I wrote an article for Serious Eats about fried chicken's evolution in the States. How it went from a Southern, bone-in wonderfood to a boneless McNugget that helped McDonald's grow to over 35,000 locations. But there's so much more. I talked to historians and linchpins in the industry and peeled back the lid on a world I never knew existed. I hope the article is as much fun to read as it was to write.
Entries in fried chicken (3)
Fried chicken needs to be fried to order. Par-cooked chicken finished in the fryer or chicken that's fried and kept warm under a heat lamp doesn't do the final product justice. Our chicken at Peaches Hothouse wasn't cooked to order. The chicken was flavorful and spicy, but not as good as it could have been. It was dry from sitting around and being kept warm after it was cooked, and nowhere near the intensity of the hot chicken at Prince's, the Ewing Drive storefront in Nashville Peach's has drawn inspiration for their Nashville-style chicken.
At both places, the chicken is dipped in a wet rub that has a heavy dose of cayenne, then dredged in flour, also laced with cayenne. The result is a deep, dark, spicy, red hued skin. You may order chicken at Prince's mild, medium, hot, or extra hot. Peaches offers regular, hot, or extra hot. We sweat through an order of medium at Prince's a few months before Digest NY launched, but swear we can still sense the tingling heat from cayenne-laced chicken. Extra hot at Peaches is a cool meal by comparison.
Treme is about 15 miles east of Kenner, where Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is. U.S. Route 61 will get you there from the airport, but taking I-10 East will shave a few minutes if you're in a hurry. Though if you are, you're in the wrong city. We took U.S. Route 61. Our windows were down and the radio was tuned to WWOZ, which was broadcasting brass band music that we played at a level just loud enough to rival our excitable voices clamoring in the warm breeze. We were on our way to St Ann Street, where Willie Mae's Scotch House serves "America's Best Fried Chicken."