As regular readers know, people in Wilson, North Carolina, divide into two camps when it comes to barbecue. There are Parker’s people and there are Bill’s people. The Griffin side of our family all are Bill’s people. My family is in the Parker’s camp. One reason I like Parker’s, besides their corn sticks, is their fried chicken.
There has been a new ally in the Parker’s camp: Saveur magazine. Saveur is pretty high tone, but now, the scales having fallen from their eyes, they are touting Parker’s recipe for fried chicken, and here it is.
That recipe makes some great friend chicken.
I grew up eating Dear’s fried chicken, and I ate it as often as I could. I looked forward to school field trips because I could count on cold fried chicken for lunch. She would cut up a whole chicken and cook it in an electric skillet at 350. She did not use nearly two inches of oil — maybe a half inch. It took longer to cook, but boy was it good! And she did not discard the back (or the neck or the liver or the gizzard or the heart). Rebellion would have ensued if she had, because the back has the tastiest meat on the chicken.
Now, if you pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of oil after the chicken has been fried, and add a like amount of flour, more or less, and stir it into a light brown roux over a moderate heat, picking up all the good bits that have fallen off the chicken pieces, and then stir in some whole milk or, if you’re feeling decadent, whole cream, being careful not to scald it, and maybe add some more pepper and a pinch of salt, you will have the best gravy in the world. Put it on some rice, add a couple of pieces of fried chicken and something green, and you will have a meal you’ll never forget.
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