Lee Brian Schrager’s Fried Chicken Road Trip: New Orleans

Staff Writer
Lee Brian Schrager’s Fried Chicken Road Trip: New Orleans
CJ Tropp

CJ Tropp

Lee Schrager and Reconcile Cafe's Director of Development David E. Emond

As we announced last week, famed food and wine event planner Lee Brian Schrager has announced that his second cookbook, Chicken Delight, will be released in October 2014. To kick off this announcement, Schrager has been road-tripping throughout the South to visit his favorite fried chicken spots and chat with the people behind some of the region’s best food.

His first stop on this three-part tour is one of the South’s soul food capitals: New Orleans. Read below to read his interviews with the chefs, as well as learn about what makes these venues unique.

Café Reconcile
Why Schrager chose it: It’s one of the most important community programs in New Orleans today, training at-risk youth for a career in the hospitality industry. And it’s a serious soul food restaurant!

Conversation between Schrager and Chef Christopher Hayes: 

Lee Schrager: What’s your secret to making sure that the skin sticks? 
Christopher Hayes: Brine the chicken first, soaking it for four to five hours. Then, toss it in flour, allowing the chicken to absorb the flour. Then you flour again. 

LBS: How do you keep the skin crispy? 
CH: Make sure your oil is at 350 degrees and the chicken is completely submerged. 

LBS: What do you believe to be special about your fried chicken? 
CH: The double flour and caramel butter we serve with it. 

McHardy’s Chicken
Why Schrager chose it: This continuously comes up as one of the top fried chicken establishments in New Orleans. You can’t seriously consider fried chicken in this city without a trip to McHardy’s.      

Conversation with Alvi Anderson: 

LBS: What’s your secret to making sure that the skin sticks? 
Alvi Anderson: Chilling the meat and making sure that you don’t overcook it. 

LBS: How do you keep the skin crispy?
AA: Don’t let the chicken just sit in the oil. Keep it moving. 

LBS: What do you believe to be special about your fried chicken? 
AA: We start with a great product, make sure that it’s clean (wash it) and we have good customer service. We really just enjoy what we do. 

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