Fry the shallots:
Arrange a double layer of paper towels on two plates for draining the shallots. Pour about ¾ inch of oil into a 3-quart saucepan and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat until the thermometer reads 350°F. (It’s important to use a deep pan and fairly shallow oil so there’s no danger of the oil boiling over as you fry.) Add about a quarter of the shallots and fry, stirring almost constantly with a slotted metal spoon or a skimmer, until pale brown (the color of a brown grocery bag—any darker and the shallots will be bitter), about 60 seconds. With the slotted spoon, quickly scoop out the shallots and drain on the first plate of paper towels. They’ll crisp up as they cool. Repeat with the remaining shallots in three more batches, transferring each batch to the first plate when done. Allow the oil to return to 350°F before each batch. If burned bits accumulate in the oil, scoop them out before adding a new batch.
Transfer all the fried shallots to the second plate so they can drain on fresh paper. Season generously with salt and set aside. (The fried shallots may be prepared several hours ahead. Once cool, transfer to an airtight container.)
Shred and cook the sprouts:
Trim each sprout and cut in half through the core. Set a half (cut side down) securely on the cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut it into crosswise slices. Start at the core end and slice quite finely (1/16 to 1/8 inch), because the core is very dense. As you move toward the top of the sprout, make your slices wider (1/4 inch). Transfer the cut sprouts to a bowl, tossing them a few times to encourage the leaf sections to separate.
In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the oil over high heat until very hot. Add the sprouts and toss with tongs to coat with oil (don’t worry if the skillet seems full; the sprouts will wilt). Season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook the sprouts, tossing frequently, until they wilt and brown slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and toss to distribute. Pour in the broth and continue to cook until the sprouts are just tender and the liquid has evaporated, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, toss with the butter and half of the herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pile the sprouts into a bowl, sprinkle with the remaining herbs and top with all of the fried shallots; serve immediately.
Make Ahead Tips
You can fry the shallots several hours ahead, but don’t top the sprouts with them until moments before serving, so the shallots stay crunchy.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on six servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips