PKFC™ (Peckham Korean Fried Chicken)

May 28, 2012


Peckham Korean Fried Chicken

This is the post that won me the Young British Foodies writing award in 2013. 

This is a recipe that was concocted by me and my friend when we were drunk; I’m not going to lie. It started thus:

“Let’s make Korean fried chicken!”


“But let’s make it like, you know, better and shit! We’ll stamp the style of Peckham all over those birds and then deep fry them! TWICE!”

“OKAY!” *sound of drool hitting the floor*

Because deep frying when drunk is always a particularly good idea…

So, we went out immediately and bought some chicken wings, which now reveals that we were in fact drunk in the middle of the day. We had no recipe to hand, so we started poking about on the internet, as you do. After a while, the maelstrom of different methods, ingredients and opinions made our heads spin and we began to approach things according to the rules of drunken logic; that is to say, we decided to wing it by borrowing random ideas and ingredients willy nilly to create one unholy mother of a mash up.

I expect I’ve totally sold this recipe to you by now so, without further ado, here’s how to make your very own drunken batch of pure PKFC™:

Begin by putting some Wu Tang on. Turn it up loud.

Now you can marinate your chicken wings. Start by vigorously pounding two cloves of garlic in a pestle and mortar. Stick this in a bowl and add one generous tablespoon gojujang, which is Korean chilli paste. Immediately rename said chilli paste ‘Kajagoogoo’ upon discovery that you cannot remember how to pronounce gochujang properly because it is an unfamiliar word and you are hosed. Complete the marinade by adding enough milk to comfortably submerge the chicken in a spicy bath. Plunge your hands into the bowl and start rubbing and fondling the wings, while saying things like ‘horny’ ‘hubba’ and ‘massage my meat’. Film your friend doing this on your iphone. Both regularly fold in on yourselves in fits of giggles. Set the wings aside.

To make the batter for the wings, put some K-pop on. Turn it up loud. Next, harrumph a load of flour into a bowl (150g plain, 200g cornflour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, pinch of salt), and set about making it sexy. You’re aiming to create a flavour bomb and drop it on batter city, yo. Boom! Start by toasting 1 level tablespoon of sesame seeds, then pounding, pounding, pounding them (vigorously) in a pestle and mortar along with 2 dried red chillies, 1 star anise, 1 teaspoon ground ginger and a er, touch of Old Bay Seasoning because you’re drunk and you’re thinking it’s a great idea at the time. Next, rain down a little chemical magic on that party by adding 1/4 teaspoon of MSG, just for shits and giggs. Mix the batter with half the can of Red Stripe you’re holding at the time plus an equal quantity of water; aim for a thick slurry that gloops off the tip of each chicken wing in explicit, quivering ribbons. This should be outrageously funny so if it isn’t, that means the texture is wrong. Add more flour or beer until you reach the uncontrollable, shoulder shaking like Mutley stage of laughter.


1§To make the sauce, put Milkshake by Kelis on. Turn it up loud. Crush 2 cloves of garlic and cook it in a pan with 1 grated onion, some finely chopped ginger, 1 tablespoon pounded (vigorously) rock sugar and 4 tablespoons Kajagoogoo. Set aside.

Heat your oil for deep frying. This should be done with the utmost care and attention, ideally while not drunk and not holding a can of beer. One should definitely not walk away from the pan. In fact, just don’t ever do this unless you’re a complete and utter tool.

I’ll continue. Use a chopped up piece of crumpet to test if the oil is hot enough because you don’t have any bread. When hot, slip each wing into the batter and pull it out slowly so that it looks kind of rude; give props to the comedy noises and visuals. Lower into the hot oil, 2 wings at a time and let them fry for about 4 minutes (total stab in the dark on the timings). Drain on kitchen paper. When all are done, fry them all a second time until golden all over. Drain again.



Slap the wings about in the Kajagoogoo sauce a bit until they’re more or less covered. Pile onto a plate and garnish with chopped spring onion and sesame seeds. Serve with a roll of kitchen paper, a massively smug expression and an outfit that EXACTLY matches the colour of the Kajagoogoo. You’ll see. Revel in the funky fermented chilli heat and sticky sweetness, the filthy satisfaction at having double deep fried some meat (vigorously). PKFC™ sounds like a chemical abbreviation and it may as well be considering all the stuff that went into this recipe. I haven’t mentioned thus far the teaspoon of raspberry jam we added ‘for a laugh’ – now that’s living. You know what though? These could actually be great, pending a few improvements…

Improvements needed:

1. Swap half water/half beer mix for all beer mix to make the batter lighter. It was kinda thick and spongy. Also, increase the quantity of liquid (same reason).
2. Use less Kajagoogoo in the sauce; that shit is intense and the overall effect was cloying.
3. The raspberry jam probably isn’t necessary…
4. Buy an oil thermometer to reduce anxiety.
5. Be more responsible.
6. Make more fried chicken in general.
7. Do more exercise.
8. Make more of an effort with the recycling.
9. Stop swearing so much.
10. Get your roots done.

If you have any leftover chicken it is possible to make the hangover breakfast of joy (see below), which consists of clumsily hand fumbled leftover wing meat and the odd piece of batter fried with onion and topped with an egg. Jubilee paper plate (impulse purchase) optional…

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  • Reply Paul May 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Wow, this has got it all! Danger, flavour, and dancing girls! Great post, just be careful with that deep fryer tho…

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Danger, flavour and dancing girls! I knew something was missing from our recipe and it was the latter.

  • Reply Alicia (Foodycat) May 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    This is possibly the best fried chicken recipe that has ever been written.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Alicia, I think you would have had fun had you been there.

  • Reply Kavey May 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I’m scared witless by deepfrying when I’m sober. I don’t dare do it when I’m drunk. Then again, probably be less scared, right? Hmmm…. 😀

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Exactly…which is why it should never be done…

  • Reply Donald Edwards May 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    That sure does look like mighty fine fried chicken…

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Bet you wish you had some of that shiz, huh? HUH? Vigorous.

  • Reply Miss Cay May 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    DANGER CHICKEN. As someone who has made risotto while pissed on more than one occasion (with – thankfully – little incident), I thoroughly approve of drunk cooking. I’m also impressed that you managed to do drunk deep frying without setting anything on fire. That’s some serious commitment to the chicken cause. This also looks bloody delicious.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Drunk cooking is one of the bestest pastimes ever ever. Drunken deep frying however – not advisable unless it makes a good story.

  • Reply Food Urchin May 29, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Brilliant. This post really makes me want to get drunk and do some improvised muthafricken cooking!

    (Look out in the news for a spate of incidents up and down the country concerning people being admitted to hospital for drunk, cooking related injuries…….Helen, it will be all your fault)

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

      I will of course take full responsibility for all drunken cooking injuries…(totally should have put a legal disclaimer at the end of the post)!

  • Reply Tori (@eatori) May 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I want to batter something, right now, just so I can have explicit quivering ribbons in my life. Brilliant stuff.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Ha ha! Tori you filthy thing you…*giggles*

  • Reply Maunika May 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Helen this look amazing! Hats off to come up with the idea after a tipple (or two!) Love deep fried wings and that thick sauce coating all over. Chilli heat & sticky sweetness is exactly how it should be. M x

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Thanks Maunika! x

  • Reply George@CulinaryTravels May 29, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Drunken cooking has got to get top marks, even it’s just for flouting all the “health & safety” nonsense that we are constantly bombarded with.

    That chicken looks BLOODY GORGEOUS!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Cheers George! Although seriously, do be careful (bites nails and freaks over potential legal action).

  • Reply Niamh May 29, 2012 at 9:23 am


    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Cheers Niamh 🙂

  • Reply Josh Sutton May 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Bloody marvelous! I might have a bash at that on my camping stove. If only all recipes were written thus. Jolly good.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Camping stove! That is the next level for this recipe, surely. That actually made me laugh out loud so thank you.

  • Reply Emma May 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

    HILARIOUS. Not that I ever, ever cook like this when drunk, no I’m far too responsible to do that *bows head in mock shame*

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

      No of course not Emma! I totally believe you, no really, I do.

  • Reply Catherine May 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Hysterical, love that you were listening to Wu Tang! Love the danger/pleasure/fear that comes with drunk cooking, deep frying hammered is extreme though, good job, and those wings look sexy!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Yes and when you say extreme I think you mean ‘stupid’…and quite right too.

  • Reply thelittleloaf May 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    This post made me laugh out loud from start to finish. Most people reach for a bar of chocolate or another drink, you go for the full double deep fat fried bonanza. Looks like it turned out pretty well – could happily eat sober, drunk or hungover 🙂

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      I’m nothing if not ambitious!

  • Reply JimT May 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Brilliant! All recipes should come with instructions for what tunes to play at each stage.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      You know what? I think I might have to start doing it for every recipe…

  • Reply JimT May 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Just remember to turn it up loud!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Yes, did I stress that enough?!

  • Reply chloe May 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Just brilliant!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks, my deep frying sister from another mister!

  • Reply Diana May 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    possibly my favourite food blog post ever!!!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Aww cheers Diana!

  • Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Aw Helen – I was start to wonder where you’d gone (no posts for a month?!), but this post has made it all better. My boss is now wondering what I’m giggling at…

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Awww I know…sorry. Had a lot going on recently. Rest assure though, I AM BACK! And very pleased I’ve made you giggle…

  • Reply Tony May 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Genius read! Is that an Italian fried egg?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      How so? (Italian)

  • Reply Tony May 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Well your fried egg yolk is the spitting image of a Machiavelli yolk. The rumour is the chickens are fed carrots to make the yolk nice and orange but the chap I get them from says this is not true. Anyway, I can spot a good egg when I see one! Im still realing from the disappointment of your Croque M.

  • Reply Bored May 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Pissed food writing, how very base and how very boring, I mean very boring… I used to enjoy your posts per alcoholism!

  • Reply Gene May 30, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Helen! Love drinking and cooking!! The musical cues were most helpful. Seriously, this post made my day!

  • Reply Donald Edwards May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Wow, bored, anonymous comment leaving, how very base, how very boring. I thought it was pretty evident from the post that the drinking had been played up. It looks like quite a lot of thought went into cooking a complex and reasonably involved recipe.

  • Reply Gene June 1, 2012 at 12:40 am

    That’s true, if you’re going to be anonymous at least have some fun with it! .

    We are not amused by you drunkeness and ribaldry!
    -Queen Victoria

    Something like that.

  • Reply The Grubworm June 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Damn, I tend to steer clear of deep frying when sober let alone pissed. I am impressed. Particularly with the foresight you demonstrated in leaving enough for a low-down hangover curing magic breakfast the next morning. I’m guessing Wutang wasn’t on at that point 😉

    Really liking the cooking playlist, more of that please! Funny how getting the music just right really helps the end result.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen June 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      I’m considering including music recommendations in all recipes from now on

  • Reply DRew June 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve been reading and cooking from you blog for a couple years now. This is my favorite way to have chicken, and i think the “improvements” you made the recipe sound spot on and fantastic. Any recipe that involves music is sure to be great! I look forward to making the adjustments to my recipe (also, I like to dip them in batter a second time between the frying).

    • Helen
      Reply Helen June 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Double batter! You cheeky so and so. Hardcore.

  • Reply Tv Food and Drink June 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Looks really good, but I can’t drink and cook. It makes me tired and I forget what I’m in the middle of making! 🙂

    • Helen
      Reply Helen June 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Hmm can’t say I haven’t been there done that…

  • Reply French'Licious June 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I think I will begin to drink before cooking next time 🙂

    • Helen
      Reply Helen June 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Can I just make a disclaimer once again about the deep frying…right now go and drink.

  • Reply Lizzie June 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    HA! Oh Melon. Excellent. (Though the jam was an odd whim 😉 ). I found the gochujang a little cloying when I used it too.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen June 6, 2012 at 7:22 am

      Yeah, we saw it in a recipe online and thought it was hilarious (the jam). So. Much. Fun.

  • Reply Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) June 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    This REALLY made me laugh. So awesome. I once made deep fried pickles while drunk and it was all sorts of terrible. Great job on successfully making a complicated dish while sloshy!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen June 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks! I had help to be fair but yes still rather proud we pulled it off…

  • Reply Iain June 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Hahaha, this has made my day! And I am loving the tune choices along the way.

    Turn it up loud!!

  • Reply Shu Han June 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    That’s hilarious! I must say, I’m pretty impressed; most drunk cooking attempts turn out horribly wrong. Love the playlist suggestions too hahaha.

    (Did you write the entry while drunk too?)

    • Helen
      Reply Helen June 7, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Believe it or not I was actually sober when I wrote it…

  • Reply Becs @ Lay the table June 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I was totally thinking of that lady who writes the drunk cooking blog when I read this! Sounds like you managed a great recipe even when under the influence!

  • Reply Favourite Table June 21, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Loved it,it was a big hit with my family,I followed the recipe as suggested,I am very happy with it.

  • Reply Alice July 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    If your a fan of Korean chicken, make sure you check this place out next month!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen July 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Hey Alice, I went to the wishbone preview last week and the korean chicken is indeed awesome.Very well balanced with lots of citrus.

  • Reply Anna Glover October 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Genius. Absolute Genius.

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