Friday, September 2, 2011

NomNom: Momofuku Fried Chicken and Asian Slaw

My bf recently got me the Momofuku cookbook, knowing that I'm a fan of David Chang's work. About a year ago a friend of mine introduced me to my now favorite, compost cookie, which is sold at Chang's Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC. It's a concoction of all sorts of deliciousness such as pretzels, potato chips, butterscotch, oats, and coffee just to name a few. Yes, those are unusual ingredients to put in a cookie but you must try. MUST. You'll thank me. If you've never heard of the Momofuku empire, then I highly recommend you checking out any of Chang's restaurants if you're ever in the city. After looking through the cookbook, I decided to try the fried chicken recipe he sells at the Noodle Bar restaurant. Now I know that you may be thinking, oh how complex can a fried chicken recipe be?
Well, it's not too complicated but it does require a lot of waiting so if planning on making this dish, give about 4 hrs before your desired meal time. This recipe is particularly different because it's not coated in bread crumbs nor does it spend much time in the oil.
Ready to be deep fried after brined, steamed, and refrigerated for an hr.

In the cookbook, Chang mentions the octo vinagrette that can be used for everything (minus salads). He uses it to toss the chicken in as the final step and it really was all that and then some. There's something so wonderful about the combination of garlic, ginger, wine vinegar, and sesame oil. YUM. Trust me, it's a legit sauce.

Whenever I'm eating meat I need some sort of veggie dish. Whether it be a salad or a side of greens I just need something to balance out with my protein. Since the fried chicken incorporated asian flavors I thought it would be fitting to devour it with an asian version of a coleslaw.


I'm so glad that the first recipe I tried from the cookbook exceeded my expectations because now I'm looking more forward to trying out the rest of his recipes. Enjoy!

Fried Chicken
4 cups of lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
One 3-21/2 pound chicken, cut into 4 pieces (2 legs, 2 breast halves with wings attached)
4 cups grapeseed or other neutral cooking oil

1. Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a large container with a lid or a large freezer bag, and stir until the sugarr and salt dissolve. Add the chicken to the brine, cover or seal, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and no more than 6.
2. Set up a steamer on the stove. Drain the chicken and discard the brine. Put the chicken in the steamer basket. Turn the heat to medium and set the lid of the steamer ever so slighly ajar. Steam the chicken for about 40 min. then remove it from the steamer and put in on a cooling rack to cool. Chill it in the regrigeartor, prefearably on the rack for at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you fry it.
4. In a deep skillet, heat enough oil for the chicken to the be submerged to 375F. Fry the chicken in batches, turning once, until the skin is deep brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
5. Put in large bowl, toss with vinaigrette, and serve hot.

Octo Vinaigrette 
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped Pickled Chiles or 1 fresh bird's eye-chile, seeded and chopped
1/4 cupe rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup usukuchi (light soy sauce)
2 tabelspoons grapessed or other neutral oil
1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Freshly ground pepper

Combine the garlic, ginger, chile, vinegar, soy, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, sugar and a few turns of black pepper in a lidded container and shake well to mix. This will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Makes about 1 cup.

Asian coleslaw (adapted from All Recipes)
6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
6 green onions, chopped
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic.
2. In a large bowl, mix the napa cabbage, red bell peppers, carrots, and green onions. Toss with the peanut butter mixture just before serving.

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