Special equipment: Food smoker, such as Polyscience Smoking Gun, sous-vide circulator, dehydrator
For the marinade: Toast the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, grains of paradise, black peppercorns, pink peppercorns, green peppercorns, fennel seeds, mace, cinnamon, cloves and star anise in a dry skillet until fragrant, being careful to not burn. Blend the toasted spices in a spice grinder. In a blender or food processor, blend the spices, onions, ginger, spinach, cilantro, garlic, tamari, salt and chiles until smooth. Add the grapeseed oil and blend until emulsified.
Marinate the chicken in the green curry for 1 hour.
Add the buttermilk and marinade for 1 more hour.
For the aioli: Shuck the oysters carefully, reserving their liquor. Strain the liquor through a coffee filter. Use the strained liquor to rinse the oysters and remove any sediment or bits of shell. Strain the liquor one more time, and pour over the cleaned oysters.
Place the eggs, garlic and oysters into a tall, round container. Add a quarter of the oil and, using an immersion blender, blend until emulsified. Then slowly add the remaining oil while continuously blending to maintain the emulsion and blend until smooth. Transfer the aioli to a wide storage container and cover with plastic wrap to ensure the container will trap the smoke. Place the container over an ice bath. Use a food smoker with the applewood and alfalfa dusk to fill the container with smoke. Allow the smoke to infuse until it completely dissipates. Taste and smoke again if you would like a more pronounced smoke flavor. Reserve the aioli in a container over an ice bath and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the custard: Sprinkle the yolks with the salt and lightly mix with a whisk.
Place the yolks into a vacuum-sealed bag and compress under full pressure. Cook in a circulator at 65 degrees C (149 degrees F) for 1 hour. Alternatively, cook the custard in a double boiler set over low heat stirring with a rubber spatula.
Chill the mixture in an ice bath until completely cooled. Pass the custard through a fine mesh strainer. It should have a thick, smooth texture. Reserve in a squeeze bottle or piping bag.
For the sea urchin powder: Gently wipe the seaweed with a damp towel and cook it in 1 liter of filtered water at 70 degrees C (158 degrees F) for 1 hour. Strain the seaweed and add the salt to the cooking liquid, mixing until the salt dissolves. Chill the mixture over an ice bath until completely cool.
Use the mixture to brine the sea urchin for 10 minutes. Remove the sea urchin from the brine and blend with the mirin. Place the mixture in a dehydrator programmed to the medium setting. When the sea urchin is completely dry, blend in a spice mill.
For the fried chicken: Fill a cast-iron skillet with about 3 inches of grapeseed oil and some schmaltz if using. Heat the skillet until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F.
Strain the chicken from the buttermilk and dust in the flour. Fry the chicken until golden, turning as necessary, 5 to 7 minutes.
Season the fried chicken with the sal de gusano and sea urchin powder. Dot the fried chicken with egg yolk custard and place a few coriander blossoms and fennel fronds on top. Serve over the smoked oyster aioli.
If you do not have access to a food smoker, simply place the aioli without plastic wrap (but still over an ice bath) on one side of a barbecue grill. Place smoldering wood on the other side of the grill and cover with a tight-fitting lid and smoke. If you do not have access to all of the ingredients, the most essential elements are the curry and smoked oyster aioli. The restaurant adds chicken schmaltz to the frying oil for extra flavor. If available, use no more than 10-percent schmaltz in the oil.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Recipe courtesy of Qui, Austin, TX