Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thomas Keller Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Biscuits With Trader Joe's North Coast Sparkling

I really should take better pictures...

You can buy Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home, or you can simply search for the recipes. But you really should buy it, because it's enormous (and fussy), and detailed (and fussy), and gets you into the head of the guy who makes damn good food (and fussy), and kinda awesome.

This is our third time taking a fatty-delicious dip into the TK buttermilk fried chicken waters (last two). A lesson to be learned with TK BFC is that you might have the urge to pop a spendy Champagne with such meticulously prepared and somewhat laborious fried chicken. You might. You say it warrants such things, you put in hard work and should be rewarded. Well, you resist that urge. We've done it and the buttermilk gobbles up much of the nuance. You end up separating bites from sips, taking a pause between, in order to find the Champagne goodness, instead of rolling up your sleeves and getting all down-and-dirty with the chicken and bubbles. Thinking about how much you spent on the wine should never enter the equation here. You want to become a remorseless eating machine with chicken like this.

Buttermilk fried chicken recipe here. Buttermilk biscuits here. A frisée salad with Rogue blue cheese, roasted tomatoes and croutons to mimic wedge salad (Ad Hoc recipe as well), because frankly, iceberg lettuce in wedge salad form is something I crave about once every two years, then I have three bites and I'm pretty much done. Frisée is a better choice here. It does a better mop-up job on your throat and tummy with the buttermilk bounty.

As with most anything Thomas Keller does, this food is rich in the sense of tasting like NOTHING is being omitted and no shortcut is being taken to get to the heart of what makes each iteration of the food so Good...but it's oddly...light...ish...because it's so gosh darn balanced. That's TK BFC. And the biscuits, oddly.

So make it. And don't go nuts on the bubbles. Trader Joe's has a NV North Coast Brut Reserve Sparkling that's $10. It's 45% chardonnay, 42% pinot noir and 13% sauvignon blanc. A touch more sauvignon blanc in this bottling than previous years, if I recall correctly, and it shows. This is nicely cut sparkling wine, with plenty of light pear notes that becomes something like key lime pie that someone forgot to put sugar in. Fresh as all get-out, and zippy without clouding how present, fresh and ingratiating the fruit is. Fantastic value.

With the abundance of buttermilk here, this sparkling is perfect here. Two bottles is even better, because this is food you'd prefer to eat while the world isn't watching. It could lead to embarrassing internet videos like Costanza at the U.S. Open going to town on a banana split. Make it, eat it, and wash it down with TOTALLY FINE cheap bubbles from Trader Joe's.

Tastes like the best picnic ever.

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