Diamond Dish: Red Rooster Harlem

Chef Marcus Samuelsson shares the recipe for this customer favorite.
Diamond Dish - red rooster harlem

Diamond Designation: Three Diamond (Trendy food skillfully presented in a remarkable setting. Learn more about AAA Diamonds.)

Location: New York, N.Y.

Red Rooster Harlem blends food, art and music to capture the spirit of its neighborhood. The menu features American comforts like shrimp and grits over tomato-okra stew, steak frites with chimichurri and barbecue bearnaise and a lobster roll. The star, however, is the fried yardbird. Classic chicken shake or hot honey-style, it can be ordered by the piece, or as a 20-piece “chicken tower” with cornbread and three sides ($120).

“Sometimes you put a dish on the menu to try it out, and it takes over. You find out when you take it off the menu and there’s a chorus of disappointed voices, that dish
has become a classic,” said chef and owner Marcus Samuelsson.

Samuelsson, who is known for his television appearances as well as restaurants across the country and abroad, is also a Harlem resident and advocate for the community. This is evident in everything from the local art displayed on Red Rooster’s walls to the live music that plays during brunch and at Ginny’s Supper Club,
the 1920’s-style speakeasy in the basement.

Fried Yardbird With Chicken Shake

Serves four

Chicken Shake
• ¼ cup berbere spice
• ¼ cup hot smoked paprika
• 2 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons freshly ground white pepper
• 2 tablespoons celery salt
• 1 ½ teaspoons granulated garlic
• 1 ½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt

Yardbird
• 8 cups water
• 1 cup coarse kosher salt
• 4 chicken thighs
• 4 chicken drumsticks
• 2 cups buttermilk
• ¾ cup coconut milk
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon chicken shake, plus additional for serving
• Peanut oil for frying
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup semolina flour
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper

To make the chicken shake:

Whisk together all ingredients. Store in a jar, out of the light. Recipe makes about 1 cup and will keep for 6 months.

To make the yardbird:

Put 2 cups of water and salt in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour into a large container. Add remaining 6 cups of water and cool to room temperature. Add chicken, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Drain.

Whisk buttermilk, coconut milk, garlic and chicken shake together in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Submerge chicken in the marinade, cover
and refrigerate overnight.

Fill a large saucepan 1/3 of the way up with peanut oil. Heat to 360°F. While oil heats, coat the chicken. Put flour, semolina, cornstarch and white pepper into a bowl and whisk to combine. Let excess marinade drip off chicken, then roll it in flour coating. Place on a rack set over a baking sheet. If coating looks damp, roll in flour again.

In batches, fry the chicken until it’s a rich brown with an internal temp of 165°F (10 minutes per batch). Keep oil 350° to 375°F. Drain on rack over a baking sheet. Season with a sprinkle of chicken shake.

Get more recipes. AAA.com/DiamondDish.

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