Fried chicken with yogurt marinade

November 7, 2008 5:00:59 PM PST
A modern twist on a classic comfort food.

Fried Chicken with Yogurt Marinade
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

For chicken:
1 whole Californian Free range chicken
4 cup of Yogurt marinade (see recipe below)
.5 cup rice flour /1/2 cup corn meal (finely ground) for dredging
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of chili powder
.5 teaspoon of cumin powder
Vegetable shortening or lard for frying
Oil thermometer

Yogurt marinade:
.5 teaspoon of vadouvan or curry powder
.5 teaspoon of toasted cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of chili powder
.25 tsp. of toasted cardamom seeds
.5 tsp cubed peppercorn
1 cup of Tabasco
2 cups of yogurt (plain)
.5 cups heavy cream
One-third cup of soy sauce
Salt to taste

  1. Cut the chicken in 8 pieces.
  2. Marinate the chicken in yogurt, cover and refrigerated for 24 hrs.
  3. Melt the lard or vegetable shortening in a heavy frying pan or cast iron skillet. Oil should be heated to 325 degree Fahrenheit. (It is very important to check the temperature).
  4. Mix rice flour, corn meal and all the spices above together.
  5. Drain the excess of yogurt from the chicken. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
  6. Place chicken skin down into the cast iron skillet and cook chicken until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes total. (Check the internal temperature of each piece of the chicken for doneness; chicken should be 180 degree Fahrenheit).
  7. Drain the chicken on the rack over a sheet pan to rid chicken of excess oil. Serve!
About Dominique Crenn
Raised in Versailles, France, Executive Chef Dominique Crenn developed a keen interest for cooking as a young girl surrounded by a family that celebrated fine dining. While she credits her mother for her early introduction to the culinary arts, Crenn also attributes her passion for fine fare to her politician father from whom she, "learned to appreciate the subtle nuances and unique flavors of great cuisine," during their numerous sojourns to the region's best restaurants with his best friend, a well-respected French food critic.

Before attending college, Crenn traveled extensively through Europe to learn the endless styles of cooking and possibilities of using ingredients from each culture. Following her travels, Crenn graduated from Cours Charlemagne in Paris in 1985 with a Baccalaureate in Economics and earned her bachelor's degree in International Business from the Academy of International Commerce of Paris.

Crenn moved to San Francisco in 1988, where she began her formal training as a chef, fell madly in love with the city, and remained there for the next nine years. During this time, she built an impressive resume, working under the tutelage of San Francisco luminaries, Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz for over two years at the celebrated Stars. She later heated up the kitchens of lauded restaurants such as Campton Place, 2223 Market and the Park Hyatt Grill. Crenn was subsequently hired as executive chef of the Yoyo Bistro at the Miyako Hotel where she obtained an impressive 3-star review in the annual Access San Francisco book during her one-year stint there.

Following her tenure in Northern California, Crenn moved to Indonesia in 1997, where she made history as the first female executive chef in the country when she took the helm at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Jakarta. Crenn's work in Jakarta was abbreviated due to the political turmoil in South East Asia and she returned to California in 1998 to accept the position of executive chef at the Manhattan Country Club, in Manhattan Beach. Club members, celebrities and dignitaries alike recognized her culinary prowess and soon Crenn was catering private events for personalities such as Vice-President Al Gore, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Juliette Binoche, Sidney Poitier, Sharon Stone, Cindy Lauper and the Japanese and Egyptian Ambassadors to France.

Named "Chef of the Year" in Esquire's annual 2008 "Restaurant" issue by John Mariani, Chef Crenn's vision at Luce is to create a menu that emphasizes high-end artisanal, sustainable and seasonal California cuisine with Northern Italian influences, while showcasing her own unique brand of inventive, market-driven fare. The chef de cuisine firmly stands by her belief that imagination and originality are the most important aspects of cooking and applies that directly to her culinary offerings at Luce. "Having had the opportunity to observe and learn from some of the most beautiful cultures in the world throughout my life, I reflect these experiences in my cuisine by marrying diverse flavors and natural ingredients together to please the palate," asserts Crenn. With her distinctive French-Moroccan heritage, gastronomic flair and enigmatic personality, Crenn is destined to make her mark on San Francisco's culinary scene.


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