Watch Samin Nosrat Teach Jimmy Kimmel How to Make Pan-Fried Chicken
If you’ve yet to watch Netflix’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat—an adaptation of Samin Nosrat’s James Beard Award-winning cookbook—you’re missing out. It’s sensorial, the food looks incredible, she travels all over the world, and when Nosrat appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week, Kimmel told her that watching the show made him wish that he was there, “having the most fun.” In this segment, Nosrat brings a little salt, fat, acid, and heat to Kimmel by teaching him how to make pan-fried chicken. He jokes that nobody likes fried chicken, and she laughs, responding tongue-in-cheek with “I know, it’s so hard to make at home!”
The first step to Nosrat’s chicken is to pound the thick part of the breast with the flat side of a meat tenderizer, so it can cook evenly. (Jimmy yells at the chicken when they’re done, “and let that be a lesson to the rest of you!”) Then, they move on to salting the chicken, and Nosrat says it’s important to season everything every step of the way. Kimmel asks if this rule applies to a bowl of Lucky Charms; Nosrat says they’re already plenty salted.
Up next is the breading, with three steps: flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Nosrat says her secret to breadcrumbs (and to everything) is to add Parmesan, so it’s extra delicious. She checks butter clarifying on the stove (they’re going to fry the chicken in it) while Kimmel works on beating the eggs. Once the chicken is breaded, they move it to the pan over medium-low heat, and Kimmel notes “salt, fat, and heat” have happened at this point—Nosrat says acid is coming. (Naturally, they joke about doing acid.) She also notes that “the taste of the fat often determines the taste of your food,” with Italian food tasting like olive oil, Indian food tasting like ghee (clarified butter), and French food tasting like butter.
While the chicken cooks, Kimmel asks Nosrat if she’s ever had to pretend something tastes good while she’s traveling, and she replies that sometimes she does fake it, but she’s “always very moved and impressed by people’s attention.” When they end up trying the chicken (with lemon juice squeezed on, for acid), it’s clear that Jimmy’s not faking it—he says it’s soft, tender, and "quite delicious."
In other news from Nosrat, she announced in March that she’s working on a second cookbook called What to Cook. Like its predecessor Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, the book will also feature illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton—when Nosrat broke the news on Instagram, she wrote “we are going to make a book that’s beautiful, educational, functional, smart, and most importantly, very, very fun.” There’s no word yet on when the book will launch, or what kind of recipes we can expect—but you can catch up on her Netflix show in the meantime, which has plenty of good cooking tips.