Skip to main content

Cold Fried Chicken is a Cool Southern Tradition

Fried chicken served hot is heaven, but have you tried it cold? That's the crazy popular tradition each summer for the past decade at Crook's Corner, a beloved restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C.

edited crooks-corner-fried-chicken

Photo by Bill Smith

Some Like it Cold

Chef Bill Smith added this option during summer months more than 10 years ago. "When I was growing up, my mother fried a lot of chicken and you wouldn't always get it when it was hot. I just loved going through the fridge and finding a chicken leg. It's the best thing."

Customers start asking for cold fried chicken in April, and sales soar when it appears. When the weather turns cool, "people just stop ordering it," said Smith.

The key to this picnic plate's appeal, of course, is the chicken and Smith keeps it simple, brining the bird overnight before dousing it in buttermilk and dredging it in self-rising flour seasoned with salt and pepper. "The self-rising flour gives it a nice, puffy crust and that holds up well even after two days in the fridge," Smith said.

Doesn't that sound like a perfect reason to fry up some chicken and double the batch, so you'll have leftovers?

Discover more articles and tips on Allrecipes Dish.

About Leslie Kelly

Always hungry to learn, never had my fill of oysters, Memphis dry rub ribs, wild salmon, chocolate chip cookies or a well-rolled lumpia. Washington state wine lover, bourbon fan. Totally obsessed with brunch!