Potlikker Fish Stew at the Roadhouse

A classic in the making

by Ari Weinzweig

While up here, hardly any of us Northerners have ever heard of it, down South, potlikker is an iconic, much admired culinary staple. In the South, potlikker is seen as powerful stuff—the southern equivalent of chicken soup. It’s the broth from the long-cooked, bacon-loaded collard greens we make every day at the Roadhouse.

To make the dish, we use the potlikker to poach some of our seafood—selections vary daily. It’s three or four fish, and often some of those amazing day boat scallops we get in twice a week from the East Coast. The fish and the poaching liquid is ladled atop a bed of hot Anson Mills grits. If you’ve never had ’em, you’re in for a treat with those alone.

Rich, slightly spicy, a bit vinegary with the good-looking local greens, all served over those amazing traditionally grown and ground grits. This dish has West African roots—a stew served over a starch; lots of fish, lots of leafy greens. The historical note only adds to my enjoyment when I eat it.

This dish has a very loyal following at the Roadhouse. Count me in!

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