Home Cooked

Home Cooked: Momofuku Chicken and Egg

I’m not even going to crack and ‘which came first’ jokes, because this dish is relatively simple and everyone should try it to fully understand how delicious it truly is. Flipping through the Momofuku cookbook, there were several recipes that I immediately thought to myself, “Wow that looks good, I have to try that ASAP”, and this dish was right up there at the top.

Chicken, post cooking, swimming in golden deliciousness

Prep

Prepare Brine: 1 Cup Sugar, 1 Cup salt, 8 cups water

Brine Chicken thighs(Bone removed, Skin on), for 1-6 hours

-Put chicken thighs in an oven safe container, cover with either pork or duck fat(I used duck), and add in a few pieces of smoky bacon (Key word: Smoky)

-Leave in the oven at 80C for 50 minutes.

-Heat a skillet, oil it, then lay the chicken thigh down, skin side first. Press the chicken down with a heavy pan(to keep it flat so that the skin browns evenly)

-Let it crisp for 3-4 minutes, remove immediately

-Serve with Sous vide egg(54C for 1 hr), and quick pickled cucumbers

Meat can also be refrigerated for up to a week after cooking

Pros:

Meat was delicious, the brine brought out the natural sweetness of the chicken, with a tinge of smokyness from the bacon. Cooking the meat confit style gave the chicken an unctuous mouthfeel, yet despite this, it wasn’t too heavy, something you could eat alot of(well, I could). The rich, creamy yolk of the sous vide egg is nicely balanced by the quick pickled cucumbers. I topped it off with some of Momofuku’s ‘Octo Vin’ sauce, which when eaten together with the chicken, gave it a sudden burst of freshness and acidity. I’m also convinced that there are not alot of things that the Octo Vin sauce don’t go well with, but thats another story.

Cons:

There isn’t much to say because truthfully, there aren’t alot of things I dislike about it. It should be noted that all bones should be carefully removed from the thigh to ensure that the meat is cooked evenly. Because it is cooked at a fairly low temperature and I had a piece of chicken that had a small bone stuck in it, when I cut into it, it was quite bloody in that area. Proper technique should also be used to get the skin really nice and crisp (Heavy Iron skillet, high heat, weighed down)

Thoughts:

One of the first thoughts that ran through my head was how to turn this into a sous vide recipe. I dont think it would be that difficult, and it would save on a lot of fat. Smokyness could either be incorporated into the chicken by adding liquid smoke to the brine, or heating the duck fat then placing smoky bacon into it, and allowing it to infuse in the fat, before vacuum sealing with the chicken. Other flavours could possibly be infused into the chicken, but I think this is simple comfort food at its best.

 

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New York

Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York

Pork Steamed bun
First Appitizer

Yes. this is Kong ba pao to most Asians. I have grown up eating Kong ba pao all my life, but this was good, very good; and thats saying alot, coming from a Chinese guy(Yes im using the race card). Pork was melt in your mouth fatty, sauce added the right amount of saltiness to the dish. Amazing, definitely one of the “must order” dishes in the noodle bar. Very good

Smoked chicken wings – pickled chili, garlic, scallions
2nd Appitizer

Sauce was somewhat thick and flavorful, chicken wings had a nice glaze and a great smoky aftertaste. I was also very happy that there was a liberal amount of spring onions in the dish, for some weird reason. Good

Momofuku ramen – pork belly, pork shoulder, poached egg
First Main

Egg was nicely cooked, Pork was tender, noodles had a very nice texture. But the soup and pork meat was not very flavorful, I’ve had much, much better ramen broths. A forgettable dish, Okay.

Roasted monkfish wrapped in pancetta, with a garlic miso sauce
2nd main

Very well cooked piece of fish, tender but had a good bite to it. Pancetta did not impart much flavor to the dish but added a nice crisp outer skin on the fish. Garlic miso sauce was amazingly, very nice combination of saltiness from the miso, and of course the lingering garlicky kick at the end.

Blackberry soft serve ice cream + Olive oil cake crumble

Stopped by for dessert after lunch at the noodle bar. Ice cream was very intensely flavored, very tart and somewhat overpowering. Olive oil crumble added a nice texture, but the taste of olive oil was faint. Okay

Its hard to judge a restaurant based on a lunch prix fixe menu, and noodle bar isn’t even David Changs flagship restaurant. But from the few dishes I had, he seems to know his Asian cuisine well, and its refreshing to have someone using Asian techniques on quality ingredients, that, in my opinion, is how many dishes are taken to the next level. Many Americans have a misconception of Asian cuisine, even more so in a cosmopolitan state like New York, we dont have Panda Express in Asia, we dont eat Kung Pao chicken Orange Glazed chicken(Even though, admittedly, they are at times, delicious), we dont have fortune cookies after meals; its good to know at least David Chang is serving up Asian fare in Ne