VA Pilot Food Writer Lorraine Eaton called me up the summer of ‘12 and told me she was doing a story for Leite’s Culinaria. She ask me if she could come over and me show her how to made my deep south fried chicken, she wrote her story, they loved the chicken, she won like a 300 dollar prize and she was also selected to be in their up coming 'Best food writing 2012' book, how bout that. Here’s my recipe, make it and enjoy the decadence
Sydney Meers’ Fried Chicken | Serves 4 to 6
It’s not every day that a born-and-bred Southerner will take the time to walk you through his grandmother’s recipe for foolproof fried chicken. Which is why we fell all over ourselves saying yes when Sydney Meers, owner and chef of the quaint, quirky, aptly named Stove restaurant in Portsmouth, Virginia, said he’d indulge us. Syd, we’d write you a proper thank you, but our gratitude upon tasting this is rendering us wordless.
–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Saying Grace Note: We know it’s tradition to say grace before a meal. But we think this fried chicken will make you want to say grace after as well, regardless of whether you consider yourself religious.
Active time: 30 minutes Total time: 60 minutes
For the brine
1 1/2 gallons cool water
1 cup salt
5 dried bay leaves, crushed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
One whole 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Brine the chicken for 30 minutes, remove from liquid and place in a mixing bowl and set aside
For the fry
Sift the flour and cornmeal together in a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the chicken pieces from the mixing bowl, flicking off any pieces of herbs that may cling to the skin.
Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, flipping and flouring the meat until it’s completely coated or place in a large paper bag and shake till coated well.
Heat about a 1/2 inch of lard or bacon drippings in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it bubbles and the sound it makes shifts from a sizzle to a gurgle. If you want a more foolproof indicator, it’s ready when you drop a pinch of flour in the oil and it hisses.
Using tongs, snuggle the chicken, skin side up, into the skillet, being careful to handle only the big ends of the bones. You may need to work in batches and adjust the heat slightly so the chicken doesn’t brown to quickly.
Fry the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, until all the chicken pieces are a shimmering golden brown. Remove them from the pan and let rest a spell on paper towels before diving in.