Welcome back to Sound Bites, an Eater original video feature in which footage of the city's most badass chefs crafting their signature dishes is paired with tunes from up-and-coming musicians. Regarding the volume: turn it up.
In this edition of Sound Bites, the Eater video crew visits Momofuku's Test Kitchen to film chef David Chang preparing his take on the Hot Brown, the classic Louisville recipe that appears in Issue 2 of Lucky Peach. The kickass Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks provide the music. The track is "Tigers," off the Beck-produced album Mirror Traffic (Matador).
Watch above, get Chang's explanation below.
We were at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, and tried The Hot Brown after a day of heavy Bourbon drinking. It was delicious but so damn heavy that it put everyone to bed. You have all this food: bacon, huge chunks of toast, tomato, parsley, this classic French sauce — Mornay — which is just cheese sauce. The flavors are great and work very well together, but we found ourselves thinking that it would be far better if it were just somewhat lighter. That was the catalyst.
The goal here isn't really to deconstruct it. It's about having fun with it and toning down the heaviness.
The basics: You break down a turkey, pound out the breast, and make a stock out of the carcass. Then you make an Activa RM slurry and put some country ham slices on top of the turkey. Then comes the Mornay sauce, which is set with shear gellan gum so it will hold and be just runny enough in the end (basically, so it doesn't squirt all over the place). We freeze that and then roll up the whole package.
You brown the log in a pan with butter.
Then, you have tomatoes that have been pickled for six months, a parsley oil, grease from Benton's bacon, and brioche breadcrumbs with seasoning that have been infused with the stock with a French press. Then, skin crisps.