World Famous Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken
But after watching a series with Anthony Bourdain who sadly is no more, we needed to eat the best fried chicken in the world in Memphis-- Gus’s Fried Chicken -- that’s their tag line -- and we could not agree more! Bourdain talked about the little place and how Fried Chicken and water melon is connected with the blacks. But today white guys are serving it too and trying to imitate traditional black offerings and getting pretty close.Yelp has recognised Gus’s Fried Chicken as a top 100 place to eat in the U.S.
Memphis is a fried chicken capital in the US, and Gus’s spicy, crispy, piping-hot bird provides diners with what may be the single most perfect bite in the flavorverse. Based in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, it was founded in the tiny town of Mason, Tennessee. It has been featured on Food Channel television shows including The Best Thing I Ever Ate, for $40 a Day. The restaurant has a hearse out front advertising "chicken worth dying for" and a live red rooster also walks around the frontage.
So what the heck is fried chicken, could be your question. Fried chicken consists of pieces of chicken that have been either battered or floured and then pan fried, pressure fried or deep fried. The breading adds a crisper crust to chickens' exterior. The chicken is cut at the joints with the bones and skin being left intact. Some fast food restaurant chains serve fried chicken, most notably Kentucky Fried Chicken & Popeyes but its not the same.
Fried chicken is usually stereo typically associated with black people but anybody can eat it. There have been a number of public controversies about remarks that people have made about fried chicken and black people that have been considered racist.
The term fried chicken was first used in the 1830s.
Scottish people were the first European people who were frying chicken, although it was not seasoned or battered. People in West Africa were the ones who seasoned it.
Plus, slaves were generally allowed to keep chickens, so frying them up on special occasions during 1830 to 1860 -- the antebellum slave years became relatively commonplace. And because many restaurants were closed to blacks due to segregation, fried chicken became a go-to dish due to the fact that it traveled well in an era before refrigeration.
Today, just about all of the chickens you’ll find at your supermarket or butcher shop are broilers, which have been bred specifically to be suitable for all types of cooking, including frying. Because older birds are tougher and require long cooking at low temperatures, in the early days only young chickens (cockerels or pullets) were suitable for the high heat and fast cooking time of fried chicken. The fact that these were only available in spring and summer made the dish even more of a luxury item back then.
The chicken pieces are soaked in a spiced and salted buttermilk mixture which tenderizes the chicken, while also keeping it moist. As for a variant called spicy fried chicken — yes, it is fiendishly delicious, with its shatteringly crisp, mahogany-hued batter, revealing tender meat within. The far-from-overpowering spice of the batter truly makes the dish.
What makes Gus’s chicken so perfect? It starts with the skin, which is deep-fried to the colour of bourbon while remaining brittle, with the crunch of an eggshell. Then lurking below that crunch is a subterranean flesh so moist and tender, it melts in ones mouth. While the textural inter plays are superb, the flavours are even better, as a bold saline note from the buttermilk, underlines all that amiable interplay of spice on your tongue.
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