Chef Edward Lee cooks for the 21st century Southern gentleman. At Lee’s restaurant 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky, crab cakes are spiked with green-tomato kimchi and okra gets the Japanese tempura treatment. This mash-up mentality is perhaps best expressed in an already mashed-up dish of epic deliciousness: fried chicken and waffles. Lee first poaches the poultry in a Filipino vinegar and soy adobo broth to boost the flavor of the bird. Serve them with your favorite waffle recipe to have a breakfast where the Southern U.S. meets Southeast Asia. And for more smart Southern food, check out Lee’s cookbook, Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen.
ADOBO FRIED CHICKEN
• 2½ cups white vinegar
• 1½ cups water
• ¼ cup soy sauce
• 1½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. sugar
• ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 4 bay leaves
• 2 lbs. chicken thighs, drumsticks, wings
• 2 cups buttermilk
• 1 cup flour
• 1 tbsp. salt
• 1 tsp. paprika
• ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 8 cups peanut oil, for frying
TO MAKE THE ADOBO BROTH:
Combine ingredients in large pot, bring to a simmer over medium heat, then turn heat to low. Poach chicken pieces for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
TO FRY CHICKEN:
Pour buttermilk into one bowl; mix flour, salt, paprika and pepper in another. Dip poached chicken pieces in -buttermilk, dredge in flour mixture and transfer to a plate. Heat oil to 365 degrees in a deep cast-iron skillet. Fry chicken in batches until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about eight to 10 minutes. Salt chicken while hot. Serve with dipping sauce and your favorite homemade waffles.
HOW TO MAKE SUPER-CRISPY CHICKEN:
Edward Lee’s top tip for frying is the “quarter rule”: To keep the oil a constant 350 degrees, never cover more than one quarter of the pan with the food you’re frying. Check the temperature with a deep-fry thermometer.
TO MAKE THE SPICY DIPPING SAUCE:
Mix one quarter cup water with three tablespoons fresh lemon juice, two tablespoons maple syrup, two tablespoons fish sauce, one tablespoon soy sauce and two thinly sliced habanero or Thai bird peppers.
Edward Lee is chef and owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe is excerpted from his book Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen.
Recipe courtesy of Artisan Books. Copyright © 2013 by Edward Lee.