Sunday, August 2, 2009

WWFE? What Would Faulkner Eat?

The heat and humidity of August create the perfect ambience to sit and read one of William Faulkner’s many novels, to let yourself be taken away to Yoknapatawpha County in the deep South. While indulging in the beautiful complexity of Faulkner’s words on those hot summer days, a sip of sweet tea or the taste of a buttery biscuit seem the ultimate way to slip further into the South.

Faulkner, the renowned author of novels such as As I Lay Dying and Absalom, Absalom!, is quoted as saying “the tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey,” but what food would Faulkner have eaten? Born and raised in Mississippi, Faulkner most likely ate traditional southern foods—perhaps some sweet potato pie, pralines, and, of course, grits. Mississippi also uses milk, largemouth bass, the honeybee, and oysters as official symbols to represent the state.

But what food evokes the South more than crispy fried chicken?

Frying chicken can be greasy and messy, but with this “fried” chicken recipe you won't have to deal with any spattering hot oil. It was adapted from a North Carolina recipe, and it is perfect for a picnic, a party, or just a delicious snack to accompany a visit with Colonel Snopes.

Lazy Lady’s Fried Chicken

3 pounds chicken wings, cut (pre-cut “party wings” work best)
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried herbs (a mix of Italian seasonings or your own combination of
parsley, oregano, etc.)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water

Heat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

Cover a baking sheet with tin foil. Pour the two tablespoons of vegetable oil over the foil so that it coats evenly.

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and dried herbs until thoroughly distributed.

Coat the chicken pieces in water and then place in the flour mixture, completely coating the skin of the chicken.

Place the chicken skin down on the baking sheet.

Optional: Cut the butter into small pieces and place on the sheet in between pieces of chicken. As it melts it will make the chicken a little bit crispier.

Bake the chicken for thirty minutes. Flip the pieces over, and bake for another thirty minutes.

Serve hot or cold. This recipe can also be made with large pieces of fryer chicken as well.
Nothing says summer more than sitting in the shade iwth delicious fried chicken and a nice Faulkner story or novel—just be sure to take a sip of southern whiskey in honor of one of America’s finest writers.

“Like the cat, he also seemed to see in the darkness as he moved as unerringly toward the food which he wanted as if he knew where it would be; that, or were being manipulated by an agent which did know. He ate something from an invisible dish, with invisible fingers: invisible food. He did not care what it would be. He did not know that he had even wondered or tasted until his jaw stopped suddenly in mid-chewing and thinking fled for twenty-five years back down the street, past all the imperceptible corners of bitter defeats and more bitter victories, and five miles even beyond a corner where he used to wait in the terrible early time of love, for someone whose name he had forgot.”
—William Faulkner, Light in August

1 comment:

  1. Summer heat definitely puts me in the mood for the Southern classics. Twain works as well.