Bigger's always synonymous with better, right? At least, that’s what Hot Star (a Taiwanese chicken chain) is arguing when it comes to making fried chicken about the size of someone’s head. The fried chicken experts boast over 100 locations worldwide, including several in California, where they fry up their famously huge chicken breasts.
“It was originally sold in front of a 7-Eleven overhang actually, and they sold very large chicken breasts. That’s where it started becoming kind of known,” says General Manager Jenny Wang of Hot Star’s origin.
The fried chicken was instantly a hit in Taiwan due to its giant size and unique flavors, and the founders decided to start selling their increasingly popular dish at the Shilin Night Market, a beloved market in Taipei.
“They sold about 3,000 servings of chicken a night at the market,” explains Wang. “It started to become a symbol of Taiwan, and it became a pretty gourmet food for many of the audiences in Taiwan.”
Unlike most traditionally fried chicken, Hot Star uses special cutting techniques and machines to flatten the chicken, which helps create its famously thin -- and enormous -- appearance. Think of it as kind of like a German schnitzel, but much, much larger. Once the chicken is marinated, it’s then deep fried and coated with a blend of spices and toppings, like sesame seeds and barbecue sauce, before being placed in its distinctive blue-and-white paper bag.
While the fried chicken’s significant size is one of the main reasons for Hot Star’s fame, it’s also evolved into a Taiwanese symbol -- a representation of family and tangible familiarity of home for the Chinese people living in Taiwan.
Check out the video above to witness the making of this humongous chicken dish for yourself.