Fried Chicken: The Ultimate Southern Classic

Of all traditional Southern dishes, fried chicken might be the most iconic. Although fried chicken can be found in other culinary traditions such as Korean and Chinese cooking, when you say “fried chicken” you can’t help but think of the South. Even so, fried chicken is a wonderful example of how many different culinary histories met and blended here to create a new style of cooking. The dish has roots in both Scottish and West African kitchens, and was transformed with new ingredients like bacon fat and lard as it became a true part of the South.

Like pimento cheese, fried chicken has enjoyed being both a special occasion treat and an every-day staple during its long history. Once made with young, tender spring chickens and pullets, fried chicken is no longer a seasonal dish, but one that can be enjoyed year round. It’s not only gone from a spring and summer treat made by hand for company or on holidays but become as much a part of fast food as hamburgers and hotdogs. Never the less, every Southern cook has their own way of approaching the classic, from Colonel Sanders’ famous 11 herbs and spice to tweaks to the brine or what kind of oil or lard is used for the frying.

At Public House, we wanted to give fried chicken the star treatment it deserves, the way your grandmother would have, rather than letting it stay at the truck stop or gas station. We wanted to show just how good it can be when you use quality meat and find the perfect balance of salty, savory, sweetm sour, and spicy. Our brine is sweet and salty, the breading crunchy, and everything perfectly fried without getting too greasy. Served up with that classic Southern “vegetable” macaroni and cheese, and topped with our house-made hot sauce, we’ve paid attention to each detail.

Maya Angelou declared “The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken.” Whether you are seeking comfort or celebrating, grabbing a quick lunch or wowing guests there are few dishes as versatile as fried chicken. There is a reason that fried chicken remains the reigning dish in Southern cooking. For centuries it has been well-loved and its recipes fiercely guarded, and we’re sure that will continue for centuries more.