ad hoc fried chicken
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Thomas Keller’s Fried Chicken

Just FYI no recipe here since this is not mine. If you find yourself in Napa go to Ad Hoc/Addendum and get some for yourself or buy the Ad Hoc cookbook.

This is easily the BEST fried chicken ever. I will repeat BEST. It even comes recommended by Ina Garten, so it must be good. We tried it when we were in Napa the last time and fell in love. If you go during the off-season, you can order it ahead from Ad Hoc (more on this in a few). In the summer, Addendum opens up behind Ad Hoc and this is their specialty.

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The Ad Hoc order ahead was really funny. The restaurant isn’t open for lunch so we weren’t sure where to go to pick it up. We ended up calling them to figure it out. They told us to go to the back kitchen door. We went up knocked and this felt like some kind of shady deal. You know knock on the door, give the password, and get handed a bucket of awesome fried chicken.

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The flavor is perfect and the chicken is so crispy. Its just unlike anything else I have ever had. The best part is that the Ad Hoc cookbook actually walks you through all of the steps needed to make it yourself. I am sometimes skeptical of cookbooks, but this one is legit!! The first time we made it, Rob just said it was exactly the same.

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Now, I will say that making this is not quick or particularly simple. It remains one of the most intimidating things I have cooked. You really do need to plan ahead. The night before you need to make a brine, then soak the chicken in it for a while. Next, you need to let it dry out. Finally, you do a double breading then into the frying oil. It’s definitely a lot but very worth it.

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The brine definitely locks in a lot of flavor to the chicken. Its packed with herbs and flavor itself, so it really sets up the chicken. The breading itself has a lot of spices in it itself. This just adds more flavor plus it uses buttermilk and peanut oil. All in all, its just flavor on flavor!


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