Pretty much everyone agrees that fried chicken is delicious. It doesn’t matter where you’re from; the combination of crispy skin and juicy meat, sometimes doused in hot sauce and served with pickles is a true Southern delicacy that is hard to resist. But what are the origins of this dish, and more importantly, why have cooks all over the U.S. started opening fried chicken joints?
On this week’s episode, four very different views on fried chicken, through the lens of different regions in America. We’ll dredge up some history, then take a deep-fried dive into what makes the perfect platter.
Paul Fehribach is the chef and owner of Big Jones in Chicago, a restaurant dedicated to preserving the traditional Southern foodways; he’s probably as close to what John T. Edge’s Southern Foodways Alliance would consider legitimate, mainly because he’s both a historian and preservationist, when it comes to cooking Southern food in Chicago.
Then, Jared Leonard, the chef and owner of The Budlong, where they specialize in Nashville Hot chicken joins us in-studio. And on to Memphis style at Gus’. They now have several franchises outside of their native location, including one here in Chicago which Zach Goodman owns.
And finally we head to North Carolina courtesy of Joe Scruggs. He’s the guy who started out with a food truck, called Roost Carolina Kitchen, and eventually opened a restaurant of the same name. He now has two locations in Chicago, and in Steve’s opinion, makes some of the city’s best fried bird.