In the book co-written with Adeena Sussman, Schrager shares
more than 50 recipes for fried chicken from his contributors
including double fried chicken and another with Asian-inspired
The 55-year-old founder of the Food Network South Beach and New
York City Wine & Food Festivals spoke to Reuters about what
makes the best fried chicken and sharing recipes.
Q: What is the secret to making great fried chicken?
A: The right temperature with the frying oil. If the oil is too
hot, itís going to be burnt on the outside and raw on the
inside. If itís too cold, it will get too greasy. Starting the
oil at 370 degree Fahrenheit (188 degree Celsius) is the key.
Q: What do you look for in fried chicken?
A: Very, very crunchy on the outside and still juicy on the
inside. The recipes I like best all these years that I have
tasted and made are double-fried. You are frying it first,
letting it sit and re-frying it in a higher-temperature.
Q: How willing were chefs to sharing their recipes?
A: Everyone from Thomas Keller and Nathan Myhrvold share
their recipes. The ones who didnít share their recipes in my
mind are because they didnít have a recipe and haven't anything
written down. Certain people probably tweaked their recipes so
they are not exactly what you get at their restaurants.
Q: Which recipe was the toughest to obtain?
A: Iím a big Popeyes (a U.S. restaurant chain) fried chicken
fan. They would not meet with us in the beginning ... I wrote to
the CEO directly. They then decided to give us 45 minutes of
their time on a Monday morning last July. It ended up being
2-1/2 to 3 hours. They didnít share their actual fried chicken
recipe. They certainly let us into their test kitchen and
clearly we saw the ingredients that went into it. We didnít get
the quantities and all the names. We were able to piece together
to what they were doing.
Q: How often do you eat fried chicken now?
A: I donít have it any less but I donít have it any more. Iím
probably tempted to try it more when Iím traveling to a new
place. I often order it for the table just to sample it by
taking a bite.
[to top of second column]
Wylie Dufresneís Popeyes-style Chicken Tenders (serves 4 to 6)
For the Brine
1-Ĺ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 12 2-ounce
4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce (or more to taste)
For the Breading
3 cups (13.5 ounces) self-rising flour
Ĺ cup (2 ľ ounces) cornstarch
Ĺ cup (2 ľ ounces) potato starch
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sea salt, plus more for seasoning
4 tablespoons (1 ounce) paprika
1 teaspoon (.176 ounce) baking soda
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) onion soup base, ground in spice grinder
7 teaspoons (1 ounce) Italian Herb Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning Mix,
Canola oil for frying
Brine the chicken: In a large, nonreactive bowl or Ziploc bag
combine the chicken, buttermilk, and hot sauce; cover and
Bread the chicken: Sift all breading ingredients 3 times through a
flour tamis or very fine mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding
any lumps. Working in batches, remove 4 or 5 tenders at a time from
the buttermilk marinade and toss in the breading, coating well.
Transfer to a baking sheet and let rest until the breading adheres,
15 to 20 minutes.
Fry the chicken: While the chicken rests, add 2 inches of oil to a
large (at least 6-quart) pot and heat to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
Working in batches, fry 4 to 5 tenders at a time until brown and
crisp, 5 minutes per batch. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Once
all the chicken is fried, season lightly with salt.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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