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  • - Hello, my name is Andrew.

  • You might recognize me from the show Worth It

  • where I taste foods at different price points

  • with my buddies Adam and Steven.

  • In this video series, I attempt to recreate

  • my favorite things I had on Worth It

  • to try to better understand what makes great food

  • really delicious.

  • Today it's cold fried chicken.

  • As in temperature, cold, fried chicken.

  • In the Worth It fried chicken sandwich episode,

  • we had this spicy cold fried chicken

  • from a place called Fuku.

  • It was both exhilarating--

  • (Steven and Andrew exclaim)

  • (Andrew laughs)

  • - Oh wow.

  • - And fascinating that it was very tasty

  • despite being a cold piece of meat.

  • This fried chicken is actually based on a dish

  • from another restaurant that has not previously

  • been on Worth It, Momofuku Ko,

  • but I've eaten at before,

  • actually with Adam and Annie after a shoot once.

  • The original cold fried chicken is not spicy,

  • but possibly one of my favorite things

  • I've ever eaten.

  • And I think making this dish is going to help me

  • with something that I'm really curious in,

  • which is the fundamentals of why something tastes good.

  • Holy (beep).

  • Cold fried chicken sounds counterintuitive

  • and yet this dish is undeniably delicious.

  • To start off, I'm going to be speaking

  • with the executive chef from Momofuku Ko, Chef Sean Gray.

  • I'm really curious about this cold fried chicken

  • that you guys are pretty famous for now.

  • - It kind of came from two different places,

  • one of which was this like running joke

  • that we wanted to have a restaurant

  • that served food that was already all prepared.

  • And then we were doing this private dinner,

  • thought we would just do this fried chicken spread.

  • The dinner was going on much longer than we anticipated.

  • And we kept frying the chicken in these short bursts

  • to keep it nicely fresh for when it did go out.

  • Leftover chicken we put in the walk-in,

  • and towards the end of the night,

  • everyone kept going in and out of the walk-in

  • just eating this chicken.

  • And I was kind of like, you know,

  • maybe we could actually serve this,

  • like, maybe this could be a thing.

  • Everyone else working here was really amped up about it.

  • Having like a relationship to it of eating cold chicken

  • out of your fridge, late at night,

  • it's just very satisfying.

  • You know, we spent the next month

  • really working on the recipe, we worked out the flavors.

  • - From a flavor and texture standpoint,

  • why does it work cold?

  • - Well, I think with chicken and especially cooked proteins,

  • all of the juices and all of that fat and collagen,

  • all that kind of stuff,

  • stays in the meat versus like cutting into roasted chicken,

  • it's gonna steam out or it's gonna lose

  • some more moisture content.

  • - Right, no, that makes a ton of sense.

  • - You know, and then you pick it up

  • and it's like refrigerator temperature.

  • I can't think of any other cold foods

  • that have that kind of mild crunch,

  • like a 65% crunch.

  • I don't know, it's this in between texture,

  • it's like soft and crunchy at the same time.

  • - Is the cold fried chicken available right now?

  • - Doing the chicken, it's a to-go item.

  • We've been working a lot on pizzas,

  • so we're trying to have, like everything would just be--

  • Hang on one second.

  • - Yeah, no problem.

  • Is there one right in front of you?

  • Could you pan down and show me it?

  • - No, it's gone.

  • (Andrew laughs)

  • - Not a problem.

  • Well, thanks so much for chatting.

  • I'm really excited to make this chicken.

  • - Yeah, I'm excited to see how it comes out.

  • - Okay, Sean helped me out with some of the details

  • of the recipe.

  • So far one of the most curious aspects to me

  • is what is happening inside the meat of the chicken.

  • To start, we're making this brine.

  • First ingredient of which is liquid Koji.

  • From what I understand, Koji is the fermentation agent

  • in making sake.

  • That same fungus is also used to make soy sauce and miso.

  • I think in this recipe,

  • it's going to be doing a job similar to buttermilk,

  • which is to tenderize the meat.

  • And then just a bunch of water.

  • And then I put chicken in.

  • I'm gonna put a tiny plate on top

  • to make sure everything stays submerged.

  • Okay, so I'm gonna cover this up.

  • (rustling)

  • So this will brine for many hours

  • and then it'll be time for frying.

  • Oh God, this is gonna being a horrible shaped to fit

  • in my refrigerator.

  • So the chicken's been brined.

  • I also pulled it from the brine

  • and let it sit in the refrigerator uncovered for a while

  • to dry the exterior.

  • So before we fry the chicken,

  • there's a couple other elements we need to make.

  • First there's a finishing salt.

  • This is just a seasoned salt with nothing crazy in it,

  • you know, it's garlic powder, onion powder,

  • cayenne, stuff like that in here.

  • Really, not even a grain yet?

  • Come on.

  • Finishing salt is pretty interesting to me,

  • because it's not really a step of cooking

  • that I think about.

  • Usually the only thing that falls into the category

  • for me is like cheese.

  • The other finished element of the fried chicken

  • is a glaze for once it's done frying.

  • Okay, welcome to the stove area.

  • Water and sugar, little bit of salt, soy sauce,

  • and this is all comes together now.

  • This glaze is a prime example of how

  • what I'm able to do at home is going to differ a little bit

  • from what they do at the restaurant,

  • because I'm not able to find the exact same ingredients.

  • I should still be able to get a glaze for my chicken

  • that will be pretty flavorful.

  • Last thing we're adding is green hot sauce and Yuzukosho.

  • Yuzu is this citrus,

  • Yuzukosho is this Japanese fermented product.

  • Very citrus-y.

  • I don't know if like pine tree resin was delicious.

  • And that's that.

  • It's salty, sweet, it's a little spicy.

  • Makes me wanna do this.

  • This is cooled down.

  • I can now set this aside

  • for when I'm done frying the chicken.

  • Okay, now it's time to make the dredge and the batter.

  • Combination of wheat flour and rice flour and corn starch,

  • which I believe will help a crunchier final chicken.

  • I really like the way that flour smells.

  • It has a very cozy smell to it.

  • It reminds me of a pantry.

  • Oh.

  • Oh, God.

  • I'm wearing the wrong color for this.

  • Okay.

  • God.

  • This is going to be the dredge for the chicken

  • as well as the dry ingredient for the batter

  • and then the liquid elements,

  • which are beer and vodka.

  • Alcohol is the primary liquid in this batter,

  • I believe because it will evaporate faster

  • resulting in a crispier texture.

  • This needs to go in the fridge to stay very cold.

  • We'll set up the frying oil

  • and then dredge and batter right before frying.

  • Welcome to the fry zone.

  • So we have to fry this chicken four times.

  • And the first time is going to be

  • just in our flour dredge and into the oil.

  • Each time, it's at a different specific temperature.

  • And the interesting thing is that it's relatively low.

  • This happens for just three minutes.

  • Small kitchen problems,

  • I need to have a place for this chicken to land,

  • so we're gonna go right here onto a wire rack.

  • Okay, so I'm turning my oil off for now

  • because the chicken needs to cool

  • before the next batter and fry.

  • You can see where some of my chicken

  • came in contact with the bottom of the pot.

  • It got a little hotter than probably is desirably.

  • So there's also a specific instruction

  • to turn the chicken over after a few minutes.

  • Flipping it will help

  • more evenly drain the chicken, I guess.

  • So far this is unlike any way I've ever cooked meat,

  • so I don't know if I'm doing well or not.

  • The chicken is down to room temp,

  • so it's time to pull the batter from the fridge,

  • batter it, get this back in the fryer.

  • The fryer temperature is now a little bit higher,

  • up to 330.

  • Oh no, don't stick together!

  • Okay, these are getting quite dark,

  • so I'm gonna pull them out of the fryer.

  • I feel like mine have gotten very dark, very quickly.

  • They are quite crispy sounding already though.

  • Same thing's gonna happen here,

  • I'm gonna flip them after a few minutes.

  • In other news, I did not really understand

  • how long this was gonna take

  • and it's almost night time.

  • Now we wait another 15-20 minutes.

  • Fry number three, get the batter out of the fridge,

  • chicken back in the batter and into the fryer.

  • So each of these fries should take

  • between two and a half and three minutes

  • depending on the color.

  • And I'm just bobbing these babies up and down.

  • Okay, I'm pulling these bad boys out.

  • These are starting to look like what I recall

  • the chicken in the restaurant looking like.

  • The thickness of the shell,

  • not all of them are evenly so.

  • In my small pot, they're kind of bumping into each other.

  • And now we wait another couple minutes,

  • flip them again, let them rest evenly.

  • Oh, do you hear that?

  • It's like gravel.

  • Geez.

  • Now I'll just let these cool some more

  • and then the last fry.

  • Dammit, I've overshot the heat a little bit.

  • It's time for the final fry.

  • This process reminds me of a blacksmith's job

  • in perfecting steel.

  • It needs to be heated and cooled very carefully

  • to achieve the right hardness.

  • If it's too hard, it'll be brittle

  • and break on the first use,

  • but if it's not hard enough,

  • then it won't serve it's purpose.

  • Okay, so it's the very end of the day,

  • it's getting quite dark.

  • Last thing to do is to glaze the chicken.

  • So the instructions say to do this

  • in one swift motion.

  • (upbeat music)

  • It's very difficult not to each freshly made fried chicken.

  • I'm gonna pack these away and try them tomorrow.

  • Before I pulled out the fried chicken,

  • I'm gonna set up my plate.

  • And I think I can make it look

  • pretty close to what they do at the restaurant.

  • So first, they actually have some pickles on their plate.

  • And at Ko, they pickle their own cucumbers,

  • but I'm just gonna use my favorite dill pickle.

  • So I'm just gonna do a couple piled off to the side.

  • Now the chicken.

  • They look pretty accurate to me.

  • You can see where the batter has really puffed up

  • and achieved a shell.

  • But you can tell their not as even as would have been ideal.

  • Now to