Fried Chicken (pg. 89)

I love fried chicken, but I just don’t eat it that often.  It’s hard to get good fried chicken these days.  My favorite fried chicken in NYC, the Pink Teacup, is rumored to be closing, but that seems to change daily.  Like most people who grew up in the NJ suburbs, fried chicken usually meant the Colonel, the real Kentucky Fried Chicken, before fried became a four letter word and the Colonel’s company morphed into KFC.

This fried chicken requires four simple steps:

  1. Brine the chicken
  2. Steam the chicken
  3. Fry the chicken
  4. Mix with the Octo Vin


I prefer to break down my own chickens these days.  It’s easy, cost effective, and, dare I say, kind of fun.  For the purpose of the fried chicken, your really just remove the backs (save them for Tare (pg. 42)) and quarter the bird. As you can see from the French press, I highly recommend getting the proper amount of coffee consumed for this mornings exercise, .  Mike Pardus has a great video demonstration on Breaking Down a Bird 101.
Step 1: The brine. Brine the chicken between 1-6 hours.  It’s pretty straight forward.  Everyone into the pool:  salt, sugar, and water into the bag.  Mix it until everything is dissolved, and add the chicken.





Step 2: The Steam: Steaming is rapidly becoming my favorite methods for all things poultry and bread, after the Momofuku pork buns.  (Next experiment: steam arepas!)  My favorite method for cooking chicken wings is similar: steam, dry out in fridge, roast, mix with hot wing sauce.  Much better than deep frying.  More work, better results.  There is the added bonus of cooking higher quantities in the oven at the same time.  Timing for half time perfectly (pop them in at the end of 1st quarter).  But I digress

Into the steamer, legs on the bottom, breast up top, lid slightly cracked.

No comments from the sanitation police.  I have no problems cutting up chickens on the wood board or putting them in a bamboo steamer.  Clean the boards properly right away and you’ll be fine.

More people should cook chicken and duck this way.  It allows you to remove the  fat but keep the skin.  Keep the fat too, for Schmaltz, but especially the duck fat for confit!

Step 3: The fry.  I’m a little disappointed here.  There was a slight camera malfunction and we’re not sure what happened to the photo’s of the chicken drying on the rack and frying on the iron skillet.  Nothing to exciting.  I did have some problems photographing the fry, the oil reflected a lot of light.  Nevertheless, the photo’s have been lost and I was not pleased with them.

But on to…

Step 4:  the Octo Vin.  The final product.

Oh, this was delicious!  The Octo Vin was great.  This dish has the juicy bite of a lightly fried chicken, with the robust flavors of the vinaigrette.  The sauce is strong, but not overpowering.  It’s mouth watering good.

The fried chicken is definitely a keeper recipe.  This will be done a few times over the year.  The Octo Vin may be used on wings one of these days as well.

Coming Soon: No idea what’s up next.

We had a minor mishap in the MomofukuAtHome kitchen.  While away on business, in SF where I had the fortunate experience to dine at Incanto and the Slanted Door, my NYC apt fridge and freezer malfunctioned.  There were a few casualties from the freezer: leftover steamed buns, pork skin being saved for the Chicharrón, and the chicken back for the Tare.  That just means more they will have to wait a little while longer.

Class Trip Announcement:  I’ll be joining a group at Momofuku Ssam for another Bo Ssam dinner.  The same group will be invited for the MomofukuAtHome Bo Ssam dinner a week or two later to compare and contrast.  That will give me time to start the kimchi.

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