|'Brown Sugar Kitchen' Fried Chicken and Waffles|
Although frying food commonly termed fritters was a process used in Europe, especially among the Scottish who actually fried their chicken, it is commonly accepted that the American Slaves of the early 18th century had the greatest contribution to our diet today. As pig farming through breeding during this same time period made it possible to offer inexpensive and easy to provide meat to the family with many homes raising and slaughtering their own pigs; the West African slaves had to make do with the food ingredients that were considered inedible or dirty.
|Jumbo Rock Lobster Tails-Seattle|
In visiting our southern states and regions within the United States with a large population of African Americans one can always find a tradition of southern fried chicken restaurants. Many of these well known restaurants such as "Rosco's" in Los Angeles, "Sylvia's" in New York City's Harlem neighborhood or "Gus'" in Memphis have survived decades of ever changing economies and shifts in food palate. Southern Fried Chicken remains king!
I have personally visited Sylvia's in NYC. To experience southern fried chicken with all the traditional southern fixins was a culinary climax. This is where I learned that Southern Fried Chicken should be paired with waffles and maple syrup and hot sauce. Chicken and waffles was born out of Wells Supper Club in Harlem during the Jazz Age of the 1930's. Musicians finishing their gigs during the very early morning hours ate their meal that was too late for dinner but too early for a full morning breakfast, so a compromise was born.
|Tanya Holland, Chicago Tribune|
1 Chicken Fryer cut-up into 8 pieces
1/4 tea. Cayenne Pepper
1 tea. Onion Powder
1 tea. Garlic Powder
1 1/2 tea. fresh or dried Tarragon
1 1/2 tea. fresh or dried Parsley
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
2 cups Flour
1 Tbl. Kosher Salt
1/2 tea. freshly ground Black Pepper
4-6 cups Canola or Grape Seed Oil
In a large bowl or baking dish, mix together spices and herbs. Add chicken pieces and coat and spice mixture. Cover with buttermilk and marinate for a least 4 hours, or overnight.
Pour oil into a heavy bottomed pot for frying. Add oil to reach about 2-inches. The diameter of the pot will determine the amount of oil to add. Heat oil over medium-high heat.
Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture and coat with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Drop one piece of chicken into oil to test for heat. Oil should bubble at the surface, but not smoke.
Cool chicken for 15 minute in oil. Check internal temperature, chicken should be at least 165-degrees. The chicken can finish cooking in an oven set at 350-degrees. Place cooked chicken on a draining rack to remove excess oil. Great served with waffles and maple syrup for brunch.
Recipe courtesy Tanya Holland, "Brown Sugar Kitchen" Oakland, California