Next to hamburgers and hot dogs, nothing screams All-American like a big platter of crispy fried chicken — in this case Thomas Keller’s lemon-brined, double-dredged buttermilk fried chicken that’s been wowing the regulars every other M0nday night at his Ad Hoc restaurant in Yountville since ’06.
Why it’s taken it this long to make it south to our humble burg is anyone’s guess, but the good folks at Bouchon served it up with the tastiest, tiniest baby corn you could imagine, a giant applewood smoked bacon biscuit, and collard greens so mineral-rich and meaty you’d swear Aunt Jemima was in the kitchen.
Amazingly, for a recipe that calls for a cup+ of salt in the brine, and all kinds of spices and peppers in the flour, we found our chicken surprisingly tame — with none of the seasoning kick we expected. This was southern fried chicken done to delicate perfection, by chefs who want to let the juicy chicken stand out as much as the spices, so a certain subtlety should have been expected.
And for once, the fact it was probably sous vide-d to ensure tenderness bothered us not at all.
Because as we were eating it, all we could think of was the fried chicken dinners we used to enjoy at Loveless Cafe outside of Nashville (Tennessee, not Illinois), during our formative years, and that choked ELV up….but not enough to keep him from digging in to all that crispy goodness.
The good news is Bouchon is considering running the chicken as an occasional special much like they do with the original, and if that happens, all of this French-i-fied, southern-fried, artery-hardening yumminess will be yet another reason to venture into the Venetian.
The chicken dinner above came to $36.
In the Venetian Hotel and Casino
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109-8941