Chef J. Kenji Lopez-Alt — author, columnist, and chef — started his culinary career in Boston working with chefs like Ken Oringer and Barbara Lynch before moving to Serious Eats to write his award-nominated column, “The Food Lab.” Lopez Alt then authored a cookbook (The Food Lab) that won a James Beard Award and launched a restaurant (Wursthall) in San-Mateo, California.
We were honored to have him teach at De Gustibus. Below is the recipe from Lopez-Alt’s class in March 2016.
- 2 tbsp. paprika
- 2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt
- One whole chicken, about 4 pounds, cut into 10 pieces or 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on breasts, legs, drumsticks, and/or wings
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 4 cups vegetable shortening or peanut oil
- Combine the paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
- Whisk the buttermilk, egg, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss and turn to coat. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a gallon-sized zipper-lock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight, flipping the bag occasionally to redistribute the contents and coat the chicken evenly.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and the remaining spice mixture in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the marinade from the zipper-lock bag and work it into the flour with your fingertips. Remove one piece of chicken from the bag, allowing excess buttermilk to drip off, drop the chicken into the flour mixture, and toss to coat. Continue adding chicken pieces to the flour mixture one at a time until they are all in the bowl. Toss the chicken until every piece is thoroughly coated, pressing with your hands to get the flour to adhere in a thick layer.
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the shortening or oil to 425°F in a 12-inch straight-sided cast-iron chicken fryer or a large wok over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the temperature, being careful not to let the fat get any hotter.
- One-piece at a time, transfer the coated chicken to a fine-mesh strainer and shake to remove excess flour. Transfer to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Once all the chicken pieces are coated, place skin side down in the pan. The temperature should drop to 300°F; adjust the heat to maintain the temperature at 300°F for the duration of the cooking. Fry the chicken until it’s a deep golden brown on the first side, about 6 minutes; do not move the chicken or start checking for doneness until it has fried for at least 3 minutes, or you may knock off the coating. Carefully flip the chicken pieces with tongs and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes longer.
- Transfer the chicken to a clean wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 150°F and the legs register 165°F, 5 to 10 minutes; remove the chicken pieces to a second rack or a paper-towel-lined plate as they reach their final temperature. Season with salt and serve—or, for extra-crunchy fried chicken, go to step 7.
Place the plate of cooked chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight. When ready to serve, reheat the oil to 400°F. Add the chicken pieces and cook, flipping them once halfway through cooking, until completely crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet to drain, then serve immediately.
Serves 3-4 people
Cole Slaw with Homemade Mayo
For the Slaw Mix:
- 1 large head green cabbage, about 3 1/2 pounds, finely shredded on a mandoline or by hand
- 1 large red onion, finely sliced on a mandoline or by hand
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
For the Dressing:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp. sugar
For the Slaw Mix:
- Combine cabbage, onion, carrot, and parsley in a large bowl, leaving plenty of room to toss (you may have to use two large bowls if your bowls are not large enough). Sprinkle with sugar and salt and toss to combine. Let rest five minutes, then transfer to a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
- Transfer rinsed mixture to a salad spinner and spin dry. Alternatively, transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and blot mixture dry with more paper towels. Return to large bowl and set aside.
For the Dressing:
- Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, black pepper, and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until homogenous.
- Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, sugar, and/or vinegar if desired.
Bacon-Braised Green Beans
- 6 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 1 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Heat bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until fat has rendered and bacon is beginning to crisp about 6 minutes. Add onions, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until onions are softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add green beans, stock, and vinegar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender but retain a slight crunch to them, about 45 minutes.
- Remove lid, set heat to high, add butter, and cook, stirring, until liquid is reduced to a saucy glaze, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Recipe demonstrated at De Gustibus Cooking School in March 2016. Complete menu below.
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Menu
Classic Deviled Egg
Confit Tuna and Olives
Southern-Style Fried Chicken
Creamy Cole Slaw with Homemade Mayo and Bacon-Braised Green Beans
Extra-Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
Chocolate Chip Cookies