Jun 10, 2015
This popular, hearty plate at Dove’s Luncheonette is an outstanding and original take on chicken-fried steak. The lucky crowd you’re serving won’t need much else. The recipe has several steps, which are not difficult and can be done over a day or two.
At the restaurant, chef Dennis Bernard serves the chicken boneless and slightly butterflied. But he prefers it cooked on the bone, for more flavor. If you choose to use boneless/butterflied chicken thighs in this recipe, reduce the frying time as needed.
You’ll need an instant-read thermometer for monitoring the frying oil and the chicken; a splatter screen for the pan is helpful, too.
Make Ahead: The chicken needs to be brined in the refrigerator for 3 hours. The drained, brined chicken needs to rest in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight. The gravy is best made just before serving.
Tested size: 8 servings
- For the brine
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 12 bay leaves
- 1 head of garlic, smashed
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 small bunch fresh rosemary
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley (with stems)
- Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
- For the chicken
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (see headnote; about 5 pounds total)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon powdered chili de arbol
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups regular or low-fat buttermilk
- 2 cups green peas, blanched (fresh or frozen/defrosted; see NOTES)
- 2 packed cups spring onion bulbs, cooked (see NOTES)
- Generous 1 splash champagne vinegar (see NOTES)
- For the chorizo gravy
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh Chorizo Verde (see related recipe)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) flour
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups regular or low-fat milk
For the brine: Combine 1 quart of the water with the 1 cup of salt, all the honey, the bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lemon zest and juice in a pot large enough to hold 1 gallon.
Place over medium heat; cook, stirring, until the salt has dissolved. Let it cool completely, then stir in the remaining 3 quarts of water.
For the chicken: Add the thighs to the brine; cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. Discard the brine; use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Place on a baking sheet or platter; refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
Place an ovenproof wire cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels in the oven; preheat to 200 degrees. Heat an inch of the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Lay a wide sheet of wax paper on the countertop.
Whisk together the flour; the garlic, onion and chili powders, and the salt; divide the mixture between two medium bowls. Pour the buttermilk into a separate medium bowl.
Coat each chicken thigh all over in the first bowl of flour mixture, then dip into the buttermilk, then into the second flour mixture bowl, pressing so the final coating adheres all over. Transfer to the wax paper. Discard any excess flour mixture and buttermilk.
Working in batches, fry the chicken for a total of 20 minutes (under a splatter screen, if you have one), turning once after 10 minutes, until golden, crunchy and cooked through; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (away from the bone) should register 160 degrees. Transfer the fried chicken to the rack in the oven to keep warm as you work.
Meanwhile, make the chorizo gravy: Place the chorizo verde in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat; cook for about 15 minutes or until no trace of raw meat remains, breaking up any large clumps along the way.
Add the butter; once it has melted, sprinkle the flour over the skillet. Stir until well incorporated. Increase the heat to medium-high; gradually add 2 1/2 cups of the milk, stirring constantly, just until the mixture starts to thicken. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for about 15 minutes, stirring a few times, to form a nicely flavored and thickened gravy. If it seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Use right away, or cover and keep warm on the lowest setting.
When ready to serve, divide the chicken among individual plates. Top with a generous portion of the chorizo gravy, the peas and onions. Serve warm.
NOTES: To blanch the peas, add to a pot of salted, boiling water. Cook for 15 to 20 seconds, then immediately drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
To cook the spring onion bulbs, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions; season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Uncover and add the champagne vinegar; cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly colored and tender. Increase the heat to medium-high; cook, stirring, just long enough to lightly caramelize the outside of the onions. Remove from the heat.
Adapted from Dennis Bernard, chef de cuisine at Dove’s Luncheonette in Chicago.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.