Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen’s
WRITTEN BY DAVID MCCREARY
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JONATHAN FREDIN
SKILLET-FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE
3 to 3 1/2 pound cut up fryer chicken
NOTHING BEATS the savory unpretentious-
ness of fried chicken. Consider it the quintessential Southern comfort food. It should come as
no surprise, then, to find this crackling culinary
staple at Cary’s Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen —
but only on Wednesdays.
“We serve it from 4 p.m. until we run out,” said
Executive Chef Jay Pierce, whose concoction represents a rendition of the late chef Austin Leslie’s recipe
(featured at right) spotlighted in John T. Edge’s
book Fried Chicken: An American Story. “(Leslie) was
killed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New
Orleans, so this is my way of paying homage to him,”
Pierce’s recipe calls for buttermilk instead of evaporated milk and also includes smoked paprika. The
chicken, which is seasoned and air-dried in a cooler
overnight, is sourced from Hopkins Poultry of Browns
Summit near Greensboro. It’s cooked in rendered lard
from Cane Creek Farms of Snow Camp, N.C.
“We like to think of it as 19th-century fried
chicken because we use lard instead of hydrogenated vegetable oil,” Pierce explained. “It’s Carolina on a plate.”
The $17 three-piece dinner features a breast,
leg and wing and is served with fatback-enhanced
collard greens, skin-on mashed potatoes with giblet gravy and a hunk of cornbread for dipping.
Be sure to pair it with a glass of iced sweet tea.
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk (or buttermilk)
1 cup water
82 MAY 2012
1 1/4 cups oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons minced garlic (optional)
4 tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in cast-iron skillet to 350 degrees. The oil should come
about halfway up the sides of the skillet (adjust amount to skillet
size). Combine garlic and parsley in a small mixing bowl and set
aside. Wash chicken pieces in cool water, pat dry with paper towels
and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg, evaporated milk and
water. Season with salt and pepper. Place flour in a separate bowl.
One piece at a time (starting with heaviest pieces), dip chicken into
egg wash, squeeze, dip into flour and place gently in skillet. Do not
Maintain temperature of 350 degrees. Use tongs and fork
to turn chicken often for 7-8 minutes. Remove chicken from oil,
pierce with fork and squeeze. Return chicken to skillet for approximately 7-8 minutes. Chicken is done when no longer hissing
and juices run clear. Remove from oil and place on paper towels
to drain. Immediately top with a sprinkle of garlic and parsley
mixture. Serves 4.
Recipe used by permission of Quaintance-Weaver Inc.
CARY MAGAZINE 83