By Justine Sterling
September 04, 2013

Tyler Florence insists that his signature fried chicken at Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco isn’t Southern-fried. “It’s California-fried,” he says. The intensive cooking process infuses the meat with incredible flavor. Florence starts with Mary’s organic chicken from Petaluma (a town once known as the chicken capital of the world because of its many poultry farms). He sous vides the breasts, legs and wings separately with olive oil, sage, rosemary and thyme then plunges the bags in ice water to stop cooking. After the pieces rest overnight, Florence drops the chicken into a buttermilk wash seasoned with hot sauce and salt. “Then we dip the chicken in my grandmother’s mixture of flour heavily seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper,” he says. Finally, he fries the chicken in oil seasoned with fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. “The chicken comes out super crispy on the outside and incredibly soft on the inside,” he says. “It’s turned out the be the defining dish in the restaurant, and I’m very proud of it.”

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