The Perfect Fried Chicken: A Chef and Home Cook Collaboration

  • Who doesn’t love fried chicken? The crispy golden exterior, tender and juicy meat—it’s a classic dish that brings comfort and satisfaction with every bite. But what happens when a professional chef and a home cook come together to create their own versions of this beloved dish? Let’s find out as we dive into the culinary journey of Frank, the pro chef, and Lorenzo, the home cook, as they swap ingredients and put their own unique twists on fried chicken.
The Perfect Fried Chicken: A Chef and Home Cook Collaboration
The Perfect Fried Chicken: A Chef and Home Cook Collaboration

Frank’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Honey Cornbread and Pickles

  • Frank, the professional chef, is known for his culinary expertise and attention to detail. He had planned to create a gourmet buttermilk fried chicken masterpiece, using high-quality ingredients and his extensive cooking skills. With his locally sourced heavy cream, he was all set to make his own butter and buttermilk, which would serve as the base for his chicken brine and cornbread. Buckwheat honey, crispy Kirby cucumbers, and leaf lard were also on his list of carefully selected ingredients. Frank’s vision was to create a down-home delicious meal that showcased his skills and love for cooking.
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Frank's Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Lorenzo’s Chicken and Waffles with Homemade Butter and Pickles

  • Lorenzo, the passionate home cook, had his own plans for a delicious fried chicken feast. His ingredients may have had a more budget-friendly price tag, but he was determined to make them shine. Lorenzo’s chicken and waffles concept was his way of putting his own spin on the traditional dish. He had chosen corn flakes as the coating for his chicken, aiming to achieve a perfectly crunchy exterior. His homemade buttermilk, made with a simple blend of milk, cream, and a touch of hot sauce, would add that tangy flavor to the chicken. For the waffles, he decided to create a classic cornbread using Buckwheat honey for a unique twist. The meal wouldn’t be complete without some homemade bread and butter pickles to balance the flavors.

Lorenzo's Chicken and Waffles

Two Different Approaches, One Delicious Outcome

  • As the two chefs embarked on their fried chicken adventure, they discovered that their approaches were vastly different. Frank meticulously broke down a whole chicken, using his chef skills to separate the wings, breasts, drumsticks, and thighs. Lorenzo, on the other hand, had already purchased pre-cut chicken pieces, which saved him some time in the kitchen. Each chef had their own method for coating the chicken, with Frank opting for a double-dredge technique using seasoned flour, eggs, and corn flakes, while Lorenzo stuck to a single-dredge method using seasoned flour alone.

  • While their methods differed, both chefs were focused on imparting maximum flavor into their dishes. Frank’s chicken was deep-fried in high-quality leaf lard, rendering a flavorful and crispy coating. Lorenzo shallow-fried his chicken using vegetable oil, achieving a similarly crispy texture.

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Fried Chicken Comparison

The Perfect Pairings: Honey Cornbread and Homemade Pickles

  • Frank’s twist on the classic chicken and waffles came in the form of a flaky and buttery biscuit. By using a book fold technique, he created layers that added a delicate texture to his creation. Lorenzo’s cornbread, rich in Buckwheat honey, paired beautifully with the savory chicken. The balance of flavors and textures in both dishes highlighted the creativity and skill of each chef.

  • Homemade pickles provided a tangy and refreshing contrast to the richness of the fried chicken. Using apple cider vinegar, turbinado sugar, and a blend of aromatic spices, both chefs created pickles that added a delightful crunch and tanginess to their meals.

Honey Cornbread and Homemade Pickles

The Verdict: A Successful Collaboration

  • When it came time to taste their creations, both chefs were impressed with the results. Frank’s buttermilk fried chicken, with its crispy coating and tender meat, was elevated to new heights by the caramel glaze, giving it a sweet and spicy twist. Lorenzo’s fried chicken, coated in a cornflake crust, boasted a satisfying crunch and flavor profile that delighted the taste buds. The homemade butter and pickles added an extra layer of complexity to both dishes.

  • In the end, the collaboration between a professional chef and a home cook proved that with passion, creativity, and a little experimentation, anyone can create a delicious and memorable meal. It goes to show that cooking is not just about the ingredients or the price tag, but about the love and care put into each dish.


1. Can I substitute regular honey for Buckwheat honey in the cornbread recipe?

  • Absolutely! While Buckwheat honey provides a unique flavor, regular honey can be used as a substitute without significantly altering the taste of the cornbread.
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2. Can I use a different type of fat for frying the chicken?

  • Of course! While leaf lard and vegetable oil were used in this recipe, you can choose any type of oil or fat suitable for frying. Just ensure that it has a high smoke point to achieve a crispy and flavorful result.

3. How long should I brine the chicken?

  • The recommended brining time for the chicken is at least two hours. However, if you have the time, brining it for 24 hours will result in even more tender and flavorful meat.

4. Can I make the pickles in advance?

  • Yes, you can make the pickles in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will continue to develop flavor over time.

5. Can I use store-bought buttermilk instead of making my own?

  • Absolutely! Store-bought buttermilk can be used as a convenient substitute for homemade buttermilk. Just be sure to adjust the amount of salt and seasoning accordingly, as store-bought buttermilk may already contain salt.


  • The collaborative efforts of Frank, the pro chef, and Lorenzo, the home cook, resulted in two unique and delicious versions of fried chicken. Their innovative ingredient choices and cooking techniques demonstrated that with passion and creativity, anyone can create a culinary masterpiece. So gather your favorite ingredients, embrace your inner chef or home cook, and embark on your own culinary adventure. Who knows, you may just create the next mouthwatering dish that surprises and delights your taste buds. Happy cooking!

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