Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Chicken

Celebrate National Fried Chicken Day with fried chicken five ways

Friedchicken

It's National Fried Chicken Day y'all. Why not celebrate the ultimate comfort food, tailgate snack and guilty pleasure of finger lick'n fans everywhere? There's a reason why fried chicken is typically served by the bucket full.  It's simply too hard to ever get enough of that crispy, salty skin and juicy moist chicken. After all, it really is the best way to cook a bird.

To celebrate, you can definitely get your chicken fix at a restaurant, but why not make the good stuff at home? Think of it as a way to eat as much as you want, as messily as you want in the comfort of your own home. I've been known to cause quite a mess of my own with what I like to call my "special  technique." Take all the meat and skin off a piece of fried chicken, with your hands of course, then pile it sky high on a waffle or a biscuit. Top it off with a healthy dose of syrup and hot sauce then wrap it up like a burrito and voila. Some serious finger lick'n is sure to ensue. 

If you're up for the challenge, here are five ways to make fried chicken from the Los Angeles Times test kitchen. And as a bonus, here's the recipe for The Tasting Kitchen executive chef Casey Lane's sweet and savory bacon waffles with fried "clucks" after the jump. Enjoy, and don't forget the napkins!

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Cluck, cluck, cluck: A contentious debate over hen-keeping

Chicken

You could say that the fur is flying in Bishop.

But this is a story about chickens.

A city council member's desire to have chickens has helped stir an emotional debate that goes beyond domesticated poultry. It's caused the Eastern Sierra town of 3,600 to examine its very identity: Is Bishop city or country? It's pitted natives against transplants derided as "flatlanders," and uncorked resentments rooted in -- of all things -- the long-ago water grab. Read more in Mike Anton's report from the front lines.

Photo: Clifford Crickette, 81, nabs one of his four chickens at his Bishop, Calif., home. The town of 3,600 residents is embroiled in an uproar over whether a 1966 ordinance forbids people from keeping chickens in their yards. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Here come the trendy end-of-year lists: Epicurious makes its forecasts


Fried Looking back and looking ahead. Must be December. The Epicurious website has come up with its predictions for 2010 trends. Fried chicken will be big, and burgers will move to the back burner, Epicurious says. Also ready to move to the spotlight: lamb, homemade beer and potluck dinners, as well as the profession of butchering. There's more.

In case you're keeping score, among the Epicurious predictions for 2009: the rise of Peruvian food, noodle bars and smoked food.

-- Mary MacVean

(Photo by Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Alton Brown, Alicia Silverstone and Tom Colicchio issue a call to arms

Brown
The New York City Wine & Food Festival was a foodiot's dream: The Rachael Ray burger bash; the wine, beer, hard shots and margaritas that flowed at the all-you-could-imbibe supermarket tasting; and the orgy of dishes served at Paula Deen and Katie Lee's Down South Up North party. It was enough to make you momentarily forget the point: 100% of the proceeds from the four-day event will be used locally -- by Share Our Strength and the Food Bank for New York City -- to eradicate hunger.

But away from this spotlight, there was another party of sorts being thrown. And the hosts were an unlikely trio: Alton Brown of "Good Eats," Tom Colicchio of "Top Chef" and actress Alicia Silverstone. These gatherings were a bit more sober -- alas, no free-flowing alcohol and no food -- but with a stirring message that challenged those in the audience to take a skeptical look at everything they put in their mouths, or on their children's plates.

The message? We've heard much of it before. Eat seasonally. Eat locally. Enjoy food in moderation. Learn to cook and nourish yourself and your family -- it's the single most important thing you can do for them. Teach your kids to cook. Eat with gratitude -- consider the source of your food, whether it's the person who prepared it, the farmer who brought it to market, or the cow that gave of itself to deliver that glass of milk (or steak). Don't rely on government to monitor your food -- you need to monitor what you eat, and where it originates. If you pick up a packaged item at the supermarket -- stop and look at the label, read the ingredients, check the nutritional values. And ask yourself: Is this something you can make yourself out of fresh ingredients? And if not, do you really want your family ingesting it?

If that all sounds boring, it wasn't. It was the unexpected delivery -- well, actually, the celebrity messengers -- that added the fresh perspective. Brown, for one, sounded like an evangelist (he recently lost 50 pounds) and his new outlook on a healthful life offered insight into why "Good Eats" -- at least in its current incarnation -- might not be long for this TV world.

The highlights from each of these three sessions are after the jump. (And if you were in attendance, please share your thoughts:

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Four Food Events You Should Know About: Your weekend is made of food

Baklava SATURDAY

It's Greek to me Get your Zorba on at the 60th annual Long Beach Greek Festival. Enjoy a wide variety of authentic Greek dishes and pastries, including spanakopita, Greek barbecue, pork souvlaki and baklava. Also on the menu: traditional Greek costumes, dancing, music by the Olympians, game booths, carnival rides, specialty shops, a children's play area and more. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 5761 E. Colorado St., Long Beach. Noon to 9 p.m., daily, through Monday. Adults, $3; children under 12, free. (562) 494-8929. www.lbgreekfest.org.

The frying game The L.A. County Fair is back and ready to give you and yours a fatty dose of food love. Come for the rides, people-watching and entertainment; stay for row after row of food booths featuring the snacks and treats that you probably associate most closely with your childhood including hot dogs, nachos, pizza, ice cream, sausages, barbecue, and of course, all things deep fried and golden. (Check out the story Elina Shatkin wrote about Chicken Charlie's booth and his Frankenstein-like fried creations.) 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona. Opening weekend lasts from Saturday through Monday. 10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday. $17; or $1 if you arrive between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (909) 623-3111. www.lacountyfair.com.

SUNDAY

Why the sour face? If you're a devoted lover of pickled cabbage, consider attending the Machine Project's Kraut Fest '09. Sign up to learn how to make sauerkraut, kimchi or both. You bring the ingredients and you'll be provided with a "kraut kit," which includes a bucket, a plate and a hand silk-screened poster. Machine Project, 1200 D N. Alvarado St., L.A. 11 a.m., making sauerkraut; noon, making kimchi. $10 per demonstration, $15 for both. (213) 483-8761. www.machineproject.com.

MONDAY

Potluck for change Attend an "eat-in" in support of encouraging the introduction of healthful, locally sourced food into school lunchrooms. Those in attendance will share the food they bring, sign petitions and call their legislators. This event is being sponsored by Slow Food L.A. and organized by Jennie Cook catering. There are five additional eat-ins happening around town, so check the Slow Food website for times and locations. The Cesar Chavez Arboretum in Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, L.A. 11:30 a.m. Free. (310) 850-1884. www.slowfoodla.com.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Baklava. Credit: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

Bellying up to Kentucky Fried Chicken's double down

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We were dubious when we first read that Kentucky Fried Chicken was coming out with a new sandwich that does away with the bread in favor of two fried fillets. And that the "sandwich" part of the sandwich involved was made of cheese, something called Colonel's sauce .. and bacon?

Could that possibly be true?

After all, this was the fast-food chain that seemed to be going all healthy on us, setting off stampedes for its new grilled chicken offerings.

We lobbed a call to a media representative. And the rest is a good news-bad news story. First, the good news. The sandwich does indeed exist, and it is called the double down. It is made of two Original Recipe fillets, bacon, Swiss and pepper jack cheese and something called the Colonel's sauce.

The bad news? The sandwich is only being tested in Providence, R.I., and Omaha, Neb. But if it does well  -- and really, why wouldn't this sandwich do well? -- it could head out West. 

-- Rene Lynch

Photo: Kentucky Fried Chicken

Sampler Platter: Sonoran hot dogs, Central American chicken, coffee taste test

Pollo Campero's three-piece chicken meal.Sonoran hot dogs, Central American chicken, bad meat becoming good power, BBQ at Verdugo and more in today's food news roundup:

  • Tesco's program to convert spoiled meat into power outrages vegans. Los Angeles Times
  • Is is Lars Kuprik Backman the real Swedish Chef? ABC
  • Coney Island Nathan's could be saved by landmark status. N.Y. Daily News
  • Robot chefs run restaurant in Japan. Fox News
  • Wolfgang Puck sued for "overly slick" floors. TMZ
  • Sabores Sin Fronteras: The Sonoran hot dog crosses the U.S.-Mexico border. NPR
  • Kokomo owners may turn Eat Well space on Sunset into K2. Eater LA
  • BBQ and beer at Verdugo next two Sundays. Eating L.A.
  • Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's both beat Starbucks in Slate's coffee taste test.
  • KCRW's Rob "Martini Shot" Long loves Central American chicken. LAist
  • LA Foodie checks out J N J Burger & Bar-B-Q.
  • A con man who claimed to be friends with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay has been jailed for fraud. BBC

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Pollo Campero's three-piece chicken meal. Credit: Pollo Campero

Sampler Platter: Fried chicken, type-A sandwiches and summer salads

Fried chicken wings with cabbage salad and pickled radish from BonChon Chicken. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Thank goodness it's Friday's food news roundup...

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Fried chicken wings with cabbage salad and pickled radish. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Sampler Platter: Hot dogs, cupcakes, tacos & Padma

Wienermobile CrashCheap hot dogs, giant cupcakes, Padma Lakshmi as a sitcom star? A cupcake that weighs more than you do? Wienermobile gone out of control? All this and more in today's food news roundup.

  • The newly revamped Wienermobile crashes into a Wisconsin house.
  • Long Island man claims he's reverse-engineered KFC's secret fried chicken recipe. New York Post
  • California's new law that requires chain restaurants with more than 20 outlets to post the calorie count of menu items is already causing some menu changes. Sacramento Bee
  • An interview with Doug Quint, proprietor of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Gothamist
  • Lobster: cheaper than hot dogs? Money
  • I Was a Baby Bulimic: A terrific story from NYT's former restaurant critic Frank Bruni about his somewhat tormented relationship with food.
  • Padma Lakshmi signed a development deal for a half-hour sitcom in which she'll star as a woman working in the culinary world. Variety
  • Earlier today, @BorderGrill's 1,000th follower won 20 free tacos from the new taco truck.
  • "World's Largest Cupcake" award goes to a 151-pound cupcake. World Record Academy

--Elina Shatkin

Photo: Tom McCauley / Journal Times/AP.

Small Bites: Rotisserie bonanza, cachaca fever and menu change-ups

Boho

New rotisserie menu at Cafe Pinot: Since rotisserie chicken is one of the highlights of dining at Cafe Pinot next to the Central Library downtown, chef Kevin Meehan has decided to offer a variety of meats from the rotisserie. Monday: leg of lamb with rosemary essence. Tuesday: rabbit with honey-sage glaze. Wednesday: squab with apricot compote. Thursday: prime rib with potatoes. Friday: whole sea bass with fennel. Cafe Pinot, 700 W. 5th St., L.A. (213) 239-6500, www.patinagroup.com.

International Cachaça Day is here and will be celebrated at the Buffalo Club: Friday is reportedly International Cachaça Day. And although we are suspicious of the provenance of all such "official" days, we are happy that cachaça is having its day in the sun. The Brazilian spirit is distilled from sugar cane and is the basis for the miraculously wonderful cocktail known as the caipirinha, which is unfortunately a difficult drink to find made well in L.A. On Friday at the Buffalo Club you'll find a variety of drinks made with Cabana cachaça for $8 each, including a spicy caipirinha made with Serrano chiles and a mango and dill cachaça cooler. A DJ will spin sweet samba grooves. Buffalo Club, 1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 450-8600.

Summer menu announced at Boho: Chef Andre Guerrero at Boho has listened to his regulars and changed the newish Hollywood gastropub's menu. The new menu has done away with heavier, meatier options and added a variety of lighter, farmers market-driven options including heirloom tomato gazpacho, $8; white corn, red pepper, kabocha squash, shallots and rice vinegar, $8; asparagus pizza with leeks, mushrooms, goat cheese and truffle oil, $14; and a summer peach crisp with vanilla bean ice cream, $8. Sadly, the delicious onion soup in oxtail broth has been removed. Boho, 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., (323) 465-8500, www.bohorestaurant.com.

Micky's in West Hollywood celebrates its official grand re-opening: Nearly two years after it was destroyed by fire, Micky's, one of WeHo's most loved bars, celebrated its grand re-opening Wednesday night with a ribbon cutting, party and presentation of a plaque to the West Hollywood Fire Department for its efforts to save the club. Micky's, 8857 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 657-1176.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: The Bianca-Verde pizza at Boho in Hollywood. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.