Somewhere in the back of your mind lies a memory of the best meal that you’ve ever had. Like a hazy dream, or déjà vu, you’ll only remember parts of it at certain times.
Different smells might remind you of the ingredients. The weather might trigger your memory of the day you had it or what season it was. A song might take you back to the country where you first tasted this magical food you promised you would never forget, but soon realized it was too late. Now this treasured meal is sought after whenever you need comforting or a reminder of the simple pleasures of life.
Heston Blumenthal says that eating is a multi-modal process and he likes to explore it with all the senses, if cooking is the only art form that uses all five senses then mastering it takes time and practice. A chef takes years, if not decades, to create his or hers “tour de force”. However, in the culinary world there are some recipes, so simple and yet so effectively delightful, that even the most novice cook will be granted the ability to create a dish that brings anyone to their knees, begging for more.
Still, there are three basic, but fundamental, points required to achieve perfection in a simple feast. First, it is imperative that the recipe requires ingredients available anywhere in the world. Whether you’re cooking to cheer up a homesick friend in foreign territory or for a family gathering at home, one trip to the shop should be more than enough.
Second, the recipe must be sufficiently simple to be perfectly executed by all. From chef to dishwasher, from accountant to pilot, the end result is always the same: delicious.
Finally, discarding the physiological and nourishing aspects of a dish, the last step will focus solely on the aesthetics of food. Yes, beauty is still in the eye of the beholder, however there is a seductive side to cooking that makes our mouths literally water in the presence of the mere possibility of eating something that looks scrumptious.
Crispy Cornflake Chicken with Truffle Oil
4 to 6 servings Total time: 1 hr 10 min
8 chicken pieces (preferably 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs and 2 wings)
½ cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups cornflakes
2/3 cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground sage
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place a rack in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet.
Rinse the chicken in cold water; pat dry. In a wide bowl or on a plate, season the flour with salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Dredge each chicken piece through the flour so it’s fully coated, tap against the bowl to shake off excess flour and set aside. Discard the flour.
Crush the cornflake with your hands and pour them into a wide bowl or onto a plate.
In a large bowl (big enough to dredge the chicken pieces), mix the buttermilk, cayenne pepper, paprika and sage. Give each floured chicken piece a good buttermilk bath and then roll in the cornflake crumbs.
Arrange the chicken pieces on the rack and place in the hot oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, lower the heat to 180 degrees and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through and crispy. The juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife. Drizzle truffle oil and serve with champagne.
article published in finally famous magazine.