fried and true

Food writers are a breed prone to exaggeration. We lose our minds about a burger, wax poetic over small-batch ice creams, and regale you with stories about whatever we ate that day.

You hate us when we do this. I realize this.

But some scribes are awesome at conveying the wonderfulness of what they eat, particularly Duncan Hines. More than a name on the cake mix, he was one of America’s earliest critics, a Southerner who—per Rick Moody’s amazing Tin House profile a few years back—would go from chicken shack to chicken shack in the south in the ‘30s scribbling such accolades as, “the fried chicken in this establishment makes a man wish for a hollow leg.”

A hollow leg, folks.

This description was enough to make me want to buy a car, head south, and drive from chicken hut to chicken hut, patting my belly and swilling 40s of Old Gold from a paper bag.

This weekend I finally encountered such insanely good chicken, Mr. Hines. On Sundays at no 7, in Fort Greene, Tyler Kord (a man with Jean Georges cred) is churning out mind-blowingly good fried birds. Each piece seems to have a 2-1 ratio of fried crispy bits to juicy organic meat. Its seasoning is straight-up salt-and-pepper, and the treatment what Kord calls a “Texas secret, but really simple”—a mix of egg, flour and milk dunked in hot canola oil. Mr. Hines, I see you cruising in on your Vespa, taking a seat with your little lady, and tearing in. A basket of the stuff—5 pieces for a mere $10—arrives at your sunny little table crispy as can be. You could match it with beer, coffee, or a cocktail, and impress your girl with your Brooklyn brunch savvy. Yes, they offer waffles too, but one will run you $8 and it’s a little weak, so skip it. It’s just an excuse to drizzle syrup over the chicken, which you should do regardless.

Mr. Hines, I feel you now.

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