Ad Hoc Fried ChickenPosted: July 12, 2011 | |
I’m not obsessed with Thomas Keller. OK, I have been whining that I can’t get in to the French Laundry while I’m in Napa, but I will be eating at Ad Hoc. And yes, I do own the Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook, which happens to have the famous Fried Chicken recipe, which I have recently remembered that I really love!
Of course, Ad Hoc only serves Fried Chicken twice a month, on alternate Mondays, and I won’t be there on a Monday, so I won’t be able to order it, BUT, there is a kit – from Williams Sonoma (and others) that enables you to replicate the dish.
The Cooking Channel show The United Tastes of America recently did a segment that shows how the Chef at Ad Hoc cooks the dish, and he cooks light meat and dark meat at different temperatures, but I hope home cooks can adapt. I will try this after vacation.
1 gallon cold water
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
12 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, smashed but not peeled
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 large rosemary sprigs
1 small bunch of thyme
1 small bunch of parsley
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons (Note: On the TV show, there were lemon halves in the brine)
Two 3-pound chickens
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 cups buttermilk
Vegetable oil, for frying
Rosemary and thyme sprigs, for garnish
- In a very large pot, combine 1 quart of the water with 1 cup of the salt and the honey, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Add the lemon zest and juice and the lemon halves and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Let cool completely, then stir in the remaining 3 quarts of cold water. Add the chickens, being sure they’re completely submerged, and refrigerate overnight.
- Drain the chickens and pat dry. Scrape off any herbs or peppercorns stuck to the skin and cut each bird into 8 pieces, keeping the breast meat on the bone.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Put the buttermilk in a large, shallow bowl. Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over. (NOTE: On the TV show, there were 3 dips: Seasoned flour, buttermilk, then flour again – I would do it this way). Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- In a very large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 330°. Fry the chicken in 2 or 3 batches over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and crunchy and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160°, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain, and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining chicken pieces. Transfer the fried chicken to a platter, garnish with the herb sprigs and serve hot or at room temperature.