The American Series, Pt. I — Fried Chicken

To kick off my new series of posts on classic American dishes, I chose the most iconic dish of them all — fried chicken. While I’m not convinced anyone will ever do a better fried chicken than the Colonel, I thought I’d give it my best.

If you begin to research the origins of fried chicken, you quickly find yourself wading in some murky waters — with references to everything from Vietnam and West Africa to medieval Europe, the existing literature flavored with converging allusions to homesteading, the Deep South, the Civil War, slavery, industrialization… which makes sense. Throw some flour on chicken and put it in some oil. What could be more elemental? More

Your Continuing Cooking Education

The coffee table at our house

I have a Master’s degree in creative writing. But I’ve always said, the way I learned the most was by reading the great writers. Same with cooking.

I didn’t go to school for cooking. Most chefs didn’t. (Nor did William Faulkner or Virginia Woolf have Master’s degrees in writing.) I cooked in restaurants when I was a younger man. But I learned the most by reading, observing, studying what the great chefs were doing and doing that too, and by trial and error. More