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Jul 1, 2010 06:19 AM

anyone who tried the buttermilk fried chicken in ad hoc???

hey! i would like to ask anyone who tried the famous buttermilk fried chiken in Ad hoc restaruant by thomas keller about the final shade or color of the chicken???
i have tried to cook three timnes but only with duplicated high fat buttermilk(milk plus heavy cream plus lemon squeeze) and canola oil rather than real buttermilk and peanut oil. usually the shade was quit dark but not not too much. some google images of that looks usually quit bright like his cookbooks.
but onetime i found one pics of that. and confirmed it was quite like mine's.
so can you tell me was it not dark when you tried in the restaurnat? and how about taste of that? does it have slight burnt flavor? i once saw bobby flay's episode of throwdown. in there he made the buttermilk fried chiken but did a bit diffrently excet usual seasonings of buttermilk. i mean he didnt brine his chicken but marinated in the buttermilk probably more or less than overnight. when people in the competition taste his, people say they taste some slight burn flavour but not unpleasant kind. how was your taste buds at the time you tried thomas keller's ? and onne more i have only tried fast food kfc rather than that of real colonel sandrs original recipe. so i have some inquiry if the ad hoc or usual buttermilk fried chicken's seasonings are quite similar with original colonel sanders' but not nowdays version of franchise kfc.

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  1. Disclaimer - I have not made Thomas Keller's recipe exactly. I have, however, made many iterations of buttermilk fried chicken, some brined, some not, and some that are quite similar to Keller's recipe.
    (for anyone who's curious, the recipe is printed on the Amazon page for Ad Hoc at Home:


    I'm quite sure, like almost all fried chicken, Keller's is not supposed to look or taste any more 'burnt' than you find most pleasing - for most people that means golden brown with minimal bitter burnt flavor. Did your chicken taste a little burnt? That's probably not how it was intended to taste. If it tasted great, I probably wouldn't worry too much about the color, and you need not read any further.

    From your description, it sounds like you are having one, two, or all three of the following problems:
    1) your chicken is too large (keller specifies 2.5-3 pound birds), which means you have to fry it too long to achieve your desired internal temperature, which in turn means that your crust is overcooked before the chicken is done.
    2) Your oil is too hot, resulting in the same problem.
    3) You are overcooking the chicken, crust, meat and all.

    One thing I have done (admittedly a little blasphemous for a lover of fried chicken) is fry the crust of my chicken to the desired golden brown and then, if for some reason the inside is not yet fully cooked, remove it from the oil and finish it in the oven. Not quite ideal in terms of texture of the crust, but better than eating burnt chicken.

    Also note that while canola oil has a similarly high smoke point to refined peanut oil, I've found that it can add some slightly unpleasant flavors in comparison to peanut oil. Also, while I doubt that your too-dark problem is the result of your substitution for buttermilk, I recommend you give the recipe a try with actual buttermilk at some point. Real buttermilk is cheap and readily available, and milk + lemon just don't have quite the same effect.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cowboyardee

      Thanks for the recipe link... I'm happy to have another FC recipe to try.
      I also found this recipe which looks similar

      I noticed a difference in cooking temps. Amazon's version states 340F and the F&W version states 330F. Hmmm... very similar recipes with different temp recs.

      The last time I made buttermilk fried chicken, I ended up cooking at 300F to ensure good browning (not burning) and thorough cooking. The recipe called for 360F, afterward I found on another website a cooking temp of 300F for the same recipe.

      In regards to hae young's question, if the chicken is just a tad dark, the easiest thing to do is turn down the heat. As long as the chicken is still furiously bubbling away in the oil, you don't have to worry about oil being sogging out the chicken.

      Same disclaimer for me - have not tried the Ad Hoc recipe.

    2. I have had the Ad Hoc fried chicken, and it wasn't overly browned or burnt. The outside was a nice, golden brown color. Darker than fast food chicken, but not burnt.

      (But, our larger pieces were pushing the line of undercooked, and in a couple of pieces crossed that line. I love Ad Hoc, but I don't get the insane excitement over the fried chicken.)

      3 Replies
      1. re: purveyorofawesome

        was the crust salty enoough and did you fell herby and lemony flavour when you bite?

        1. re: hae young

          It was amazing fried chicken at Ad Hoc. Hot, crispy, fall-off-the-bone tender. Just a faint hint of lemon and herb.

          P.S.: I wonder if the milk solids in your cream are burning and causing the dark coloration.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Here's a photo of our fried chicken at Ad Hoc:

      2. We've done and it was far darker than I expected but I thought it was due to oil being too hot and not the recipe. It didn't taste burnt but it wasn't amazing, again faulting cook error over the recipe.

        1. Nothing to do with Ad Hoc chicken, but this recent thread discussed frying chicken and why it burns. Seems many posters think it might be a matter of wiping off the buttermilk used for soaking. Keller's recipes uses buttermilk as the liquid in the dredging step; possibly that will lead to darker fried chicken. An eggwash can be subbed for the buttermilk, but then that wouldn't be Ad Hoc fried chicken.

          Beyond that, I think it might be a matter of the steps 1, 2 & 3 cowboyardee outlined. Turn down the flame, get a thermometer, finish it in the oven if the chicken pieces are larger than the Ad Hoc recipe recommends for the proper meat to crust ratio and to follow the given cooking times; whatever it takes not to be overcooked or browner than you like.

          Please note that the OP is in Asia and she has mentioned a few times in other posts that cultured buttermilk is not a readily available ingredient. Hae uses soured milk/heavy cream combo as a sub.

          I'm no expert on this, but I believe that the original Colonel Sander's fried chicken and the KFC of today most likely uses the same fried chicken recipe formula. The eleven herbs and spices seasoning formula is a corporate secret, although I'm sure you can find a reasonable facsimile online. The use of lemon in the Ad Hoc brine makes it a different bird from most fried chicken, and certainly far and away from Colonel Sander's.

          4 Replies
          1. re: bushwickgirl

            at the time of colonel sanders was there any kinds of msg or msg like?
            i wonder if colonel sanders fried chicken may or may not be significantly diffrent form present ones with msg.

            1. re: hae young

              Hard to say, corporate secrets being what they are. I bet that when the Colonel first started frying chicken back in the 1930's at his gas station in Kentucky, he didn't use msg. Hae, I'll ask my sister, who worked at KFC as a cook for a long time; I'll see if she knows any of the seasoning secrets.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                I did some research a few years back on copycat recipes for various iconic fast foods—KFC chicken among them. I discovered there are dozens and dozens of recipes that claim to be either the original or “tastes just like” copycats that are as different one from the other as could possibly be. There’s even one recipe that calls for packaged tomato soup and Bisquick:


                Just for fun, here are the search results “kfc copycat recipe”:


                And here is some interesting info on how KFC has changed over the years:


                1. re: JoanN

                  Here's another one of the 1,000s of knockoff recipes out there. The flavors are nice, and while I appreciate the attempt at healthier, recommend it be fried.


          2. I just made Thomas Keller's fried chicken recipe and I was disappointed to find that it did come out quite was darker than the fried chicken pictured in the cookbook. I used a thermometer, so I know the oil temperature was right. I followed his cooking times. I had a good pot. My chickens were a smidgen larger than the 2.5-3 pound weight...they were 3.3 pounds. In the end, they were, what I would say was, overcooked. They are delicious, but I would say the overcookedness detracted from the taste. They were a full on auburn color, not golden brown. Disappointing, because the chicken takes a long time to prepare.

            2 Replies
            1. re: observor

              Using a larger bird is definitely a problem here. Also, being too aggressive in getting the oil back up to temp after the chicken has been added can also cause problems with over-browning (even worse if the bird is too large). Pull the chicken out when the outside looks perfect, not after a set amount of minutes. If that's happening too quickly, then your chicken will be underdone (I'd recommend finishing in the oven), and you need to be gentler on the heat and/or use smaller pieces next time.

              The trick of frying chicken is getting the outside to be perfectly browned just as the inside is fully cooked. And that involves a kind of complicated interplay between the size of your chicken pieces and the heat in your pan. Keeping the oil at 340 or 350 for the entire process only works with the smallest pieces of chicken.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                I see. Boy it is tricky. I wonder if pan-frying may just be better for the home cook. I think it was too dark because my stockpot was too small. It was only a 6 qt. stockpot. The chicken pieces weren't that much bigger than his recommendation. I followed his cooking times and they came out dark. I think it's because the pot was too small.