A new restaurant means a long meal and a chance to observe chaos and frustration with the staff.

We dined at Agrodolce, the new Italian restaurant with the same owner as the popular Trattoria la Siciliana. The old Italian lady and the chef, who should be the owners, display an evening of yelling at clueless, inexperienced servers while (trying to) greet grumpy, hungry customers with smiles and apologies.

Food is much better than Trattoria la Siciliana. I look forward to coming back when they have figured out the logistics.


The Mak's Fried Chicken

Photo by my friend @eliphantc

With my adaptation based on Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc recipe on Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Chicken Brine
(For 2 pounds of chicken - either thigh, drumstick, or breast)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 head garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 quart water
The Lazy Version of Chicken Brine
  • 1/2 cup salt and 2 quart water. Don't bother with boiling and chilling.
  • Combine all in a large pot, cover, bring to a boil, let cool. Chill before using.
  • Place chicken pieces in brine for at least 4 hours, up to 12 hours.
Photo by the author
Flour Coating  
  • 1.5 cup AP flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
The Lazy Version of Flour Coating
  • 1.5 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Lay out 3 dishes or bowls and a roasting pan in a row.
  • Place flour coating in 1st and 3rd dishes.
  • Place buttermilk in 2nd dish.
  • Dry all chicken pieces thoroughly with paper towel.
  • Use one hand (the dry hand) to place each chicken piece in 1st dish. Coat. Put into 2nd dish.
  • Use second hand (the wet hand) to coat in 2nd dish. Put into 3rd dish.
  • Use first hand (the dry hand) to coat chicken piece in 3rd dish. Then place on roasting pan.
  • After all is done, refrigerate for an hour to make sure coating is firmly placed on chicken pieces.
  • Heat up frying oil (Be really careful and don't burn down your house!) to 375 F.
  • If chicken pieces are bone-in: Fry drumsticks or thighs for about 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  • If chicken pieces are boneless: Breast or boneless thighs can be fried for about 8 to 10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 F. If pieces are small (like bite size) the timing can be even shorter.
  • Rest on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite sauces (optional).
  • Do not put more oil than half of your pan height.
  • I love using my Chinese wok. A cast iron pan can work too. A small sauce pan can be used for a small portion. A fryer may work best to minimize mess.
  • Make sure your pot or wok is well stabilized. Turn up kitchen hood to max.
  • Prevent burning (dark skin) by managing your oil temperature. If it exceeds 400 F chicken pieces will burn quickly.
  • Prevent soggy chicken by managing oil temperature to drop not under 325 F.
Photo by the author