Could This Be The Best Fried Chicken In America?

Why is this man smiling?

Rose's Luxury | Aaron Silverman | Bon Appetit, Sept 2014

It’s not like it’s a competition or anything. Or is it?

Everybody wants to be number one. On top, the best. I mean if you’re going to do anything meaningful would your really strive for the middle of the pack? If the answer is yes, you may want to find a mirror to gaze into.

If you haven’t looked around in the past thirty or so years, you should. Everybody has a TOP something list (us included). This month it was time for Bon Appetite’s Best New Restaurants list. Just so there is no mistake, I love that list. It’s a fantastic way to get a glimpse into what’s happening around the culinary country without leaving your own kitchen.

The staff at BA does a top notch job in all that that do. Picking the best new places around the country is just another example. A suggestion: Maybe a trip to Sarasota might be in order. We’ve got some great food to sample. (SHAMELESS SARASOTA PROMO, SORRY).

Back to the matter at hand. And, that is chicken, fried chicken. More specifically, Bon Appetit’s pronouncement that their number one restaurant, Rose’s Luxury has “the crunchiest, most addictive fried chicken you will ever eat”. That is one BIG claim.

That only means one thing to me. I’ve got to give it a shot. A couple of questions come to mind almost instantly. One, is that statement a gross exaggeration made in the name of magazine sales? Two, can this unbelievably addicting dish be cooked successfully in my kitchen? And three, is Aaron Silverman smiling because he knows he has the best job in the world? The answer to number three is most decidedly YES. We’ll find out shortly about the other two.

INGREDIENTS. There isn’t a giant shopping list for this recipe. The brown mustard seeds and the Benne or toasted sesame seeds will probably be the most difficult thing you’ll have to find. Everything else on the list is easily gettable from a halfway decent grocery store.


Here’s what you’ll need:

Yellow mustard seeds
Brown mustard seeds
Coriander seeds
Apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt
Fresh dill
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Vegetable oil (for frying)
All-purpose flour
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Toasted benne or sesame seeds (what I used)
Hot sauce

Special equipment: A deep fry thermometer

OK, first off, I have never deep fried anything before. I know that sounds crazy. But, up until this point I’ve let Publix deep fry my chicken. I may be over that.

METHOD. We’re not going to get into the whole process here. I’ll give you a link to the full recipe at the end of this post. But, it’s not complicated. A little time consuming, but, not bad. You have some brining to do. Then a little buttermilk bath and flour dredging. After that it’s off to the fryer. Keep in mind, if you’re doing this in your home kitchen your going to have a decent post cooking cleanup.

The frying turned out to be uneventfully easy. That was a relief. I had flashes of my kitchen being full engulfed in a oily inferno. Or, having to toss everything I was wearing after dinner. Happily, neither was necessary.

Let’s take a look at the results.

Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken | Aaron Silverman | Rose's Luxury

When you compare the image above with the picture in original in recipe, question number two will be answered. YES, you can successfully make this at home!

As for hyping this dish too much, let’s just say this. This fried chicken is good. Really good. And, yes, it is super crunchy and addictive (I ate ALL of the leftovers the next day). So, BA gets a pass on the sensational caption. All of my usual guinea pig diners cleaned their plates.

Do you want to know how to make it? Of, course you do. Here’s a link to Aaron Silverman’s, super crunchy, highly addictive, Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken.

NOTES: This was my first attempt, so, maybe a few minor adjustments are in order for my next go round. While all of my guests thought this chicken was a grand slam, it was at the top of the saltiness scale. Next time, brine as instructed. But, instead of just scraping off the seeds as indicated, I would give the chicken an actual rinse in water. And/or, instead of just coating in buttermilk before dredging, I might give them an overnight buttermilk soak. I hate to mess with near a perfect product, but… Lastly, the home cook skill level required for this dish is a 5/10. The directions are easy to keep up with and there aren’t any tricky techniques used (except for the pot of boiling oil!). Give it a shot!

Rose’s Luxury website
BA’s Top New Restaurants of 2014
Washington City Paper review of Rose’s Luxury
Follow Rose’s Luxury on Twitter

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The Little Sarasota DINING Book is back!

Sometimes It’s hard to stay away.

The Little Sarasota DINING Book

Well, we meet once again.

When we published our last Sarasota dining guide back in 2010 I thought, “That was a nice run. But, it’s time to move on. Print is dead”. Truth be told, I wasn’t ready to move on (AND, I don’t think print is dead).

As, it turned out our 2010 edition was our last because of family circumstances that were out of my control. It seemed like fate had intervened. Trouble was, I’m not all that big a believer in fate.

Time passed. Four years to be precise. We kept publishing the website. I still LOVE writing for the site and helping to promote our great local restaurant community. We’ll continue to do that. But, I always wanted to bring back “the book”. Locally, there isn’t anything like it.

Sure, you can pick up a copy of Zagat. They do a great job. But, honestly though they can’t treat Sarasota they way we can. It’s been said that we have the highest concentration of Zagat rated restaurants in Florida. We also have SO much more than that. Our restaurant pool is deep. And, runs the gamut from a Cuban/Columbian trailer to James Beard Award nominees. We need a print publication that honors that culinary breadth and range.

Here’s the bottom line. A brand new Little Sarasota DINING Book is coming late 2014 or early 2015. It’s going to be fresh and redesigned. Don’t worry. We’re going to keep all of the things that made the guide so popular. We still get calls and emails looking for a current edition.

There is going to be one BIG change. The 2015 book will be AD FREE. That’s a good thing. For you, it means all you have is great Sarasota food related content to thumb through. For me, it means I won’t have to hound and shame local restaurant owners into buying ads. And, they won’t have to cross the street when they see me coming. Everybody’s a winner!

As in past years, we won’t have space for all 300+ local restaurants. Like the cover says, we will once again feature our 200 top Sarasota restaurants. And, we will actively promote the restaurants that get included throughout the year. You will know who makes the cut.

That’s our big news. You’ll get more details as we move through the rest of the year. Including where and when you can get your fresh, new copy.

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to re-start the presses!

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The Shamrock Is Ready To Jam On

Talk about a great backyard summer party!

BBQ Chicken

Summer is here! The calendar might not say June 21st yet. But, summer is most definitely here. Along with the heat, humidity and frequent downpours comes a recent Sarasota summer tradition. The Shamrock’s Summer Chef Jam.

For the uninitiated amongst you, here’s the recipe. One bottomless pint of Florida craft beer, plus three small plates prepared by some of Sarasota’s best chefs, stir in musical accompaniment by DJ Andy Viohl and serve! That is a summertime recipe you can really get onboard with.

This year, as in years past, The Shamrock will be hosting some of our cities most accomplished chefs. The lineup includes recent James Beard nominee, Steve Phelps of Indigenous. All of the chefs will be cooking out of the Ri Quisimo food truck. Taking a chef out of his usual habitat and dropping him into a food truck can yield pretty creative and delicious results.

Things get started on Monday June 16th with Chef Kyle Harrington from Libby’s Cafe + Bar. Are you thinking, “Hey a sneak peek at the menu would be nice”. Done! Here’s what Chef Kyle will be cooking up. Korean Food Truck Sticky Ribs, Bulgogi Tacos and Karubi Pork Gyoza. Not bad for an opening act.

Here’s the schedule for the remainder of the summer. Get your pencil and calendar ready. You won’t want to miss a week.

The Shamrock’s Summer Chef Jam – 2014 Edition

June 16: Libby’s Cafe + Bar
June 23: Mattison’s 41
June 30: Duval’s New World Cafe
July 7: Louies Modern
July 14: Michael’s On East
July 21: BREAK (no event)
July 28: Indigenous
Aug 4: Cafe Americano
Aug 11: Darwin’s on 4th

Guests may purchase their wristband one hour before the event starts. $20 includes bottomless pints of at least four different Florida beers and three small plate dishes. And, all of the unbridled fun that goes along with it. Things get rolling at 8pm and run through 10pm.

If you go (and I’m certain you will). Please report back on your favorite dishes of the summer.


2257 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34236


Official news for the Shamrock Pub
Edible Sarasota is a sponsor of this years event
Chef’s Choice USA
The folks at Swamp Head Brewery know their stuff

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