Frying anything is an art, a science, and a craft all at the same time. It's the careful balance of keeping something perfectly crispy on the outside while maintaining the juicy integrity of whatever is being fried.
And chef Ryan Higgins has definitely mastered the art. The Nashville-style fried chicken he serves at Lou's Food Bar strikes the right balance of crispy and juicy. Twice dunked in flour and sriracha buttermilk, and finished with a swim in a ghost pepper and habanero sauce, the skin is thick and full of flavor. Not only that, but the flavor finds its way to the meat itself. The chicken is just as infused as its shell. Perhaps that's due to the two days it spends soaking in the aforementioned buttermilk.
"It's a zen thing for me. Frying chicken is a long, tedious process. But I enjoy it. And the smell ... Even vegans like the smell of fried chicken," says Higgins.
You can order half, a whole and have it naked, medium or hot. From the chef's mouth: "It's hot as shit." And he isn't lying. The chicken packs a serious punch that you might not notice at first. It's a lingering heat that catches up to you halfway into your first piece. "Also, never touch your face after eating a piece. Trust me."