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Southern Style: Fried Chicken, Mac ‘n Cheese, and Spinach with Parmesan and Cream

I am not Mario Batali. I am not Anthony Bourdain. I am not Marcus Samuelsson. I say this not because I cannot cook. I say this because I cannot cook and then party like a rockstar afterwards. Batali used to finish off a case of wine in one evening. Bourdain was a heroin addict. I have heard through the chef grapevine that Samuelsson has an insane coke habit. And I get it. Intense environments sometimes require equally intense methods of release.

Last night I continued the fat trend with a Southern style dinner party with fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, and spinach with parmesan and cream. I was cooking for six people I hadn’t really cooked for before, and so my culinary nerves were tweaking. What better way to take the edge off than with wine? Once I finally slide those plates on the table I needed to celebrate my success. I poured myself more wine. And more wine, and more wine, and more wine.

By the end of the evening I had five happy guests, and I was rip roaring drunk. Ok. I can study the books and analyze the recipes. But I just have to know -how do the big boys do it? Perhaps it’s like cooking. I just need more practice.

Fried Chicken

6 chicken thighs
6 drumsticks
2 containers of buttermilk
smoked paprika
cayenne pepper
oil for frying

Place the chicken and buttermilk in a plastic bag and marinate overnight. In a bowl, mix equal and generous amounts of all the seasoning. Set up a fry “station”. Season the chicken, dredge in flour, and fry at 160C for 8-10 minutes. When skin is a deep brown colour, remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Spinach with Parmesan and Cream

olive oil
a bit of butter
3 bunches of spinach, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
a bit of single cream
grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Saute the garlic and shallot. Add the spinach. Once wilted, add the zest and season with nutmeg and salt and pepper. Drizzle in a bit of cream and grate in a generous amount of Parmesan.

Also check out the mac ‘n cheese recipe. This version had pancetta, chives, cheddar cheese, and mascarpone. I substituted a stout for the vermouth.

One Comment

  1. Fernandez & Leluu

    Was such a great meal! Loved it so much – still dreaming of the chicken! yums! You're a brilliant cook and even more – a great gal! xxx

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