If you had to pick one dish that is most iconic of Southern cooking, what would it be? My guess is most people would say fried chicken.
Growing up in the South, I know I ate my share. But the last couple of times I’ve seen fried chicken mentioned on this Web site, I’ve had a revelation of sorts. Yes, I ate fried chicken — at restaurants, at social gatherings, occasionally in other people’s homes — but never once do I recall fried chicken being cooked in my home. In fact, I don’t recall being in any home where it was being cooked.
About the only dishes I can remember being batter fried in the houses of my childhood were okra (fairly frequently) and catfish (much more occasionally).
In my own home today, we’ve made fried chicken only once, and that was years ago. In fact, we don’t fry much of anything, although we do eat fried food when we’re out.
My question is how normal are we? Do you cook fried chicken at home? Did you grow up in a home where someone did cook it? And if you do cook fried chicken, do you want to share any secrets about how you do it?