Justin Warner’s Japan-Inspired Fried Chicken, as seen on Guy's Ranch Kitchen Season 6.
Recipe courtesy of Justin Warner

Justin's Japan-Inspired Fried Chicken

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 chicken legs
When I first visited Japan, it was in the month of December, to celebrate my beloved wife’s birthday. Towards the end of our trip, we got to experience the transformation of shops and vendors for the holiday season. Advertisements for Kentucky Fried Chicken were everywhere. Curious as to why, we found out that this is, to some people, a traditional meal on Christmas. It makes a good deal of sense—with many living in metropolitan areas with very small kitchens, the idea of roasting or worse, frying, a bird, is not easy. I made this recipe for an air fryer to accommodate smaller kitchens, but this recipe will also work in deep-fryers.



Special equipment:
an air fryer
  1. Preheat an air fryer to 390 degrees F for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Place 3 medium bowls on a clean work surface. In the first bowl, beat together the eggs, vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha and MSG. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to each of the other 2 bowls. Gently whisk the flour mixtures to combine. Place the bowl with the egg mixture between the bowls of flour in a line.
  3. Dredge 1 drumstick in the first bowl of flour, making sure it’s well-coated on all sides, then dip it into the egg mixture, and finally dredge it in the second bowl of flour for a final coating. Place the breaded drumstick on a plate and repeat with the remaining drumsticks.
  4. Coat the preheated air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the drumsticks vertically, bone-side up, so they are leaning against the side of the basket. Heavily spray the drumsticks with more cooking spray to moisten the flour. Air fry until the chicken is browned slightly, about 10 minutes.
  5. Open up the air fryer and spray the chicken again with cooking spray. Rotate the drumsticks and spray again so all the flour has been coated with spray. Continue cooking until cooked as dark as you like, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook’s Note

Seems like a lot of cooking spray? Indeed, it is functioning as an aerosolized oil—you could achieve similar but less convenient results with an oil atomizer.