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Case Details: "In the 1980s, there use to be a small restaurant on Kapiolani Boulevard, near Ala Moana, called Chicken Alice's. It was known for really spicy fried chicken. The place closed, but I remember you could still find the lady who made the chicken at a local bar or something. All I can find online are other people looking for her, though. Where is she now?"
As you discovered, you're not the only person looking for the legendary Alice, and we've been sitting on your question for months, lacking any leads. Recently, though, the Star-Bulletin put out a public call for any information on her whereabouts, and finally got a hit.
Alice Yang, the Alice of "Chicken Alice's," was found managing Star Palace, a bar only a few hundred yards away from her old restaurant. She'd occasionally make her famous spicy chicken wings for her regular customers, but never advertised her link to Chicken Alice's (which she ran from 1982 to 1995)... even though she knew people were looking for her.
Having finally been tracked down, though, she not only confessed an interest in getting back into the restaurant business, but she also decided to give away the recipe as a gift to the people of Hawaii. Besides a steady frying hand, the secret is Parks brand kim chee sauce, which is made locally.
Notes Star-Bulletin food columnist Betty Shimabukuro: "The Chicken Alice recipe has been among the Top 5 requests sent to this column for years." And finally, the secret is out.
Chicken Alice's Wings
Rinse and dry chicken. Cut off and discard wing tips. Cut through joint to separate drummettes from other half of wing.
- 5 pounds chicken wings
- Vegetable oil for deep frying (Wesson brand preferred)
- 1/3 cup Parks brand kim chee sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups water, or more, as needed
To make batter: Combine kim chee sauce, garlic, salt and flour. Add water gradually, enough to make a thick batter, about the consistency of pancake batter.
Add chicken pieces to batter, mix well and marinate in refrigerator 2 to 3 hours.
Heat oil to 350 degrees. Deep-fry chicken pieces about 10 minutes, until chicken rises to surface and coating is deep brown.
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin