Tag Archive | "fried chicken"

Griffin to Go: Can’t Say No to the Price. Or the Flavor.


A double order of the dark meat at Popeyes.

I don’t really care for standing in a long line to order food to go. Even waiting in the car behind a dozen or so cars isn’t my idea of fun.

popeyesBut there’s always an exception to every rule, and mine is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

I have long loved the fried chicken here, largely because the spicy version packs a mouthful of flavor in each bit. The skin is largely crisp, and the meat, when it’s hot, is moist and tender. Even when served cold, any leftovers are still a treat. What other fast-food place can you say the same for?

And where else at a drive-thru window can you get Cajun rice — or dirty rice, as most of us call it — as well as meaty green beans, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, coleslaw and, of course, those buttery biscuits that are simultaneously flaky at the center yet substantial overall.

Tuesday nights brings us Popeyes lovers out of the woodwork. That’s because they charge only 99 cents for two pieces of dark meat, a thigh and a drumstick, two pieces that pack the most flavor. Or you can get those same two pieces with a 22-ounce soda, a biscuit and a side dish for $3.99. (The regular price for two pieces of dark meat is $3.55, though that order usually comes with a biscuit.)

The word has gotten out about this special. The Popeyes near my house has great lines both inside and out on Tuesdays, and the staff in back seem to be getting that chicken ready as fast as they can. And nobody seems to be in a bad mood if they have to wait a few minutes for their meal, either. They’re just as happy to get a great bargain as well as Popeyes’ irresistible fried chicken.

I’ve had this special at several Popeyes in town, but I don’t know how many stores are participating. You may want to check on the one nearest you before you, too, join the line.

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Earl Abel’s Greets Its New Neighbor with Some Friendly Specials

Earl Abel’s fried chicken

Target is opening a new store today at the Terrell Plaza Shopping Center, and Earl Abel’s plans to welcome its new neighbor with a number of specials.

“Being in a new shopping center with the likes of Target is very exciting for Earl Abel’s, and we are excited about welcoming the many visitors to the new Terrell Plaza Shopping Center” says Roger Arias, co-owner of the restaurant.

Shoppers with same-day sales receipts from Target will get a 10 percent discount on their food.

And for 21 days, starting Oct. 9, Earl Abel’s will offer two pieces of fried chicken with mashed potatoes, choice of vegetable and a dinner roll for $4.95. If you just want the chicken, then you can get four pieces (a leg, thigh, wing and a breast) for $4.

Earl Abel’s is also bringing back its annual “High Pie” promotion, where diners can enjoy a slice of pie with either a cup of hot coffee or tea for $2.50 between the hours of 3 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The restaurant is at 1201 Austin Hwy. Call (210) 822-3358.


“I hope new and old customers drop by Earl Abel’s to take advantage of one of these special offers or to enjoy a slice of heaven and coffee or tea for just $2.50. Either way, Earl Abel’s will always welcome them with open arms,” says Arias.






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Located at 1201 Austin Highway in the Terrell Plaza Shopping Center, Earl Abel’s has been a San Antonio dining tradition since 1933. The restaurant is open Sun.-Thurs. from 6:30 am until 10pm, Fri. and Sat. 6:30am until 11pm. Breakfast is served all day, 7 days a week; & kids eat FREE all day Tues. and from 5-8 pm Mon-Thu. “To Go” is open daily from 10:30am ‘til 8pm Call 210.822-7333 to place to go orders, or order online at

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: From Fried Chicken to Bouillabaisse

As we ramp up to spring celebrations, such as Fiesta San Antonio and Culinaria, San Antonio-area restaurants and eateries are dishing up everything from cooking classes to a crawfish party.

Dough to be on Food Network April 9

Guy Fieri will be showcasing Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, the popular San Antonio pizzeria at 9 p.m. April 9 on the Food Network. Part of the attraction of the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives host to the restaurant was the homemade burrata cheese bar.  Doug Horn and his wife, Lori, own the restaurant, at 6989 Blanco Road.

Want Earl Abel’s fried chicken now?

Photo courtesy Earl Abel's

Earl Abel’s introduces a new website that is “customer friendly and convenient,” says owner Roger Arias.  Customers can go to, select entrees, sides, desserts and more from the menu, indicate when it should be ready for pick up, pay online, then drive up to get their order.

“We are aware of how today’s busy lifestyle can lead to unhealthy eating habits and we want to make it easy for families to enjoy a nutritious meal in the comfort of their own homes,” says owner Roger Arias.

Right now, and for a limited time, orders placed online are discounted 10 percent.

Earl Abel’s is at 1201 Austin Highway in the Terrell Plaza Shopping Center. Kids eat free from 5-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday and all day on Tuesday. Visit the website above for more information.

Godai Sushi Bistro closed for remodeling

The restaurant at The Ridge on Loop 1604 is closed for remodeling, according to a Facebook post. The original at 11203 West Ave. is still open if you’re looking for some of the best sushi in town.

Bouillabaisse and more at Brasserie Pavil

A couple of items from Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W.:

  • Prix-fixe lunches: Brasserie Pavil is celebrating Red, White and Brut Restaurant Week through Sunday. The brasserie is offering a special prix-fixe lunch menu for $17.95 per person, which includes a soup, main entrée and dessert course, as well as a glass of French wine.  The prix-fixe menu will rotate on a daily basis with a sampling of dishes including Chicken Chowder with Walnut Pesto, Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, Seafood Risotto with Asparagus, Lemon Zest and Red Pepper and a Pear Tart.  Complimentary wine choices include red, white and sparkling, while additional glasses of wine are available for $6 per glass.  For more information call 210-479-5000.
  • Bouillabaisse by Bajeux: Expand your French culinary knowledge through a “Bouillabaisse by Bajeux” cooking course hosted by Executive Chef Rene Bajeux.  The gathering will include a how-to session on preparing this traditional Provençal stew and with a tasting for guests.  Bajeux will also discuss the history of French pâtés, and then conclude the evening with a complimentary glass of signature Veuve Clicquot champagne and a sampling of fine cheeses.  Session begins at 6 p.m. at Brasserie Pavil and tickets are available for $22 per person. For more information call 210-479-5000.

Get ready for a crawfish boil in Waring.

Crawfish Funk in Waring

The party is scheduled for April 9 in Waring at the Waring General Store.  The crawfish boil costs $10, or $5 for the Crawfish Étouffée and $2.50 for beer. Kids 10 and under get in free. Entry is $5 and music will be by Ponty Bones and the Squeezetones, Greg Forest, and Brian Strange and the Strange Brothers.  The Waring General Store is at 544 Waring-Welfare Road. Take the exit of I-10 West before the Comfort exit. For more information call 830-995-4377.

Reservations at Il Sogno

Il Sogno at the Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayston St., is now accepting reservations. If you’ve waited long for a table, you know what a relief that can be. Call 210-223-3900.

Chef Andrew Weissman is now in charge of the kitchen at the Italian restaurant. But he hasn’t stopped working on other projects. The Luxury Trailer Park is still due to arrive this spring. And he’s also joined the Twitter scene. Follow him @AWRestGroup and receive news on upcoming events, wine tastings and other foodie activities.

John Griffin contributed to this report.

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MAX’s Wine Dive Opens in San Antonio

MAX’s Wine Dive is opening its first San Antonio location today at the Quarry Village, 340 E. Basse Road, Suite 101.

The restaurant and wine bar operates under the motto “Fried chicken and Champagne? … Why the hell not?” And it strives to achieve that playfulness in its entire menu, which offers such serious fun as Gator Beignets, made with alligator tail; Nacho Mama’s Oysters, fried Gulf oysters on fried wontons; the Fried Egg Sandwich drizzled with truffle oil; and Texas Prairie Fire Chili made with bison, venison and seven chiles.

There’s also something called Texas Poutine made with fried jalapeño grits, bacon gravy and cheese curds.

And, yes, there is the jalapeño- and buttermilk-marinated fried chicken.

The wines are available for drinking in or taking home, says Henry Timberlake. The wines are priced by the bottle, but if you want two glasses of any wine on the list, the staff will open it for you, he says.

The staff at MAX's are ready to serve.

There is a private room at the back of the restaurant that can be reserved for wine tastings and parties. Seating will vary on whether you are hosting a stand-up or sit-down event.

MAX’s also has locations in Houston and Austin.

MAX’s is open 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday-Wednesday and 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. It is also open for brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For a look at the menu and wine list, click here.

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Southern Food Rules at Mr. and Mrs. G’s

I go to Mr. and Mrs. G’s Home Cooking and Pastries largely for one reason: the fried chicken. It has always been among the best in the city, crisp and delicately coated on the outside, moist and delicious at the center.

Everything else at this cafeteria-style haven of Southern cooking is gravy —and rich gravy, at that.

On a recent visit, I decided to branch out a bit and let my friend order the fried chicken. I knew I’d get a taste, and if need be, I would could always go back and order some more.

Food: 3.5
Value: 3.5

Rating scale:
5: Extraordinary
4: Excellent
3: Good
2: Fair
1: Poor

His order was just about perfection, though a touch more salt in the batter before frying would help it reach the heavens.

After browsing through a selection that included such temptations as smothered pork chops and ham hocks, I ordered the chicken fricassee, which was served with a sauce full of bold chicken stock flavor. Surprisingly, though, the leg and thigh quarter I had was mealy and texturally unappealing. I don’t think it was overcooked. I just think that quality of the meat was less than it should have been before the cooking process started.

I contented myself with sopping up every last drop of gravy I could with my cornbread and then tore into the vast array of side dishes, which included a medley of fresh, firm okra tossed with tomatoes and onion as well as a bowl of boiled cabbage. Mashed potatoes, vanilla-scented sweet potatoes and a Southern-style creamed corn, with an accent on the sugar in the cream sauce, are among the other choices available.

A multi-berry cobbler made for an excellent dessert, as did a slice of buttermilk pie.

Home cooking needs a homey environment, and I’ve always enjoyed the pleasant company of the other folks who crowd into Mr. and Mrs. G’s. This visit was no different, as we struck up conversations with several tables around us. I haven’t gone as far as to eat off anyone else’s plate, but give me time.

Mr. & Mrs. G’s
2222 S WW White Rd.

Photos: Nicholas Mistry

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Chili Powder Lifts Fried Chicken

Serve this spicy fried chicken either hot or cold.

Chili Fried Chicken

1 (3 1/2-pound) frying chicken, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups peanut oil
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add milk barely to cover. Sprinkle with chili powder, stir briefly and let stand in the refrigerator overnight.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet to at least 350 degrees.

Place the flour, pepper and salt in a paper bag. Take the chicken pieces from the milk, drain briefly and dip them, one at a time, into the seasoned flour. Drop them into the fat and cook until brown on one side. Turn and cook until brown on the other side. Total cooking time should be 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the chicken and pieces on paper towels and serve hot or cold.

Makes 4 servings.

From “The New York Times Menu Cookbook” by Craig Claiborne

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A Retro Super Bowl Party

The first Super Bowl was held back in 1967, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. The game, referred to some back then as “the Supergame,” was not the major party day that it is now. But what would the host with the most have served guests back then?

I hauled out my copy of “The New York Times Menu Cookbook,” which appeared a few months before the game. Those who partied by the rules set forth by its author, Craig Claiborne, would have had a “Lunch for a Football Game” menu already planned.

All they would have had to do was assemble the ingredients for the following:

It’s interesting how much of the menu has stayed the same. Ham and cheese subs, carrot sticks and, of course, beer are still with us. Beans are often a big part of the party for people, though they’re found in chili and not a soup. (Yes, Texans, people not from the Lone Star State often muck up their chili with beans. It’s a sad fact, but true.)

Yet, when was the last time you saw raw fennel strips on a vegetable tray? Sounds good to me. It’s crunchy, has a delicate licorice flavor and adds a nice complement to the radishes, carrots, celery and whatever else you’re serving.

Equally good is a mixture of 1/2 cup butter and 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard to create the wonderful sandwich spread known as Mustard Butter.

For the Egg and Tomato Hero, simply butter rye bread, then cover with thin slices of hard-cooked egg. Top with thin slices of tomato, freshly grated horseradish and lettuce. Great vegetarian treat, if you can find ripe tomatoes this time of year.

If that’s not enough for your buffet, you could add another did from Claiborne’s collection. It’s for cold Chili Fried Chicken, which you can make the night before.

Don’t go entirely retro, though. Would any of us swap today’s flat-screen TV for a tiny black-and-white model from the late 1960s? And don’t get me started on the coffee. The beer, too, is better, thanks to the wealth of microbreweries today.

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken From Thomas Keller

Deep fried fast food, spring chicken in golden lemon batter“If there’s a better fried chicken, I haven’t tasted it,” Thomas Keller writes in “Ad Hoc at Home.” “First, and critically, the chicken is brined for 12 hours in a herb-lemon brine, which seasons the meat and helps it stay juicy. The flour is seasoned with garlic and onion powders, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. The chicken is dredged in the seasoned flour, dipped in buttermilk, and then dredged again in the flour. The crust becomes almost feathered and is very crisp.”

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Two 2 1/2- to 3-pound chickens (see Note on Chicken Size)
Chicken Brine (recipe follows), cold

For dredging and frying:
Peanut or canola oil for deep-frying
1 quart buttermilk
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 cups flour
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Ground fleur de sel or fine sea salt
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Thyme sprigs, for garnish

Cut each chicken into 10 pieces: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 breast quarters, and 2 wings. Pour the brine into a container large enough to hold the chicken pieces, add in the chicken, and refrigerate for 12 hours (no longer, or the chicken may become too salty).

Remove the chicken from the brine (discard the brine) and rinse under cold water, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin. Pat dry with paper towels, or let air-dry. Let rest at room temperature for 1-1/2 hours, or until it comes to room temperature.

If you have two large pots (about 6 inches deep) and a lot of oil, you can cook the dark and white meat at the same time; if not, cook the dark meat first, then turn up the heat and cook the white meat. No matter what size pot you have, the oil should not come more than one-third of the way up the sides of the pot. Fill the pot with at least 2 inches of peanut oil and heat to 320 degrees. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper.

For coating: Combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Transfer half the coating to a second large bowl. Pour the buttermilk into a third bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set up a dipping station: the chicken pieces, one bowl of coating, the bowl of buttermilk, the second bowl of coating, and the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Just before frying, dip the chicken thighs into the first bowl of coating, turning to coat and patting off the excess; dip them into the buttermilk, allowing the excess to run back into the bowl; then dip them into the second bowl of coating. Transfer to the parchment-lined pan.

Carefully lower the thighs into the hot oil. Adjust the heat as necessary to return the oil to the proper temperature. Fry for 2 minutes, then carefully move the chicken pieces around in the oil and continue to fry, monitoring the oil temperature and turning the pieces as necessary for even cooking, for 11 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is a deep golden brown, cooked through, and very crisp. Meanwhile, coat the chicken drumsticks and transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Transfer the cooked thighs to the cooling rack skin-side-up and let rest while you fry the remaining chicken. (Putting the pieces skin-side-up will allow excess fat to drain, whereas leaving them skin-side-down could trap some of the fat.) Make sure that the oil is at the correct temperature, and cook the chicken drumsticks. When the drumsticks are done, lean them meat-side-up against the thighs to drain, then sprinkle the chicken with fine sea salt.

Turn up the heat and heat the oil to 340 degrees. Meanwhile, coat the chicken breasts and wings. Carefully lower the chicken breasts into the hot oil and fry for 7 minutes, or until golden brown, cooked through, and crisp. Transfer to the rack, sprinkle with salt, and turn skin side up. Cook the wings for 6 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the wings to the rack and turn off the heat. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter. Add the herb sprigs to the oil (which will still be hot) and let them cook and crisp for a few seconds, then arrange them over the chicken.

Note on chicken size: You may need to go to a farmers’ market to get these small chickens. Grocery store chickens often run 3 to 4 pounds, or more. They can, of course, be used in this recipe but if chickens in the 2-1/2- to 3-pound range are available to you, they’re worth seeking out. They’re a little easier to cook properly at the temperatures we recommend here and, most important, pieces this size result in the optimal meat-to-crust proportion, which is such an important part of the pleasure of fried chicken.

Note: We let the chicken rest for 7 to 10 minutes after it comes out of the fryer so that it has a chance to cool down. If the chicken has rested for longer than 10 minutes, put the tray of chicken in a 400 degrees oven for 1 or 2 minutes to ensure that the crust is crisp and the chicken is hot.

Chicken Brine

5 lemons, halved
24 bay leaves
1 bunch (4 ounces) flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch (1 ounce) thyme
1/2 cup clover honey
1 head garlic, halved through the equator
3/4 cup black peppercorns
2 cups (10 ounces) kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal
2 gallons water

[amazon-product]1579653774[/amazon-product]The key ingredient here is the lemon, which goes wonderfully with chicken, as do the herbs: bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. This amount of brine will be enough for 10 pounds.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and cool completely, then chill before using. The brine can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “Ad Hoc at Home” by Thomas Keller

(photo: Rob Owen-Wahl)

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