National Fried Chicken Day is…

National Fried Chicken Day is…

This auspicious day is the perfect occasion for me to reflect on the importance of regularly consuming vast quantities of… well, of fried chicken, of course!

One of life’s mysteries which I cannot explain is that I’ve loved fried chicken for as long as I can remember even though it was never served at home.

That is just a bit weird, isn’t it?

And even though I eat it frequently, I don’t make it at home, either.

I know my way around the kitchen and make all kinds of other stuff. But not this life-giving delicacy.

As great as it is, it’s certainly true that frying this fowl at home is no light undertaking.

You need a Dutch oven, or at least a skillet with some serious depth to it.

And getting a good result means giving up a very considerable quantity of high-quality cooking oil, and not one of the cheaper ones. Peanut oil or coconut oil are preferred.

And then you’re left with a vast quantity of used oil. Yes, it’s not too different from the situation we shade-tree mechanics face when we’re thinking of changing our car’s oil in the driveway. And what to do with it after… yeah, that can be an issue.

So maybe I’m not the only one; maybe lots of lovers of what just might be America’s favorite dish head to KFC or Popeye’s in huge numbers but eschew tossing chicken pieces n’ parts into their skillets at home!

This wonderful feeling of relief, of knowing I’m not so different from my chicken-lovin’ friends, will buoy my spirits 30 minutes from now when I’m standing in that long line of hungry guests at that KFC right around the corner from me!

I wonder if they know what day it is?

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Krispy’s Chicken in Groveland is Heaven-on-Earth for Folks Who Love Real Food

Krispy’s Chicken in Groveland is Heaven-on-Earth for Folks Who Love Real Food

I try hard to have lunch or dinner at Krispy’s anytime I pass through the town of Groveland. I passed right by this Mecca of awesome eats a couple of days ago, but alas, it was way passed their closing time. I was cruising down Highway 50 on my way to Brooksville for three days of camping and great music and was making the trip at a rather odd time. I will get back there soon to atone for the great sin of passing a top-ten best Florida eatery without stopping to chow down.

I could boil down my whole review to two terms near-and-dear to the hearts of all of us who love Southern cooking. Those would be: “fried chicken” and “buffet!”

Now, I know that some buffets are not worth the $8.95 and they depend on patrons who are drawn in by the “all you can eat” part but who haven’t actually sampled the product. They rate high in quantity but miss the mark completely in the quality department. Krispy’s is NOT like that.

If you stop by once, you’ll become a regular. Like me, you’ll feel like you’ve done something very, very wrong if you’re even in the same zip code and don’t stop in.

The chicken is scrumptious and you can go back to the counter to reload whenever you want. Their amazing sides are on that delectable buffet and I swear if I hated fried chicken, I’d go there for those side dishes alone.

I love the collard greens. The black-eyed peas are choice. The chicken salad has become a fave of mine; this is the only joint I’ve ever been to that throws jalapeno bits into chicken salad. You’ve got to try it. ¬†And get this: the mashed potatoes are in a steaming-hot hotel pan right next to — can you believe it — a pan of chicken gravy! No, I wouldn’t kid you about that!

For those of you who have read my blog before or know me from social media know that I do like the national chicken chain where most of us have dined a thousand times. I do. But it’s always bothered me that the gravy served with their mashed potatoes is beef gravy. Well, Krispy’s is the first restaurant I’ve been to that doesn’t engage in that awful practice. Beef gravy with fried chicken! Who ever heard of such a thing!? (No, this is NOT a knock on KFC. They stand head-and-shoulders above most fast food places, but the gravy thing annoys me to no end!)

Folks, I could go on and on. But I won’t. Just go to Krispy’s and be prepared to chow down. It’s got great vittles. In ridiculous portions. With good and friendly service. What more could any lover of down home-cooking ask?

 

Krispy’s Chicken ~ 307 E. Broad Street ~ Groveland, Florida ~ Call 352 429-4819

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

One of Life’s Unsolved Mysteries–KFC and Gravy

One of Life’s Unsolved Mysteries–KFC and Gravy

Seriously, folks! Why is it that the gravy served with those mashed potatoes at KFC is frickin’ beef gravy? Why can’t you at least ask for a chicken-based gravy to go with those not-that-great mashed taters! Bulldog just cannot understand how this came to be… Just can’t. For real.

 

Photo Credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile