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A fried chicken so good it’s worth making at home

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In this image taken on June 3, 2013, the best fried chicken you'll ever eat at home is shown served on a plate in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Last October I got to play Tyler Florence’s sous chef for a night. It was fun and delicious all around, but the transformative moment was when he fed me some of the fried chicken the rest of his team had been working on. I’d heard people rave about his fried chicken, a menu staple at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. Nonetheless, I cautioned him that I didn’t like fried chicken.

Except it was wonderful. Rich with rosemary and sage and salt and pepper. Crisped to perfection, yet moist and tender inside.

Suffice to say, I’ve spent far too much time since that bite trying recreate some approximation of it at home. And with time and many, many attempts I finally created a fried chicken that was delicious and memorable and crave-worthy.

But there was a problem. The recipe was almost impossible to share. You see, part of what makes Florence’s chicken so perfect is that he cooks the meat sous vide before it is deep-fried.

Trouble is, most people don’t have sous vide cookers. The solution ended up being poaching the chicken. Not quite the same, but still pretty great. This method also allows you to prep the chicken right up through the breading stage, then refrigerate it for up to a day before flash frying just before serving.

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