I love fried chicken, yet I feel like I have spent my life saying that Southern food cannot be defined by fried chicken and ranch dressing. When I was living in Japan and a little homesick, I wanted ranch dressing and couldn’t have it, but I could certainly go find some good Japanese fried chicken—chicken karaage. It was just as good as any fried chicken that I'd ever had in the South and it was super comforting. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus that is bright without being sharp, acidic, or bitter. Its somewhat-floral flavor is more complex than lemon or lime and it lends the brightest, most refreshing note to aioli, cutting through the fat.
Combine the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sake in a
Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a Dutch oven to 360°F.
Fry until crispy and cooked through, for 2 to 3 minutes.
With a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a paper towel–lined bowl. Coat and fry the remaining chicken.
Place the garlic and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, or in a blender. Pulse once or twice. Add the egg yolk and yuzu juice, and pulse until blended. With the machine running, begin adding the canola oil in a thin stream. If it becomes too thick, thin it out with some room-temperature water and continue adding oil until you've used it all. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Immediately serve the chicken, with the aioli on the side.