My fifth Yankee Challenge was a bomb. Well, the whole meal wasn’t a bomb, just the fried chicken part. The fried chicken was supposed to be the guest of honor and ended up on the back burner.Fried chicken is my new nemesis. I thought I was doing everything right – soaked the chicken overnight in buttermilk, mixed seasoning into the flour, used Crisco instead of oil, and baked the chicken after it was fried. After 30 minutes in the oven, my chicken was crispy on top, soggy on bottom, and rare inside. I didn’t follow the rule about the fryer chicken because I needed to feed 5 people and I figured ginormous chicken legs would do the trick. I was so wrong. There was so much meat on what I have decided were probably the calves of all-star-track-running-chickens. The entire time I stood in front of my cast iron skillet filled with melted Crisco and was splattered all over my apron, I tried repeating to myself, “You can’t lose to the chicken.”
Tag Archives: Fried
It’s finally tomato season in the South. The farmers markets are bursting with the colors of every heirloom tomato imaginable and your home garden is probably over flowing with tomatoes of all sorts. There is nothing like the season’s first BLT, the second BLT and third, until you’re still looking at a pile of tomatoes and suddenly not so interested in another boring BLT. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like a garden picked BLT where the star is some unknown heirloom exploding with its sweet acidic glory, but what if I could add some texture? I give you my Southern food twist on the classic BLT – the “BLORT” Bacon Lettuce Onion Ring & Tomato Sandwich.
Have you ever noticed how, in the South, you’re never more than a mile from something resembling a fried chicken restaurant? There is one on practically every corner. We Southerners have a love affair with our fried chicken. With an abundance of lard and a steady supply of cast iron cooking utensils, Southerners have always been a little fry happy. Locally raised chickens have been abundantly available to all, who have lived in the South, (since before the Civil War) and frying them up is part of our Southern food heritage. As part of that heritage, we graciously attribute African plantation workers for the contribution of the signature Southern spices, associated with modern fried chicken recipes. With all that said, it’s time for the “Yankee” to tackle the challenge of the quintessential Southern food, Southern Fried Chicken.
After my first Yankee Challenge, Big Southern Breakfast, I picked up a few Southern cookbooks at the library, so I could read up on popular Southern dishes and how to make them. I felt very prepared when I was assigned my second Yankee Challenge: a Southern Vegetable Plate. There would be five vegetables: fried okra, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, black eyed peas, and macaroni and cheese (yes this is a veggie), plus a side of cornbread. There were some rules like the last challenge, that involved making the cornbread and mac-n-cheese from scratch, frying everything in the cast iron skillet, using dried black eyed peas, and the collard greens needed to be cooked with a ham hock or salt pork. Um, what the heck is a ham hock?!
Ormsby’s is, without a doubt, our new favorite place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. The folks that brought us Atkins Park, have created a unique restaurant / social club that is an homage to the underground speakeasies that popped up during prohibition. This is a great place to grab a quick bite for lunch or sit and stay awhile. Ormsby’s provides lots of extracurricular activities, with several underground Boce ball courts, darts and shuffle board; there’s plenty to do to keep you distracted. So how’s the food?