Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Best Fried Chicken

We were in Dallas last weekend and decided to eat at a fried chicken place recommended by Texas Monthly -- Bubba's. It's in Highland Park. on Hillcrest between Lover's Lane and Mockingbird.

Carol and I each ordered the two-piece dinner (leg and breast). She had mashed potatoes and green beans; I had mashed potatoes and okra & tomatoes. It was a good dinner, but we both came to the same conclusion: it wasn't anywhere close to the best fried chicken we had eaten.

The best would have to be Ellen Webb's, which is featured in her cookbook, You'll Be Going Back for Seconds. Ellen is my mother-in-law, so I'm sure I am biased, but I'll put her chicken up against anyone's. I also included a chapter about Ellen's fried chicken in my book, A Small Town in Texas.

A close second would be the The Judge's fried chicken served at Perini's Steakhouse as part of its Sunday-only buffet. Tom Perini is also a cookbook author. His book, Texas Cowboy Cooking, is on my list of 10 Great Books for Your Texas Library and has been the best-selling book, of any genre, at Texas Star Trading Company all five years that we have been open.

Ellen's and Tom's chicken is not over-battered like so much commercial fried chicken you find these days. And Ellen and Tom both cut up their chicken so that there is a pulley bone. or wishbone, which is becoming a lost art, I'm afraid.

Back to Bubba's. We filled up on just one piece (the breast) and the veggies and the excellent yeast rolls, so we took our leftover pieces back and put them in the fridge in our hotel room. I'm pleased to report that Bubba's passes one important test of good fried chicken: it is as good, if not better, cold as hot.

By the way, you can get autographed copies of Ellen's and Tom's cookbooks, as well as A Small Town in Texas, from