For Love of Food: The Case Against Soylent
If you haven’t heard of Soylent, be afraid — very afraid. This nutritionally complete compound has been called “the end of food,” and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, it’s now being mass-produced and sold online. Disturbed by the thought, we asked our team what they’d miss most on a liquid diet. They came back with a more-than-solid case for solid food. Our top picks ahead!
Related: 14 New, Lighter Comfort Food Ideas
“I’ve got summer on the brain, so that means spicy fried chicken and anything with home-grown tomatoes. Throw in some crunchy, salty snacks and an ice-cold beer — can I have that on my liquid diet?” — Jen LoBue, associate creative director
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 whole fryer chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal
Safflower or canola oil, for frying
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for serving (optional)
1. In a large bowl, stir together 10 cups ice water and 2 tablespoons coarse salt. Add chicken, submerging all pieces. Cover; let soak overnight in refrigerator.
2. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, 1 tablespoon coarse salt, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon each cayenne and black pepper. Transfer chicken to marinade, submerging all pieces. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
3. Let chicken stand at room temperature 1 hour. In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, cornmeal, remaining 1 teaspoon each coarse salt and black pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.
4. Heat a heavy pot filled halfway with oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade, a few pieces at a time (do not shake off excess); dredge in flour mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet.
5. Fry chicken in batches until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest part (avoiding bone) reads 160 degrees, 6 to 7 minutes for small pieces, 9 to 10 minutes for large. Adjust heat to maintain a temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees during cooking. Transfer to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet; season with sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Swiss Chard with Poached Egg Salad
"The idea of Soylent is insane to me. What kind of life do you lead if you view food as a burden? I could eat this kicked-up Caesar salad every day.” — Lauren Magenta, Web producer