Tag Archives: fried chicken

Chicken and Waffles Debate, Techie Style! (with bonus Peeps!)

Gentle Readers, lean in close, it’s confession time. The Practical Cook isn’t even going to pretend to go to the grocery store this week. Life and business have conspired to make eating on the road a necessity this week. It’s a holiday weekend for many, and I’m going to take a break as well.

Peep Show

Peep Show

However, in the spirit of rebirth and renewal, I’m leaving you with two videos. I am going to try to get back in the habit of video blogging. First up, my day job sometimes crosses over  into my hobby. Watch as technology and waffles clash forks in this hotly contentious chicken and waffles episode of my video podcast, EngineersUnplugged.com

Second, an oldie but goodie, for all you Peep haters out there:

Enjoy your weekend! Questions or comments, drop them in the comments section or on Twitter!

Send your syrup, hot sauce, and fancy fork work to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday, Peeps Revised!

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Weekly Menus from The Practical Cook’s Mom, A Guest Blog of Sorts

Gentle Readers, though The Practical Cook does like to make a general eating roadmap for the week, she is all for spontaneity. Apparently this runs in the family. Perhaps you recall when I left The Practical Cook’s Mom at the helm in the kitchen a few weeks back. I had one set of menus, we conferred, keep it simple. This is what actually happened:

Weekly Menus, Courtesy of The Practical Cook's Mom

Weekly Menus, Courtesy of The Practical Cook’s Mom

So this week, as I travel one more time, I’m not planning anything. Here’s her list. I’ll run you through the highlights reel so you can follow her method. I should also note, that she brings her own cooler of food, too, so stocking up is futile pursuit.

Monday: Tacos, pintos, fried okra, lettuce and tomato
How does okra pair with tacos? This is one of the many mysteries I faced in my youth. I still don’t have an answer for you.

Wednesday: Baked ham biscuits (you know them as Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches), steamed mixed vegetables, okra/beet pickles, pinwheel pasta salad
Yes, this is enough food to feed the troops. If they were running a marathon. Leftovers are very important in meal planning!

Thursday: Fried Chicken, rice, slaw, kale, crudites
Why have one vegetable when you can serve three? Welcome to dinner from a farming family in the summer. And believe me, there were probably more veggies lurking.

The Moral Here: Make a lot of food, focusing on vegetables. Ignore any and all rules of what vegetables pair with what. Serve.

The Second Moral: My kids always eat a ton when my parents are in the house. TPC’s Mom’s food just tastes better.

Do you cook like or with your mom? Discuss by posting a comment below. My mom might show up at your house with a cooler if you do.

Send suggestions, challenges, and heaps of praise to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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On Wednesday, Three More of My Least Favorite Things, Summertime Edition.

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Fried Chicken Friday: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles Review (with video)

Gentle Readers, never has The Practical Cook been so please with an ongoing research project. The quest for delicious fried chicken now promises to take her from coast to coast. So if you’re not in Durham, NC, take comfort. If you are, get in your car and go immediately to Dame’s Chicken and Waffles.

Dame's Chicken & Waffles in Durham, NC: Do not miss it!

Dame's Chicken & Waffles in Durham, NC: Do not miss it!

So how was it? Let’s roll the tape, shall we?

The chicken was off the charts good, and the waffle was quite delicious, too. Since I’m a dark-meat fan, I went for the chicken legs, on the bone, and they were seriously fantastic. Crispy, juicy, well seasoned, and hot to the table.I would put this on the list of things I might want to eat for my last meal. Not kidding. That good. Great plain, with syrup, or with hot sauce!

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

There were no green veggies available the day we went, so it was a carb-fest, but with a twist. The cheese grits also rank amongst the best I’ve ever eaten, and believe you me, I’ve made a life study out of cheese grits, in my kitchen and beyond. Delightfully herby and cheese, these grits never stood a chance, even after I polished off the waffle.

Cheese Grits from Dame's Chicken & Waffles: Possibly the 8th wonder of the Southern Culinary World.

Cheese Grits from Dame's Chicken & Waffles: Possibly the 8th wonder of the Southern Culinary World.

If you’re in the mood for something different, or boneless, that’s covered to. Please see the chicken breast and sweet potato waffle ordered by my friend in fried, who I shall call RockStar, because it fits. Her meal was a bit easier to eat as a unit, while mine was more a study in components, going back and forth between the tastes and textures. The mac and cheese was also herby and cheesy, good to the last drop.

Sweet potato waffle and fried chicken breast from Dame's Chicken & Waffle.

Sweet potato waffle and fried chicken breast from Dame's Chicken & Waffle.

Big thumbs up, I’ll be returning soon. For the people who asked me if chicken and waffles actually go together, my answer is this: are you kidding me? Eat them separately if you must, but I dare the non-vegetarian (and I see some of you eyeing that chicken, let’s not lie) reader to tell me those two things aren’t delicious. Why not try them together? Just go to Dame’s, then thank me later. I won’t say I told you so, pinkie swear.

The story of Dame's Chicken & Waffles

The story of Dame's Chicken & Waffles

Where do you stand in the chicken and waffle debate? Post a comment below!

Send field research options, maple syrup, and napkins to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next: Cookbook Review!

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Filed under Fried, Restaurant Reviews

Highlights from the N.C. State Fair: Top 5 List(s) (with video, of course!)

Gentle Readers, what an honor and a privilege it has been serving as your Deep Fried Ambassador at the 2011 N.C. State Fair. It is with a heavy heart, hopefully only metaphorically, that I must relinquish my badge and my parking pass, and return to my kitchen to steam vegetables for the next two weeks. The good news, there are two more days in which to create your own fair memories, so run, don’t walk.

Welcome to the N.C. State Fair Memory Lane, Large Pumpkin Edition

Welcome to the N.C. State Fair Memory Lane, Large Pumpkin Edition

Here are highlights from my journey, broken into two categories: Deep Fried Food and Experiences.

First, let’s roll the tape on 3 of my Top Five Deep Fried Foods:

1. Fried Chicken at Hunnicutt’s. Hot, crispy, peppery, this was a winner. To be fair, polling other people around my table, the fried chicken is the dish to order there. Also consider the veg plate, some of the best field peas I’ve ever eaten. They were like a Southern dal, if Indian cooking utilized pig instead of ghee.

Fried Chicken, Field Peas, and Limas at Hunnicutt's

Fried Chicken, Field Peas, and Limas at Hunnicutt's

2. Barbecue Sandwich at Pik-N-Pig. I would eat this sandwich outside the fairgrounds, and hold it up against top barbecue in the area. If you’re not heading to Lexington today for the BBQ Festival, head to the fair and eat this sandwich.

Pork Barbecue (as if there's more than one in NC) Sandwich from Pik-N-Pig, Winner!

Pork Barbecue (as if there's more than one in NC) Sandwich from Pik-N-Pig, Winner!

3. Fried Okra at Farmer’s Market. Perhaps you’ve noticed, I’m a connoisseur of fried okra. This ranks on my top 5 list. Well battered without being overly heavy, piping hot (it was 10:30 AM, I’m not ashamed to admit), and not slimy (haters), every member of our crew ate this, with the Eldest ranking it on her fave fried list.

Deep Fried Okra from the Farmer's Market Wagon: Group Favorite!

Deep Fried Okra from the Farmer's Market Wagon: Group Favorite!

4. Fried Cheese at Wisconsin Cheese. This should be filed under guilty pleasures. I’m not a ranch fan, but this is quintessential bar food. The crisp was perfect, the cheese was melty, and I almost wanted fries to dip into it. Sick, I know, but a week of deep-fried ambassdorship will do that to a person. I’m sure the other flavors are good too, but I went cheddar both times.

Deep Fried Cheddar Cheese (Yeah, It's That Good)

Deep Fried Cheddar Cheese (Yeah, It's That Good)

5. Deep-Fried Brownie at Chef’s D’Lite. It is worth the hype. Chef’s D’Lite rocks the fried (I had their banana pudding as well), and tends to go with a tasty but heavy coating of batter. They weren’t my top deep-fried Oreo makers, but that thick batter WORKED on a cakey brownie. The cinnamon sprinkled on the top, a perfect counterbalance. I didn’t find this overly sweet, it wasn’t sickening, and I am not a fan of hot brownie sundaes, so this is saying something.

My Fave Deep-Fried Sweet: Deep-Fried Brownie from Chef's D-Lite

My Fave Deep-Fried Sweet: Deep-Fried Brownie from Chef's D-Lite

Now for the highlights reel, including some of my Top 5 Experiences:

1. The People. From the Deep-Fried Crew to last year’s Ambassador (@pretty_swell) to the food vendors to the Food Bank Peeps and the many, many Deep-Fried friends who helped me taste, what an experience. Thanks to one and all, you were amazing and made the experience one to remember. If you’ve been to the fair in the past, and don’t think you belong there, go back and try again. I’m pretty converted and will be back next year.

The Corn Husk Dolls, Because TPC's Jr Want to Share

The Corn Husk Dolls, Because TPC's Jr Want to Share

2. Village of Yesteryear. Speaking of the people, the generosity of these people in explaining their crafts to the Juniors was impressive. These are long hours, a labor of love for many, and non-stop traffic. I learned a lot in the stops we made around the place. Way to go, good job bringing the old into modern times. They weaved and hammered, I tweeted about it. Harmony.

Good Night Ferris Wheel, I'm Still Afraid of Your Magestic Heights

Good Night Ferris Wheel, I'm Still Afraid of Your Magestic Heights

3. Overlarge Vegetables. As a foodie, it’s impossible to resist. The varietals, the beauty, the pageantry, the obscenity of bounty and size, not to be missed.

Gene Simmons Cow refuses to face the camera.

Gene Simmons Cow refuses to face the camera.

4. Animals of All Ages. Not only did I see a cow who looked like Gene Simmons, I got to see baby animals nursing and jumping about, and cows on the runway. Cows define “bucolic” for a reason. I could’ve watched them for hours, like watching the ocean.

Crochet Krispy Kreme Burger, Just Because

Crochet Krispy Kreme Burger, Just Because

5. Prize-Winning Baked Goods, Junior Edition. I root for the up and coming cooks and bakers. Practical Cooks are everywhere, putting their time in at their home kitchens, the next generation to feed us. I salute you.

Deep Fried Ambassador, Amy Lewis (aka The Practical Cook) interviewed by Alyssa Marcus from the North Carolina News Network.

For the new readers, thanks for joining us, I hope you’ll stay for the ride. For my original crew, we’re getting back to a little less deep-fried tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for the kind words, the comments, and the support online and in person. It means more than you know.

The Sun Sets on Another Day at the N.C. State Fair

The Sun Sets on Another Day at the N.C. State Fair

What are your fair highlights? Share them in the comments below, or Tweet with #ncstatefair as the hashtag.

Send your deep fried confessionals and serious, ahem, cooking questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up tomorrow, One Ingredient, Three Ways: Maple Butter.

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Filed under Fried, Restaurant Reviews