Fifteen Spatulas

[Updated from the archives with new photos and writing. Originally posted February 2012]

This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, for sure. It’s also the best fried chicken Thomas Keller has ever had. That means if you love fried chicken, you must make it.

Several years back my brother bought me the cookbook Ad Hoc at Home for Christmas (thank you Andrew!) When I came across the recipe for Buttermilk Fried Chicken, I could help but notice it started out with this statement: “If there’s a better fried chicken out there, I haven’t tasted it.” 

One of the best chefs in the world says this is the best chicken he’s ever had?!!?!  That’s when I knew I had to make this.  And yes, this is the best fried chicken EVER.  EVER!!! Whenever I have special guests or family in town visiting me, I make this for them.

Potatoes get all the fame and glory when it comes to gratins, but I think leeks are the ultimate star ingredient for this classic dish.

Now that it’s spring and leeks are coming into season, I want to share this side dish recipe with you. It’s one of my favorite ways to prepare leeks!

If you’re not familiar with leeks, they are in the same family as onions and garlic, and in my opinion are one of the most underrated vegetables around. I very distinctly remember the first time I made leeks, I was caramelizing them for a soup. When I tasted a spoonful of the caramelized leeks, I ended up just eating them all with a spoon and skipping the soup altogether. Yes, they’re that good.

If you’ve ever had dippin’ dots before, I feel like granitas are the icy form of dippin’ dots. They are little fluffy flecks of juicy flavor that melt on your tongue, and it’s super refreshing. It’s so easy to make too! Today we’re going to make one with blood oranges.

I first discovered blood oranges when I was living in Spain, and I found them to be tremendously confusing. Like, what on earth is wrong with that orange, why is it so red inside? Now blood oranges are all over the place in the US and the internet abounds with tons of recipes celebrating this gorgeous fruit. Seriously, isn’t it incredible how much more variety of produce we have compared to ten, heck, even five years ago? I love it!

The blood orange season is coming to an end in several weeks, so I wanted to share this granita before they disappear. I saw some Moro blood oranges at the grocery store yesterday, and I think those go through March, and a variety called Taroccos goes through April or May. If you don’t get to snatch any up, you don’t need to use blood oranges specifically for this recipe (you can use oranges, tangerines, etc), but the color just won’t be as vibrant as the blood orange.