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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Annals of Fried Chicken

*A recurring series chronicling my obsession with chicken that has been fried.

Dear jesus, you have implanted in me the desire for perfect fried chicken, but alas I shall never find it.

Friday, December 2, 2011.  I head down to the Village, the one in the East, hoping to have amazing fried chicken.  And why shouldn't I hope for this?  I'm going to the Redhead, and the virtues of its fried chicken have been extolled throughout both sides of the Mississippi (if by Mississippi you mean East River).  In fact, SeriousEats, that god among food blogs, claimed it as the best "fancy pants" fried chicken in the city ("fancy pants" is defined as costing $15 or more).

It's a chilly night, but it will take more than arctic freezes to keep this adventurer down.  I arrive, and the Redhead is busier and louder than I would have hoped, but again, I'm not going to let some noise and some annoying 20/30-something yuppies scare me away.  The fried chicken is ordered.  My dining companions and I wait, snacking on perfectly fine tater tots and addictive bacon peanut brittle.  So far, so ok.

Then the fried chicken arrives.

I take a couple of bites, perhaps pretending as if I need time to "process" the experience.  There's no denying it, though: there is nothing extremely special about this fried chicken.  Much like the tater tots, it was fine.  But did this fried chicken move me?  Did I feel the swirling of emotions I felt at the end of Beaches, as Bette Midler watches her humble and pure friend die much too soon?  No, no I didn't.

So yet another disappointment in the Annals of Fried Chicken.  I am beginning to wonder if fried chicken is a conspiracy.  Perhaps it is, and everyone's in on it!  If not everyone, at least SeriousEats.  Based on my experience, they should lose all of their credibility, be disbarred, and perhaps sentenced to time in prison for high treason.  But I must be reasonable here: perhaps it was just a bad night at the Redhead.  Indeed, when I first entered its cozy embraces, I considered that since it was a Friday night and it seemed to be more in bar mode, perhaps this was not the right time to go.  I may give it one more chance.

CONCLUSION: Perfectly all right, but one of the more unimpressive fried chickens I've had in the city.