The comfort food we can barely live without.
by Ari Weinzweig
The other day I was walking down the street by the Deli when a regular guest stopped me to share a thought: “We were down in Nashville for three days. And I gotta tell you, your fried chicken at the Roadhouse is really good! As good or better than the best of what we had down there!” That’s a pretty darned nice compliment coming from someone who travels the U.S. widely and who’d just eaten in what could be considered one of the capitals of Southern culinary prowess. Just to confirm the point, another guest pulled me aside tonight to say pretty much the same thing. The fried chicken is one of the most comforting foods we’ve got in the whole ZCoB.
What makes it so good? For openers, high-quality raw material. At the Roadhouse we use chickens that come from Amish farmers—the birds are just so much more flavorful than the standard commercial chickens on the market. They’re soaked in buttermilk, then dredged in flour that’s seasoned with a good bit of Tellicherry black pepper, salt, and red pepper before frying.
Over the years the fried chicken has become our biggest selling menu item at the Roadhouse. As per our guest’s point, it really is something wonderful. Crunchy outside (I like the crust best when it’s on the darker side), moist and hot inside. Served up with mashed potatoes topped with smoked chicken gravy, it’s a marvelous meal.
For those who don’t yet know, we do make a gluten-free version of the fried-chicken as well (remembering, of course, that the Roadhouse is filled with products that have gluten in them). We use organic Carolina Gold rice flour (see page 2 of the Jan/Feb newsletter to learn more!) from Anson Mills instead of wheat flour, and cook the chicken in the gluten-free fryer. There’s also the amazing and ever more popular Fried Chicken Mac and Cheese—the best of two terrific worlds in one wonderful dish!