Ad Hoc Fried Chicken

One of the best bites I had this year was the fried chicken I had at Thomas Keller’s Addendum, a small stand built behind his Ad Hoc restaurant which serves his famous fried chicken as boxed lunches.

I purchased the Ad Hoc cookbook shortly after it came out and after reading his recipe for his buttermilk fried chicken, it didn’t seem too bad. But like all Thomas Keller recipes, there are a lot of careful steps which can be a little time consuming.

When I finally got around to making the recipe, I couldn’t find my Ad Hoc book anywhere. I misplaced it during the massive cleaning right before my wedding and I’ve been searching for it for a few weeks now and still no luck. Hopefully it will turn up soon. The recipe is readily shared on the internet, but I found that everyone’s recipe seem to be just a little different and so I don’t know which one is the one from the book exactly.


I also felt nervous without the book. Beyond just a recipe, Keller always provides a lot of explanation into explaining why he is doing what he is doing and what it does for the recipe, which helps for you to understand and also to pinpoint errors.

The chicken fried up quite beautifully and the skin was super crisp, while the chicken itself was still quite moist. The biggest problem though was that mine came out way too salty. Both the inside and the outside of the chicken was salty. I think I had too little chicken for the amount of brine this recipe called for.

I do plan on trying it out again once I find my misplaced book. It isn’t too hard to make, but you do need to marinade the chicken in a brine overnight, which keeps the chicken moist and flavorful.

I used this version of the recipe here. When I find my book, I’ll try this again and write out the recipe from the book too.

10 comments on “Ad Hoc Fried Chicken”

  1. this looks delish! thanks for the marinating overnight in brine tip!

    • The brine gives the chicken a good flavor and keeps it moist. The coating is pretty delicious too. It’s not too hard to make, but you do have to prep overnight.

  2. Hey Kirbie – I’ve made this a couple of times…it’s pretty foolproof. I even made a knock-off with, what else….chicken wings which was nice.

    • Hi Kirk! This was one of the things I was attempting to bring to the pig roast. Someone sent me a pic from the Ad Hoc book and I compared it with this recipe I used, and it’s pretty different. So I think I just chose the wrong recipe variation to use. Also i think I had too much brine and not enough chicken. Now that I have the recipe from the book again I’m going to try again. I did like how the skin crisped up so well.

  3. I never had gourmet fried chicken. How is it different from Popeyes?

    • It’s kind of hard to describe. It’s just super moist chicken and a very thick, crunchy, flavorful coating. You can taste that it’s being made in small batches rather than the massive batches of a chain like Popeyes.

  4. I have Ad Hoc at home, let me know if you want me to send you screenshots!

    • Ah, thanks for the offer! A friend of mine actually sent me screenshots. I actually did not even think to ask if someone could do that for me when I was turning my place upside down looking for the book. I will def do this again now that I have the recipe and directions from the book.

  5. I’ve had the book for SO long but was intimidated by all the careful steps. Now that I’ve read how truly easy it is (from you) I will put on my “big girl apron” and give it a whirl this weekend! thanks for the nudge!

    • Yes, give it a try! It’s not too hard. The hardest part is actually just gathering all the herbs and spices for your chicken brine. But it’s just a matter of putting a bunch of stuff in a pot. Then you let the chicken marinade overnight. The chicken coating is super easy to mix together. You coat the chicken, fry, and you’re done!

Leave a Reply to julianaloh (@bilbaobab) Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *