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  1. Brining, then drying, then marinating?

    I checked the recipe in Pok Pok, and while it's more detailed (and comes with the story behind the dish) it doesn't explain the rationale behind the process. But from reading the recipe, I think some of the confusion may come from the "marinade" -- which is basically a mix of soy and fish sauce with a bit of sugar and water added in. This "marinade" is to be brushed onto the skin before the last round of drying in the fridge. Since it's brushed on as a surface treatment (to already dried out skin), I don't know that the final "marinade" process runs the risk of waterlogging the skin or undoing all you'd done in the the prior 12-hour drying step. As for including flavors in the brine, it's true that most of the larger flavor particle can't penetrate into the interior of the meat very far, but the skin and the meat just underneath it will benefit. And the salt will still do its magic for the meat deeper down. Brining isn't just insurance against overcooking. It improves the flavor and texture of the final product, and helps the protein hold onto water as it cooks.
  2. Chop chicken leg bones?

    Depends on the size of the chicken and how you're cooking it. But yes, you can get near-full extraction from legs without hacking them up. If they're super thick or you're concerned for some reason, you can always run a knife down the leg and thigh bones to expose them. But after 45 minutes in the pressure cooker (or a few hours on the stovetop) chicken legs will be falling apart anyway. If you're using low temperatures or short cooking times, smaller pieces will help things infuse quickly. But within "ordinary" chicken stock-making parameters, you'll be cooking for a long enough time that it doesn't much matter.
  3. Chop chicken leg bones?

    Chicken bones are so small that you can get full extraction without needing to hack them up. Most of the contribution that bones make to broth comes from their collagen, not from the marrow. Bones add "body" or gelatin to the final stock. Marrow is largely fat and doesn't contribute much in the way of flavor. If you've ever made a stock with only bones (and no meat or skin) then you'll know where the flavor is. And it ain't in the bones. Good lord, man... roast those bones! Bone roasting is the difference between lighter, "blonde" chicken stock and the darker, richer roasted chicken stock. They're not really the same product, but I almost never make blonde chicken stock because I prefer the taste from roasted bones. I also find that pre-roasting the bones mostly eliminates the need to blanch and rinse the bones first.
  4. I suspect you might be buying flavorless chicken. Do you get better tasting results using traditional methods for Hainan chicken?
  5. Silky Smooth Chicken Breast

    I was also thinking that breed and processing might make a difference. There's a big difference between the texture of wet and dry chilled chicken, and there's a lot of poultry in the US that has been pre-brined in some way or other.
  6. For reference, here are the Ruhlman spoons alongside the Kunz spoons. Apparently Ruhlman used to bend up the Kunz spoons before he had Dalton design the basting/tasting/whatevering pre-bent spoons. There's really nothing to recommend the small, non-strainery Kunz spoon. It's pretty much just a nice, ordinary spoon. The small slotted one is useful for serving olives or pickles or other things packed in brine/oil. The larger slotted one can be useful for serving and plating stuff too. I literally never reach for the non-slotted Kunz spoons unless the Ruhlmans are in short supply. Here's a shot of the small Kunz spoons next to my everyday flatware spoons. The bowl and the edges are slightly nicer, but it feels like a regular spoon. "Meh." Maybe I should give it the DDF / Ruhlman treatment and just bend it myself.
  7. Gochujang

    This stuff is the best I've found of those I've tried.
  8. It depends on what I'm going for (and if I use my stovetop pressure cooker or the Instant Pot). There are dishes where the goal is to totally shred the cheeks and add them back to the braising liquid, and those go for a long time (like 45 minutes). For more traditional stew-like things, I'd try 30 minutes for a first pass and see how you like the doneness.
  9. I've cooked a fair amount of SV beef cheek. It's closest to short ribs, in terms of ultimate texture at various times/temps. I prefer my SV cheeks like my SV short ribs; 48/72 at 140/130, or else cooked conventionally (or in a pressure cooker). And if you skip the pre-sear, you're not doing yourself any favors.
  10. Reminds me of Dave Arnold's Bionic Turkey.
  11. Sous Vide Steak

    The oil is less important than the therms. If you're therming right, there's going to be plenty of smoke regardless of what oil you use. And possibly fire. That said, rice bran, avocado, and clarified butter or ghee are all good fats for searing. Peanut oil and refined/light olive oil are good, more widely available options.
  12. Sous Vide Steak

    Use the therms. But not too many, or you'll get bad results. (Images sourced from Giphy.com) On a related note, I'm going to be picking up a Japanese konro grill in the near future, which should be great for searing. I have my eye on the medium one that Korin sells, which is the one you tend to see featured. It's the center of this ChefSteps family meal:
  13. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Been on a chicken kick recently. Tonight was fried. This was from a few nights ago...
  14. 20% off at MTC Kitchen through NYE with code MTCYESALE. I picked up a konro grill and some ishiri (fish sauce made from squid guts). EDIT: some exclusions apply, including food items. So I saved on the grill, but not on the fish sauce.
  15. DARTO pans

    I'm sure they're nice and all, but I hate rivets and the prices are silly.