Listen, I love fried chicken as much as the next person, but chicken has nothing on the pig. Sorry. Starting with slab bacon that has been cooked slowly in its own fat (confit) gives the meat a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Combine that with the light, airy crispness of panko, and you have a bite-size nugget of textural perfection.
In a medium-size deep sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 365°F (185°C) on a deep-fry thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
While the oil is heating, place the flour, egg mixture, and panko in three separate shallow dishes. Working in batches, dredge the bacon in flour, shaking off any excess, then dip into the egg. Transfer to the panko, covering the bacon completely and pressing lightly to adhere. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes.
Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet. Serve with the honey on the side or on a platter lightly drizzled with the honey. Garnish with the chives.
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