Binging with Babish: Fried Chicken Lasagna & The Luther Burger from the Boondocks

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ROBERT: “I present to you The Luther!
…a full pound burger patty covered in cheese,
five a strips of bacon,
all sandwiched between…”
RILEY: “Two doughnuts!”
ROBERT: “Two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.”
HUEY: “Sausage and waffle and fried chicken breakfast lasagna?!”
ROBERT: “Yep.”
HUEY: “Granddad, you can’t serve this kind of food to people, it’ll cause…
…death.”
ANDREW: Hey, what’s up guys, welcome back to Binging with Babish,
where this week we are celebrating our constitutional right to eat
and make whatever we want no matter how disgusting it may be.
Starting with “sausage and waffle and fried chicken breakfast lasagna”.
We’re going to start by butterflying two chicken breasts.
This means placing cuts width-wise down the thickest part of the chicken,
opening it up like a book, pressing in between two sheets of plastic wrap,
and pounding it out with a meat mallet
(or in this case a fry pan).
This is how you make chicken cutlets and/or chicken optimized for lasagna.
Next up, we’re going to trim off the fat
from about six chicken thighs
and we’re likewise going to place cuts
down the center of the thickest part,
opening it up, and flattening it out.
Next up, two cups of buttermilk, to which we are going to add a few dashes of hot sauce,
a good sprinkle of paprika,
garlic powder, onion powder, and a few generous tablespoons of Kosher salt.
This is a brine after all.
Whisk to combine and start layering the
chicken into a stainless steel bowl,
adding some of the buttermilk soak in between every
few layers to ensure even coating,
giving the whole thing a good rubdown at the end,
covering it in plastic wrap, and refrigerating a bare minimum of four hours
(and preferably overnight).
This is going to be a very good useful fried chicken recipe,
up until the point where we shove it into a casserole with every imaginable breakfast food
starting with: waffles.
We’re going to make cornbread waffles, so equal parts cornmeal and white flour,
a good pinch of salt, a few teaspoons of baking soda…
(I’m sort of improvising this recipe so check out the website for one you can actually follow along with.)
Separate one egg yolk from one egg white and whip the egg white to stiff peaks.
This is a great way to help make waffles lighter and fluffier,
which is especially necessary when making corn waffles.
Combine ¼ cup each buttermilk and melted butter with the egg yolk ,
add to the dry ingredients, whisk together, add more buttermilk as necessary.
(Again, check out the website for a written copy of this recipe.)
Mix to a thick paste, add the whipped egg whites, and slowly fold in as to not deflate that lovely, fluffy stuff.
Make an inevitable mess of your kitchen spraying down your hot waffle iron with nonstick spray,
add about ¾ cup of batter to your preheated waffle iron and remove once crispy gold and fluffy.
Cool on a wire rack while we prepare to fry our chicken.
Prep a dipping station of four beaten eggs and about two cups of flour along with 2 teaspoons each baking powder and baking soda.
This is going to help the breading fry up more ethereally.
Use a fork to mix everything together and begin heating equal parts vegetable and peanut oil to 375°F.
Once the optimal temperature is reached,
drench the chicken first in flour than an egg and then back in flour and into the oil it goes.
Fry for six to nine minutes or until the exterior is golden and crisp
and the interior registers 175°F on the thighs,
165°F on the breasts.
And it makes me just as uncomfortable to say the word ‘breasts’ as it does for you to hear it.
Drain on a wire rack and just in case you’re worried that’s starting to get too healthy,
it’s time to make some sausage gravy.
Brown 1 lb. of plain pork sausage over medium-high heat until we get this nice brown crispy stuff,
Add 3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour,
saute for 3-4 min, or until every molecule of flour is coated in fat,
and slowly stream is in some whole milk.
Stir constantly, making sure to scrape up all that good stuff off the bottom the pot.
You guys know how fond I am of fond.
And then we’re going to season this with a whole lot of freshly ground pepper.
A lot of fresh ground– like a whole lot of freshly ground pepper.
Like a lot.
Stir and cook over medium-low heat until thick and delicious. Taste for seasoning.
It’s perfect so that means it’s time to assemble our lasagna.
Butter or otherwise lube up a large casserole and begin layering in the dark meat first of the fried chicken topped with some
sausage gravy, some freshly shredded cheddar cheese,
a layer of waffles, our layer of white meat chicken (if you can fit it)
or really in any order that you like; this thing’s pretty freeform.
I’m throwing some scrambled eggs in there as well to make this breakfast-y as possible,
topping with a final layer of waffles and some extra shredded cheese
and putting in a 375°F oven for 15-20 min. or until everything is bubbly and melty.
Hack yourself off a generous piece, make sure that you’re getting a little bit of everything in your
corner cut of American excess and unbridled gluttony,
and of course drown the whole thing in some maple syrup.
This would not be breakfast if it weren’t for the maple syrup, otherwise this is dinner.
We don’t want to mix things up here.
Now as you might have guessed this just one of the many examples on the show of “too much of a good thing.”
While I might have enjoyed my first three or four bites
I felt like I was going to die by the time I was halfway through the plate,
so let’s go something a little bit more sensible.
How about the Luther burger? The supposed to the creation of Mr. Luther Vandross, himself.
That starts with five strips of bacon.
Cook the bacon however you like,
but make sure you save the fat because
what else are we going to cook the burger in?
Reserve the bacon on a paper towel lined plate and plop the 1 lb. beef patty into
a pool of smoking bacon fat.
Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side,
seasoning with salt pepper halfway through,
and topping with cheese, at least two slices for a burger this size.
Cover for the last few minutes of cooking to make sure the cheese is melted
and it’s time to plate up.
Now unfortunately, this is supposed to be on two Krispy Kreme doughnuts,
which are very hard to get a hold of in New York state, so sadly I’m going to have to–
SEAN: Did somebody say Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
ANDREW: Oh guys, look! It’s Sean Evans from First We Feast and he’s got Krispy Kremes. Perfect.
I’ll just go ahead and take two of these here. Try and wrangle this giant beef patty on top of one of them
and then top with our five strips of bacon.
I have a strange feeling them not going to be able to finish this myself,
so thank goodness that Sean’s here.
Top with a second Krispy Kreme, and it’s time to dig in.
Divide in half,
cheers with a friend, and it’s time for first impressions.
I honestly thought that this wasn’t that bad, it was kind of like carnival food.
SEAN: I was 100% sure that was going to be disgusting. That is not disgusting.
ANDREW: Happy Fourth of July, everybody.
May freedom rain upon you like grease upon my tabletop.

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