Once he achieved the wine world’s most coveted initials behind his name, M.S. (Master Sommelier), instead of heading off to some five-star fancy pants restaurant to show the upwardly mobile out to impress their friends, or those with more money than sense, his incredible wine knowledge, Jeff Keck opened up a HONKY TONK, yes, a Honky Tonk in Houston! That doesn’t mean he’s stepped away from his love of wine, indeed, far from it.
While getting his other wine-themed businesses and restaurants off the ground nearby, Goodnight Charlie’s serves up gourmet Texas fare with lots of Bourbon, Beer, Vodka, and yes, some wine too. There’s even a #RhinestoneCowboySpecial – a bottle of tête de cuvée Champagne and 12 tacos, prepared by his business partner, and chef, Felipe Riccio. As the recipe below shows, they’re far from your run-of-the-mill street tacos. I love Nashville Hot Chicken, so these should be right up my alley! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Goodnight Charlie’s Hot Chicken Tacos
- 6 cups warm water
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 5 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/8 ounces)
- 5 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 cups whole buttermilk
Stir together 6 cups warm water, sugar, and 1/2 cup salt in a large, lidded container until dissolved. Let cool. Place chicken in brine; cover and chill 8 hours.
Drain chicken, and discard brine. Whisk together cornstarch, flour, chili powder, cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder, and 4 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Place buttermilk in a separate bowl. Working in small batches, dredge chicken pieces in cornstarch mixture, dip in buttermilk, and dredge again in cornstarch mixture. Place coated chicken pieces in a fine wire-mesh strainer, and shake off excess flour mixture. Place chicken in a single layer on 2 wire racks on rimmed baking sheets, and let stand 15 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup grape seed oil, plus more for frying
Stir together cayenne, brown sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Heat 1 cup grapeseed oil in a medium skillet over medium-high until hot, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and add spice mixture to oil, stirring to combine. Let cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
Preheat oven to 200°F. Heat 1 inch of grape seed oil in a large, heavy, high-sided skillet over medium-high to 360°F. Working in 3 batches, fry chicken, turning occasionally, until crispy and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
Transfer to bowl with spiced oil; toss to coat. Lift chicken from bowl; place on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer baking sheet to preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat procedure 2 times with remaining chicken and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
- 4 ounces fresh Mexican Chorizo, casings removed
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño
- 1 (12-ounce) bunch collard greens, stemmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Place Chorizo, onion, and jalapeño in a large skillet over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until Chorizo is crumbled and browned and onions are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add greens and 1 teaspoon salt; cover and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in vinegar. Remove from heat.
- 24 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped bread-and-butter pickle chips
Divide braised greens and fried chicken among warm tortillas. Top with pickles.
Serve alongside a couple of ice cold beers, or, if you’re feeling fancy, do it #GoodnightCharliesStyle and pop open a bottle of Champagne. #GirlsGoneWine