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  • (chicken clucking) (tense string music)

  • It's 6:45 in the morning,

  • I'm feeling it.

  • (dramatic music)

  • It's Chicken Watch, baby!

  • It's a special day today.

  • I'm not on my way to pick up Chris,

  • I'm actually on my way to pick up Justin Tan.

  • (dance music)

  • Chicken watch, chicken watch, chicken watch

  • Yeah, All right, how you been?

  • - I'm all right. (laughing)

  • - [Keith] Oh, God.

  • (piano glissando)

  • - Yeah I don't like this,

  • I just got transferred from the driver's seat,

  • to the passenger's seat--

  • - Oh, do you want to switch, should we?

  • - And now I'm in the back seat?

  • - Well typically Chris drives. - Well, typically I drive.

  • - Oh really?

  • - But now I'm just slowly getting knocked back.

  • - Well do you want to sit up here?

  • - [Justin] Yeah.

  • - Do you want to make Justin sit in the back?

  • So, last time we had Tokyo fried chicken,

  • it was incredible.

  • Oh wow, it's light and crispy.

  • - [Chris] It's like a potato chip.

  • - This really feels like a southern meal,

  • but the flavors are all crazy.

  • I think it's some of

  • the best fried chicken I've ever had.

  • - It gave us some peace,

  • some peace of mind.

  • - [Keith] But today, we're going to Lao Tao,

  • we're doing some Taiwanese spicy popcorn chicken,

  • and Justin has actually been here before!

  • - Oh yeah.

  • - You look very much like a Sith back there.

  • - Oh, a Sith.

  • - [Together] Chicken watch!

  • - Chicken watch.

  • - [Man] Just got to go by the gym.

  • - All right and one, two, three.

  • Hey, who are you and where are we?

  • - I'm David, I'm the owner of Lao Tao,

  • and today we're introduce the popcorn chicken.

  • (funky music)

  • Basically, it's one of the

  • most popular street foods in Taiwan.

  • Every street corner you're gonna

  • find popcorn chicken everywhere.

  • - Everywhere makes it?

  • - Yes.

  • - It's like hot dogs in New York,

  • it's like all over the place. - There you go, there you go.

  • There you go.

  • - What is the history of the Taiwanese popcorn chicken?

  • - According to legend-- - Love a good legend.

  • - Yeah, the owner of the chicken farm,

  • basically the business was kind of slow,

  • and there were a lot of chickens left over,

  • so they basically chopped up a lot of those chickens,

  • and started selling them as fried popcorn chickens.

  • - Every part of the buffalo style.

  • You know? - There you go, there you go.

  • - And buffalo sometimes, is a word for chicken.

  • (chuckling)

  • - [Together] Chicken watch.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Everybody look at me

  • ♪ I'm wide awake, I'm ready to eat

  • And take and take and take

  • Taking the Chicken that is made for me

  • Little popcorn kernels, baby, can't you see

  • ♪ I'm gonna throw 'em in the air

  • And catch 'em in my mouth, swallow the chicken

  • And it goes down south

  • Feelin' really good, spicy popcorn

  • Popcorn chicken from Taiwan

  • Popcorn chicken from Taiwan

  • Popcorn chicken from Taiwan

  • Popcorn chicken from Taiwan

  • Popcorn chicken from Taiwan

  • - [Together] Chicken watch!

  • - All right, this is learning how to cook chicken.

  • Could you walk us through,

  • how to make your popcorn chicken sort of step-by-step?

  • - At the beginning, of course you have to

  • cut the chicken into little pieces,

  • then you marinate the chicken,

  • we have about seven to ten different spices we put in.

  • Minced garlic. - Wow.

  • - Minced ginger.

  • You wanna use shovels or the hands?

  • - I wanna use shovels!

  • - There you go.

  • Oh, yes, shovel that chick.

  • - But then we add Mijiu,

  • which is the Taiwanese rice wine.

  • That's one of the main ingredients.

  • And there's the star anus.

  • Oh, I'm sorry. (laughing)

  • - Star anus, wait. - Star, star anise.

  • - Anise, anise, anise. - Star anise.

  • - It does taste like anus on it's own.

  • - We bread them,

  • and we kind of powder them.

  • I just imagine usually we do like,

  • ten times this amount.

  • - Right. - Yeah.

  • - Do you have a bigger sifter? - Right, that's a lot of prep.

  • - [David] Yeah.

  • - I grew up with two big sifters,

  • and they were so mean to me.

  • Justin, do you wanna lay down a

  • quick rap about what we're doing here?

  • - A quick rap?

  • - Yeah, are you ready for this?

  • Check it, check it, check it

  • In this kitchen

  • Just making some

  • Chicken

  • Yeah, Keith and Chris

  • Giving a little kiss

  • - Should we? - Give him a little kiss.

  • - Should we do a kiss?

  • Okay.

  • - Well, that was the weirdest thing I've ever heard.

  • (laughter)

  • - Well, we haven't done that before.

  • - That's straight hip-hop, baby.

  • - Then you fry it.

  • - No, actually we par fry it, and then we deep fry it.

  • Once it's fried, then we season it with

  • popcorn chicken powder, powder, powder.

  • - Oh, nice hard dust!

  • Oh, wow, I got a little dust up the nostrils,

  • but it feels good.

  • - One of the secret ingredients I use.

  • I shouldn't be telling you guys,

  • but we are doing a...

  • - Secrets....

  • - Another dish that uses the shitiake mushrooms,

  • we use the shiitake juice to marinate the chicken.

  • So you're gonna taste this flavor in the chicken.

  • - David, shh!

  • - These are the type of secrets I want!

  • - [Together] Chicken watch!

  • - Ow, I just remembered, last time I was here

  • was the last meal I had with my ex-girlfriend.

  • (somber music)

  • Found a picture of you

  • Then we broke up, a day later.

  • - [David] Okay.

  • - This hicken doesn't make people break up.

  • - I hope not. (laughs)

  • - Oh we all hope not, David.

  • - Yeah.

  • - Are you okay, dude?

  • - Yeah, it's okay, it just hit me right now.

  • - I'm sorry to hear that.

  • - [Justin] Sorry to bring it down.

  • - Did she just want something less spicy, and you

  • were delivering like a Taiwanese level of spice?

  • - I was delivering a Taiwanese level of spice, for sure.

  • - And she wanted something more mild.

  • - Yeah.

  • - All right, well then you don't need her anyway.

  • - No, exactly.

  • - You're just gonna trudge through it.

  • - Yeah, that's right.

  • - You can let go slowly.

  • - Yeah, but no, this place brought back those memories.

  • (laughter)

  • - [Together] Chicken watch!

  • (laughter)

  • - So Justin, we have a rubric,

  • crispiness, the moisture, the salinity,

  • which is sort of the seasoning.

  • - Salinity?

  • - Yeah, we sort of picked this up.

  • - What does that word mean?

  • - It means salt content typically.

  • - Yeah, that's what I thought.

  • - The sucrosity, we learned about serenity.

  • - Serenity?

  • - Yeah.

  • - We misheard whatever the other one is,

  • what's the other one, sal-saltanity?

  • - We never get it right.

  • - Satanity.

  • - Not satanity, salinity.

  • - [Together] Chickenwatch.

  • (metal music)

  • (speaking foreign language)

  • - All right.

  • Oh, I love that it's salty.

  • So we're gonna start actually with the non spicy.

  • We got to make an extra batch of that anyway,

  • just so we can taste the flavors a little more.

  • So, everybody stab a chick.

  • - [Chris] Oh, my god.

  • - Probably not the best way to say it.

  • (chuckles)

  • (speaking foreign language)

  • - All right.

  • (upbeat music)

  • - It's awesome. - Hmm.

  • - Like the chew of it is like very delightful,

  • very crunchy, very salty.

  • - It's a little french fry-ish to me.

  • - Mm-hmm, I'm gettin' that umami mushroom taste at the end.

  • - [Chris] Yeah.

  • - It's like on my tongue like I ate mushrooms.

  • - Mm-hmm.

  • Takes me back to the mother land.

  • - Have you been? - No.

  • - I'm of European decent but I've never been to Europe.

  • No one will invite me there.

  • - Is this about me? - I was open about it.

  • - I don't know do you want to make it about you?

  • (suspenseful music)

  • - This chicken doesn't make people break up?

  • - I hope not.

  • (suspenseful music)

  • - You know, why don't we try the mild?

  • This is what they said is the only level we should try.

  • (laughs)

  • This will be spicy enough.

  • - I just touch a little bit with my tongue and I went like,

  • woo.

  • - That's plenty of heat.

  • - That's all you need.

  • It's a little bit of a hot Cheetos's feeling.

  • - Uh huh, yeah. - Where you're just like--

  • - Oh I got to eat more. - Gotta have more.

  • - Cause if I stop, I'll die.

  • - The salt level is really nice.

  • - Yeah. - It's really good salinity.

  • - Woo, my mouth's getting hot.

  • Oh, boy.

  • - This has gotten much less spicy to me

  • just eating a couple bites.

  • - Really?

  • I'm opposite for me.

  • I'm sweatin'.

  • - Look we can go to Europe, we can all go to Europe.

  • (suspenseful music)

  • - Look at the shape of this guy,

  • look at him, look a him.

  • - I mean he warned us that level two is going

  • to be pretty hot.

  • - Yeah he said this would be more than enough

  • and we shouldn't eat this.

  • (speaking foreign language)

  • - Oh, yep okay. - Oh, whoa there it is.

  • There it is, I was like,

  • "It tastes just like the previous one."

  • And then now, and now--

  • - It lasts longer.

  • - It hits the top and the sides of the tongue.

  • (coughs) (cheers)

  • How spicy is this spicy chicken?

  • - Oh there's a bunch of spices, at least,