Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day a la Thomas Keller

I am so full.  Full to the brim!  I've polished off my last glass of vino, cleaned the counters, loaded the dishwasher, and put my son to bed.  For Memorial Day this year we went very low key-had our friends and their daughter to dinner, just the six of us in total.  Of course we planned a BBQ but then the Ad Hoc cookbook landed in my lap.  Oh Mr. Keller, you have such a way with, well....everything!

I'd avoided buying this book for a while.  After spending three days cooking one recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook I kind of swore off the Thomas Keller books.  I kept hearing Ad Hoc was great-accessible recipes for the home cook.  The kind of food you want to make for Sunday supper.  The final straw for me was my cookbook club.  Ad Hoc is our next book so I figured it was time.  I bought it last week and was hooked in an instant.

Of course the fried chicken is already legendary.  Served every other Monday at the restaurant, or so I hear, you can even buy the mix for it at Williams Sonoma.  Was it that good?  Actually, it was.  A 12-hour brine and a double dip in seasoned flour (w/buttermilk in between); the coating was ragged, crunchy, and super flavorful.  The chicken, even the white meat, stayed so juicy.  It was worth every bit of the clean up, all the oil splattering, and each and every calorie.

On the side I made fresh early-season corn (surprisingly sweet), asparagus (almost time to bid it farewell), the Ad Hoc Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, Oven Dried Tomatoes, Bacon & Brioche Croutons, and the Ad Hoc brownies.  I spread the work over a couple days and honestly it was totally doable without a mad last minute kitchen rush (my pet peeve when I entertain).

Next time you're craving fried chicken, give the Ad Hoc recipe a try.  I can't imagine why you need the mix-the brine is a piece of cake and the breading is made from ingredients you're sure to have in the pantry already.  Give it a shot!

1 comment:

Amelia PS said...

sounds like a lovely day!!!
I have that book and have cooked a few things (all successful) from it. It's less "fussy" than "Laundry" and equally lovely.

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