When talking about original Filipino fried chicken, i think the most famous ones will be Max’s fried chicken and Jollibee’s Chicken Joy.
Because of its unique taste, one could not simply get enough of this. Unfortunately, the restaurant has a high price range which limits most of us to eating there only on special occasions.
Good thing we have this amazing copycat recipe, we tried to recreate the taste of Max’s fried chicken so we get to cook it at home anytime we crave for it!
In this article, we will also be sharing some trivia about Max’s restaurant, as well as some notes and tips you could use to come up with the best-tasting fried chicken ala Max’s.
What is Max’s Style Fried Chicken?
Max’s restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in the Philippines. It actually started way back 1945 when Maximo Gimenez started it as a small family restaurant. He has some good ties with American troops back then and they were his first customers.
His niece, Ruby, made a special fried chicken recipe that became an instant hit that soon gained popularity to the Filipino public as well. That is why they call it today as “the house that fried chicken built”.
As someone who has been eating this fried chicken since childhood, I can tell how uniquely special this fried chicken is. First thing one would notice is that it is missing that crispy crunchy breaded chicken skin most fried chickens have.
Amazingly, even with the original skin layer, you’d still get a tasty and crispy exterior. Inside, the meat is tender, juicy, and it’s really packed with flavor until you’d reach the bones.
We will be employing cooking techniques not usually done to fried chicken so that we get to achieve these unique qualities present in the Max’s fried chicken.
How To Cook Max’s Style Fried Chicken
We will be sharing with you a copycat recipe of Max’s Fried Chicken or Fried Chicken Ala Max’s Restaurant. The techniques we will be using here are quite elaborate so that we could achieve a quality similar to the famed fried chicken.
This will involve three major steps: 1) brining, 2) steaming, 3) double frying. Don’t worry, it’s actually easier than it looks.
First, we will be soaking it in brine solution made up of salt and sugar. This process will enhance the flavor and tenderness of the chicken meat. This will take a few hours or overnight so take note of the lead time when you are about to cook this.
Next, we will be steaming it before we actually fry. This will make sure we get soft, tender, and juicy meat even if we fry it. We will also add herbs and spices in our steamer so the chicken gets infused with flavors.
Lastly, we deep-fry, not just once, but twice. The first frying gets to cook and brown the skin while the second one makes it crispy.
Notes and Tips
- Originally, whole chicken is used to cook Max’s fried chicken, but you can always change it up according to your preference. You could try 4 pieces of thigh + leg combo or 4 pieces of breast + wing combo for this recipe.
- This fried chicken is best paired with steamed white rice and kamote fries. For the dip, banana ketchup works best. You can also try mixing Worcestershire sauce with the banana ketchup, yum!
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Max’s Style Fried Chicken Recipe
- Deep Frying Pan
- 1 whole chicken, (or 4 pcs quarter legs)
- cooking oil, for deep-frying
For the Brine:
- 4 cups warm water
- ⅓ cup salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
For the Steamer:
- water, for the steamer
- 6 pcs dried bay leaves (laurel leaves)
- ¼ cup cilantro or parsley leaves
- 1 whole garlic, pounded
- 1 pc spring onion stalk, (optional)
For the Seasoning:
- 2 tsp fish sauce (patis)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Prepare the brine solution by placing warm water in a large bowl or container.
- Add-in salt and sugar and mix until they dissolve.
- Place the chicken into the solution and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
- Remove chicken from the brine, rinse, then pat dry.
- Prepare the steamer by adding about 4 cups of water, bay leaves, cilantro, garlic, and onion stalks.
- Place the chicken on the steamer and steam for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from the steamer and cool the chicken by placing it in a refrigerator.
- Once cool enough, brush the chicken with patis (you can also use salt) and black pepper.
- Prepare a deep fryer or a deep pot by heating cooking oil that’s enough to cover the chicken.
- Deep-fry the chicken for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat up the oil again and deep-fry the chicken for another 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from heat and let the oil drip on a wire rack then transfer to a serving plate.
- Enjoy with kamote fries, banana ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
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