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The Cookstr Weekly: All-American Fried Chicken and Sides

June 5, 2014

We’re big fried chicken fans at Cookstr – there’s nothing like that perfect crackly-crust first bite that gives way to moist, steamy deliciousness beneath. So we were pretty excited to get a sneak peak at Fried and True, the new cookbook from Lee Schrager and Adeena Sussman that highlights classic American recipes for fried chicken and sides by some of Cookstr’s favorite chefs, including Thomas Keller, Marcus Samuelsson, and Yotam Ottolenghi.

We’re sharing a few of the recipes from Fried and True below, perfect for Memorial Day picnics, barbecues, and summer celebrations. And of course, don’t forget about the sides!

Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director


Venessa Williams’ Cajun Moon Funky Fried Chicken

Not just anyone gets the honor of feeding Mardi Gras’s fiercest krewe, but New Orleans caterer Venessa Williams, a lifetime Louisiana resident and accomplished singer who sometimes performs with Kermit Ruffins, is one of the lucky few. Commissioned yearly to feed the crowd at the Zulu Social Aide and Pleasure Club’s annual parade party, she prepares thousands of pieces of her famous bird in giant, mobile, jerry-rigged fryers she designed herself. That chicken-accompanied by her tender, beautifully seasoned (and totally vegetarian) red beans and rice-have made her the go-to girl for church suppers, funerals, and Super Bowl parties alike. Williams’s subtly spicy chicken is easy to replicate at home. She insists on using chilled chicken parts, an essential step for developing the crispest crust possible. That, and something a bit more intangible. “It’s all about the vibrations,” she trilled as she made us a batch in her kitchen, a tableful of ornate crucifixes stationed not ten feet away. Frying the cayenne-seasoned chicken in a stockpot filled halfway with oil, she watched as the chicken bobbed up and down in perfect pitch with its maker. “Keep it harmonious, and the chicken will follow,” she said.” – Lee Schrager & Adeena Sussman 

Serve with Venessa Williams’ New Orleans-Style Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice.

If there’s one place you absolutely must visit in Nashville, it’s Arnold’s Country Kitchen, a humble meat-and-three that brings the entire community to the table. It was founded by North Carolina native Jack Arnold in 1983; his eldest son, Khalil, now serves as chef and is constantly tweaking family recipes, like using horseradish and wasabi powder for heat and a touch of sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of his turnip greens. A line forms outside the long, narrow brick structure long before the doors open at 10:30 AM. From that moment until they close for the day at 2:30, the queue simply never lets up, inside snaking past shelves stacked with upside-down take-out containers waiting to be filled with the restaurant’s famous sides. Everything on the rotating menu-from garlicky, fat-capped roast beef and stewed okra to a devilish, chili-laced chocolate pie-is to die for, but we came for the fried chicken-and it didn’t disappoint. Available only on Mondays, it’s the kind of crunchy, deeply satisfying bird you order in quantities and take home for leftovers. There’s no reason food this simple should taste this good, but we’re so grateful that it does.” – Lee Schrager & Adeena Sussman 


I love nothing more than a simple, delicious, down-to-earth meal, and virtually all of Tyler Florence’s food fits the bill . . . especially his fried chicken, which will always have a place at the top of my list. He may now live on the West Coast, but one bite of his chicken reminds you that his heart still resides in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. As part of a dinner he hosted at the 2012 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, he served this dish, which brings together many of the best elements of the genre: brining, buttermilk batter, and double-dip in a heavily seasoned dredge. But what takes it over the edge is the oil he perfumes with fresh herbs and garlic-and the squeeze of fresh lemon-which infuses every bite with an extra layer of flavor.” 

– Lee Schrager & Adeena Sussman 
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2 Comments leave one →
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