Fried & True: 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides

Lee Brian Schrager. Clarkson Potter, $22.50 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7704-3522-6
Despite a degree in culinary arts and countless hours spent cooking in restaurants, author Schrager had only prepared fried chicken a single time before he began work on this crunchy, savory valentine to one of America’s classic dishes. Making up for lost time, Schrager scoured the country, uncovering myriad ways to make a dish that is fundamentally simple. Profiling holes-in-the-wall restaurants as well as tres chic eateries such as Cafe Boulud and the Union Square Cafe, Schrager illustrates that fried chicken is one of the nation’s common culinary denominators. Some regional specialties, such as Nashville’s famous hot chicken, an incendiary dish incorporating liberal glugs of hot sauce and cayenne in the preparation, are singled out, as are riffs on key steps like brining in Coca-Cola or sweet tea or adding ham scraps, bacon, and butter to flavor the oil. A handful of carefully selected sides such as smothered cabbage, hash brown casserole, giblet gravy, and classic buttermilk biscuits from Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock help cooks round out the meal. Even veterans will likely appreciate Schrager’s attention to detail, such as the suggestion to chill the bird before frying to ensure maximum crispness and the hedonistic suggestion of adding bacon grease to the frying oil for smoky goodness. While it might not be the healthiest cookbook, it’s certainly one of the most mouth-watering. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/03/2014
Release date: 05/20/2014
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Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-7704-3523-3
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