This holiday might not have been on your calendar, but today is actually National Fried Chicken Day. If you’re like me, you neglected to celebrate for lunch, but are eyeing a chicken box for supper. For those hoping to honor the occasion with some more refinement, Chez Hugo Bistro has you covered.
Tag: fried chicken
A glossy foodie magazine has validated what you already knew to be true: Royal Farms chicken is bomb.
Three years ago, Alex Janian left the hedge fund world to pursue his lifelong passion — food. This fall, Baltimore’s restaurant launch pad R. House will be the home of his first food foray when he opens BRD (pronounced “bird”), which stands for Baked, Roasted and Deep Fried — chicken, that is. With an emphasis on local, all-natural and seasonal ingredients, BRD will offer artisanal chicken wings and friend chicken sandwiches (https://vimeo.com/170230616).
Back in 2007, I was planning an alumni event at my full-time gig at Friends School and my friend who was then working for Struever Brothers suggested that I look at a new space being developed in Clipper Mill. I live in Hampden…so I took a drive. It was amazing – I’d really forgotten how much so. I’d been to an artist’s studio in an old burned out building down there years before and was always kind of fascinated by the area. My friend made a call and arranged for me to meet with Spike Gjerde about the possibility of an event in his unfinished restaurant space. Spike and I met over insanely strong macchiatos and we figured out how to make the event work well for both of us. I knew I liked this guy (and those macchiatos kinda sealed the deal.) We had the party there – in Woodberry Hall, which would become Artifact Coffee’s first location – and it was a huge hit. And…then the restaurant opened later that year and it’s been packed ever since.
Today, Spike and Amy Gjerde officially open Shoo-fly, their farmhouse diner in Belvedere Square and North Baltimore cannot wait another day. I went for a friends & family night earlier this week and I can vouch. Vouch that the fried chicken is perfectly crispy outside and moist inside…that the shoo-fly pie is subtly sweet…and that the $7 Manhattan is so smooth and could be trouble for me. Also not to be missed? Milkshakes, burgers, chicken pot pie and more. I love the rustic decor, friendly servers and an overall vibe of easy, casual fun. And, yes, that old Hess Shoe slide is still there!
Next week, Spike and Amy will travel to NYC for Martha Stewart’s “American Made Tastemakers” festivities. I know they will make Baltimore so proud, as 200,000+ people visit their booth and learn about what they do here at home. I’m such a fan of their work. When I go to Woodberry for a cocktail, Artifact to caffeinate and write…and now Shoo-fly for Opie’s fried chicken and Sarah’s cookies, I’m happy. Happy is good. We need more happy.
Check out this great video featuring Amy & Spike for Tastemakers and some photos from Shoo-fly.
If you’ve lived here long, you’ve heard the debate — folks from New York insist that Maryland’s a Southern city, while anyone who lives below Virginia rolls their eyes and calls us Yankees. But in terms of food, Maryland seems staunchly Southern, with an influx of influences from the many immigrant communities that have come to call Baltimore their home.
Which is why we enjoy The Baltimore Snacker‘s two-part take on distinctive Maryland foods — namely, fried chicken and crab cakes, two foods that can inspire strong feelings among cooks and eaters alike. The Snacker quotes an old essay from a Southern cookbook: Any attempt to prescribe the best way to prepare fried chicken is likely to start the Civil War all over again, or it may, at best, lead into a storm of prolonged arguments, widely diverse local and even neighborhood differences, not to say family bickerings.
So what makes the Maryland version of these dishes distinct? Well, according to the Snacker, “the generic “Southern fried chicken” for example – is the shake and bake variety from the Middle South: soak it in buttermilk, put it in a flour mixture in a bag and shake it until coated, then dip it in cream and then flour again, and then fry. Maryland fried chicken stops with the first shaking, but then gets fried in hot oil in a covered pan. It is then served with a cream gravy.” And it’s that gravy that makes it a true Maryland Fried Chicken (maybe we should start our own fast food chain?).
As for crab cakes, the Snacker kindly includes a recipe handwritten by his grandmother. It doesn’t get more authentic than that! Crucial ingredients include (obviously) Chesapeake crab, Old Bay, and dry mustard.
Read the discussions and look at step-by-step photos of the recipe steps here.