Happy National Fried Chicken Day! Nothing says summertime dining like fried chicken with potato salad and corn-on-the-cob. While, I’m not swayed (much) by the side items, at times it has come to fisticuffs for that last piece of perfectly fried, crispy-skinned chicken. I have my preferred purveyors of this majestic, golden-brown delectable and I have been know to drive an hour (or so) for what I consider the best fried chicken in the area.
According to Jane and Michael Stern, authors of 500 Things To Eat Before It’s Too Late (and the Very Best Places to Eat Them), “you cannot really say you have eaten your way around the U.S.A. until you have stopped for a meal or two on Chicken Dinner Road in Pittsburgh, Kansas.” Two restaurants Chicken Mary’s (1133 E. 600th Avenue) and Chicken Annie’s (1143 E. 600th Avenue) have quite the storied past. Apparently, one thing is evident, both fry up some delicious chicken! Jane and Michael Stern offer up a recipe close to what you’ll find in Pittsburgh, Kansas on Chicken Dinner Road.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 to 1 cup flat beer
- 2 pounds chicken (in parts), washed and patted dry
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying, or, if you dare, lard
- Mix the flour, salt, peppers, margarine and egg in a large bowl. Add enough beet to make a thick paste. Spread the paste over the chicken parts and turn the chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or large skillet to 365-degrees. Fry the chicken pieces, a few at a time, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Be sure to move the pieces around in the oil so they don’t stick, but turn and handle them carefully so the coating doesn’t break. Drain on brown paper bags or paper towels.
Pick up a copy of 500 Things To Eat Before It’s Too Late (and the Very Best Place to Eat Them) and keep it in your car. You’ll find it useful and entertaining when trekking across the country.
Resource Attribution: 500 Things To Eat Before It’s Too Late (and the Very Best Place to Eat Them). Jane and Michael Stern. New York, NY: 2009.