Why is this man smiling?
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
Apple cider vinegar
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Toasted benne or sesame seeds (what I used)
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.
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!