One of my favorite foods in the world is fried chicken. There are few things better than biting into hot, crispy batter then encountering juicy, flavorful chicken. It's damn good. Not ever having had the pleasure of eating homemade fried chicken in the south, most of the fried chicken I've had have been at fast food establishments and restaurants. I've just about given up having fried chicken at restaurants. It's inevitably overpriced and not as good as the fast food places -- such as Church's or Ezell's (a Seattle establishment famed for having fried chicken so good that Oprah Winfrey has said that it's her favorite fried chicken and has it flown out to her in Chicago).
Well, one restaurant has finally done it right. Is it really any surprise that it's West Seattle's Spring Hill? Not to me, at any rate. Spring Hill rarely disappoints. At least when it comes to their food. Their Fried Chicken Dinner for 4 -- by special reservation only and served only on Monday nights -- is something special. It comes with two whole chickens (with the breasts cut in half, so there's a higher crunchy batter to meat ratio, which means you can get delicious skin and meat in every bite), which is more than you think it is. It also comes with seasonal sides. It was one of the most satisfying meals I've had in a long time.
And now, the pictorial.
A truly enormous platter of fried chicken, fried in peanut oil, that once you start eating, seems to grow in size. We thought we'd be able to tackle it easily. We ended up taking a box and a half of chicken home.
What's a fried chicken dinner without mashed potatoes and gravy? It would be wrong. Spring Hill doesn't leave it out. Here's buttered russet potatoes with a light but intensely flavorful gravy.
Spring Hill calls this "herbed dumplings with Beecher's Flagship." I call it upscale macaroni & cheese, made all the more delicious by the use of Beecher's Flagship cheddar. Beecher's is another wonderful Seattle institution.
Then of course, there's cornbread. But with a twist, or maybe a kick; these are jalapeno. It came with a delicious honey butter (not pictured).
Caramelized broccoli; I like to call it oven crisped. I like pretty much any preparation of broccoli, but there's something about the texture it gets when prepared this way that I just love. I could have eaten five plates of this on its own, so really for four people it's quite small (especially in comparison to the chicken).
Put it all together and what do you have? A PLATE OF HEAVEN, THAT'S WHAT. Oh, the dinner also came with marinated cucumber spears, but I didn't have a chance to take any photos of that before it'd been passed around too much and was obliterated.
After dinner I went home and sliced up a mango, Thai style, because it was overripe and needed to be eaten. Lord mangoes are good. Fried chicken and mangoes ... life is good.