Top Chef
Wolfgang Clucks

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The Josie Show

Twenty minutes left. Brooke realizes that she doesn't have time to fry her chicken skin, so she's left with a boring boneless chicken breast. Brooke's having a bad day. Meanwhile, Tom and his guests continue to share stories and memories about fried chicken and Michelle Bernstein comments that she feels bad for the cheftestants because their food will never live up to the memories being discussed. Emeril calls them all "fried chicken fools."

One of Josie's fryers doesn't get hot enough, so she can't use it. Lizzie offers to let her use her fryer when she's done. Meanwhile, Sheldon's oil is too hot and he's worried that the outside of his chicken will be burnt while the inside is raw. His first batch if burnt so he has to toss it, and that means there won't be enough of one of his types of chicken for each diner to get one. Lizzie finishes up at her fryer and lets Josie take over. Lizzie is slightly concerned that she'll go home because she's not making traditional fried chicken, but she also feels like she has to stay true to her own style of cooking, which is apparently chicken tenders like I buy in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Here's a shocker: Josie runs out of time! So she can't serve the chicken wings she wanted to add to her dish. I don't see much on the plates she's putting out. There's fried chicken and then something that looks like coleslaw. I thought she was also going to have biscuits and like three other sides? Just another example of Josie overpromising and underdelivering.

The first round of food is served and Padma introduces the diners and judges: Vinny and Jon from Animal and Son of a Gun, Michelle Bernstein, guest judge David Chang, Tom, Emeril, and Wolfgang. Josie reminds us that Michelle was the guest judge when Josie went home last time, and here's hoping that history repeats itself.

Sheldon made Umami drumsticks and thighs, wings with usukuchi and grapeseed oil (a la Momofuku). Lizzie served chicken with coriander, black pepper, and brown sugar with peach cabbage slaw. Josie: chicken with black garlic, cayenne, thyme, and hot sauce with daikon salad.

I think it's pretty ballsy to serve Momofuku chicken to David Chang. Anyway, they try Lizzie's chicken first. The diners comment that it's crispy and tasty, but Tom points out that, given a whole chicken, no one would cut off a boneless breast. David from Animal is like, "Wait, they were given whole chickens? Then this kind of sucks." See? So it seems like Lizzie's is good for a boneless breast, but the judges would have preferred bone-in. Tom adds that he doesn't think Lizzie really understands fried chicken in the American style, but the side salad is really good.

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