil from spattering all over the cook top.
Now for the garlic sauce. I minced up a lot of garlic and chopped some green onions and added them to a bowl. Next I poured in a little shoyu, some mirin, some sesame oil, a little honey and for some "heat and sweet", a good lug of Mae Ploy, sweet chili sauce right out of the bottle. The mixture was thinned out with a little water, whisked and zapped in the microwave for a minute. You should make enough to completely submerge the chicken in.
Now this is important. I should have mentioned the garlic sauce should be made ahead of time before frying the chicken and allowed to sit, intensify and be ready for the next step. Anyway, as soon as the chicken wings are done frying, throw them right in the bowl of garlic sauce while they're still piping hot. When they're dipped in the sauce while still hot, they keep their crispiness. Toss them around in the sauce to completely coat them and serve right away.