A Brief Meditation on Fried Chicken

Ta-Nehesi Coates and Matt Yglesias ask when frying chicken at home got so complicated. I’m closer to MY than to TNC in terms of my chicken-frying background, but I do make it from time to time, and it is of course only as complicated as you want it to be. I’m a Cooks Illustrated guy, but I don’t always take the time to go through their laborious buttermilk-bathing-brining-spice-juggling-tummy-rubbing-head-patting-gum-chewing routine. I should own a heavy Lodge pan, but I find my Le Creuset dutch oven works great for frying. The big hassle for me is what to do with all the leftover peanut oil (any ideas?).  The obvious answer is: fry more stuff! But even I can only take so much fried food, and you still have to get rid of the oil somehow, eventually.

As with many things, the best fried chicken is often the batch someone else makes for you. Today I brought home some Korean bbq-fried chicken parts from H-Mart ($3.99/pound) and they were plump, meaty, delicious, with just a slight spice kick from the thick sticky sauce. You know it’s good when you find yourself involuntarily gnawing on bare bones.

We will not even speak of Popeye’s or KFC, and especially not of the Double Down, the Voldemort of fast food items in this house.

H-Mart limes today were six for $1.00 but small and not juicy, solidifying Hung Phat’s emergence as our go-to lime purveyor.


4 responses to “A Brief Meditation on Fried Chicken

  1. Dave in Wheaton

    As you say, sometimes the best fried chicken is the batch someone else makes for you. Gillian Clark makes the best fried chicken I’ve ever had and it’s just a short trip down Georgia Ave at the General Store. I highly recommend.

  2. Thanks Dave — we tried the GS fried chicken last fall and liked it a lot, though the coating was a bit soggy. I liked the place and had no trouble with the service, as many people seem to have encountered.

  3. As long as you’re digging fried chicken, now’s the time to finally find out the truth about the Korean fried “Cheogajip chicken” advertised at Color Music Studio and Cafe, that odd looking place in the same row of stores as Wong Gee. This is the place that I suspect could be a front for some shady activity. I’ve never seen any sign of activity there, and can’t find a single review on the web, nothing. Yet, there’s two signs in the blacked-out window hawking the chicken, and even a chicken cartoon.

    Just think – if it turns out to be good, you’ll be the one who discovered it, and Don Rockwell and Tyler Cowen will have no choice but to drop down on their knees and worship you as a god.

  4. Is that the place with the “karaoke” sign, too? I will think about it. 🙂 I will never be Cowen-class though, he’s unique.

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