Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ad Hoc at Home's Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Thomas Keller is arguably one of the best American Chefs out there right now.  His new cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, features a variety of soups, desserts, jams, jellies, sides, salads... you name it, bringing his seemingly complex recipes down to earth.  So far, I've made the buttermilk biscuits, sweet potato and lentil soup, as well as the buttermilk fried chicken. I wouldn't call any of these dishes quick, but they all turned out great and I'd recommend making any of them again.

The buttermilk fried chicken involved brining the chicken for 12 hours before frying (and he says not to leave it in a minute more!). Keller puts together a relatively unique group of ingredients for the brine: 5 lemons, 12 bay leaves, 1 bunch (4 ounces) flat-leaf parsley, 1 bunch thyme, 1/2 cup clover honey, 1 head garlic, 1/4 cup black peppercorns, 2 cups Diamond Crystal kosher salt, and 2 gallons water.  

It's amazing the depth of flavor the brine adds to the chicken. We had leftovers tonight and I can still taste the lemon and thyme flavor throughout the chicken.  A picture of the amazing concoction is below. 

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