New Orleans is awash in fried chicken joints. Hundreds of corner stores, delis, cafes and restaurants proper serve it daily with quality ranging from inedible to nearly sublime.
You can get two pieces for a dollar served in a greasy, brown paper sack at a 9th Ward curb-store, and you can pay 50 bucks a plate and have it delivered to your table on fine china in New Orleans Garden District neighborhood.
Countless home cooks round out the scrum by rolling up their sleeves each night before plundering young hens and dredging them in secret family recipes before consigning the hapless birds to old iron pans filled with hot fat.
New Orleans is a fried chicken town.
But until now there has not been a city-wide celebration devoted to the food.
Sunday, September 25th 2016 at Lafayette Square in the Central Business District, the first annual New Orleans Fried Chicken Festival will take place.
Cleveland Spears and the Spears Group are promoting the event. They’re also behind Dinner en Blanc; that’s the exclusive party they throw each year where they charge a fee and you provide your own food, drink and table and chairs. And thousands of people willingly pay for the privilege.
I found a long list of restaurants that are taking part in the fete. I winnowed it down a bit and offer it here.
Delpit’s Chicken Shack
Bayou Hot Wings
McHardy’s Fried Chicken
Nana G’s Chicken & Waffles
Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar
Jazz City Cafe
The Fry Bar
Tiger’s Creole Cuisine
Porter & Luke’s.
There will also be a fried chicken eating contest and an amateur cook-off for the budding Austin Leslies of the region.