“People know me for my use of molecular gastronomy,” says chef and Top Chef judge Richard Blais. “I love to play around with liquid nitrogen, dry ice and siphons.” So it may come as a surprise that the star dish at his Atlanta restaurant, The Spence, doesn’t involve foams, quick freezes or any high-tech techniques—it’s roast chicken.
“It’s a simple dish, but the unique ingredients and technique elevate it to really be an upgraded version of a classic,” he says. “I brine the bird with spices like Szechuan peppercorn, coriander seeds and Thai chile, and make a delicious lemon curd with egg, sugar, lemon juice, butter and spices.” After brining the bird, Blais coats the chicken with the tangy curd and roasts it.
The flavors also work incredibly in hot-and-sticky lemon-pepper chicken wings (photo), a recipe that Blais shared with Food & Wine.