Hot!Chicken of the Month

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Pancho
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/28 19:15:41 (permalink)
lleechef

I've eaten at J.W. Hall's probably as many times as Harold's Inn.
My uncle taught/coached Dorsett at Hopewell.  My father used to fix Maravich's TV. 
That is cool...did you ever meet Pete or Press?

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lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/28 21:22:59 (permalink)
Pancho

lleechef

I've eaten at J.W. Hall's probably as many times as Harold's Inn.
My uncle taught/coached Dorsett at Hopewell.  My father used to fix Maravich's TV. 
That is cool...did you ever meet Pete or Press?

Oh sure.  I knew them both.  There were times when my mother had some commitment after dinner.......a church meeting, etc.......and I would have to tag along with my Dad while he did his "calls" (TV repair).  The Maraviches were very good friends of my father so sometimes we stopped just to say hi if we were in Aliquippa.  They were also Serbian, as was my father, so we would see them at Serbian Club lamb roasts.  Very, very friendly folks.
The uncle who taught/coached Dorsett is married to a Maravich!
post edited by lleechef - 2013/12/28 21:24:31
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Pancho
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/29 09:15:11 (permalink)
lleechef

Pancho

lleechef

I've eaten at J.W. Hall's probably as many times as Harold's Inn.
My uncle taught/coached Dorsett at Hopewell.  My father used to fix Maravich's TV. 
That is cool...did you ever meet Pete or Press?

Oh sure.  I knew them both.  There were times when my mother had some commitment after dinner.......a church meeting, etc.......and I would have to tag along with my Dad while he did his "calls" (TV repair).  The Maraviches were very good friends of my father so sometimes we stopped just to say hi if we were in Aliquippa.  They were also Serbian, as was my father, so we would see them at Serbian Club lamb roasts.  Very, very friendly folks.
The uncle who taught/coached Dorsett is married to a Maravich!
Wow! Pete was my idol back then. We were about the same age and people always said I looked just like him. I played HS basketball and even adopted his "shoot from the hip" jump shot style. I even wore floppy socks to look just like him, much to my Dad's dismay. Thanks for sharing some great history.

post edited by Pancho - 2013/12/29 09:18:58
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JRPfeff
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/29 09:56:19 (permalink)
Lisa,
 
I work with several people with Pittsburgh connections and none of them believed me when I told them Tony D was from Aliquippa. I used to see it on a sign when I drove to work in Shippingport. I then found out about Iron Mike, but never realized Pistol Pete was raised there.
 
Thanks for sharing your memories.
 
Jim
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lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/29 11:07:20 (permalink)
Pistol Pete was about 10 years older than me so I didn't really appreciate the fact that he was such a great basketball player.  To me he was just Pete, a regular nice guy.
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/30 09:32:13 (permalink)
lleechef

Pistol Pete was about 10 years older than me so I didn't really appreciate the fact that he was such a great basketball player.  To me he was just Pete, a regular nice guy.


Pete Maravich was truly sui generis
 
Michael Jordan was "the second coming" of Elgin Baylor. 
 
And now we have LeBron.
 
But Maravich: before or since, I've never seen his like.
 
His body suddenly gave out at 40; God Rest his kind soul.
 

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Pancho
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/30 10:18:45 (permalink)
Jim...thanks for the nice Maravich tribute. You always dig up interesting stuff. I never thought I'd cry while immersed in a "Chicken of the Month" thread. Happy New Year!
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2013/12/30 10:27:48 (permalink)
Pancho

Jim...thanks for the nice Maravich tribute. You always dig up interesting stuff. I never thought I'd cry while immersed in a "Chicken of the Month" thread. Happy New Year!

 
Same back to you!
 
I know that it was a bit off topic, but we were talking about broasted chicken in Aliquippa, PA - a place where something in the water grows great atheletes. 

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ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/19 11:35:12 (permalink)
January, 2014.  Is this thread ending on a baker's dozen or will this train keep a-rollin' all year long?
 
A little over a week ago I called the Jefferson Cafe (in Jefferson, WI, of course) asked if fried chicken was available, and if it was prepared on site.  Hey, after a 30-mile drive I didn't want to wind up with a plate full of Banquet!  Fortunately the answers were "yes" so I made the trek last Saturday.  However, I neglected to ask if Pete Maravich had ever eaten there.
 
Not much of a line at Wedl's!

 
It's not a particularly big place.

 
But whether they're big or small, most dining rooms have a corner that provides a good view.  The kitchen pass-through is directly below the far TV.

 
The soup of the day was beef barley, and if your father's beef barley soup is a thin broth with a middling amount of barley then this is not your father's beef barley soup.  Well, I suppose it would be if he bought a bowl, but this one's mine.  Plus I would've taken his.

And note that it's a bowl of soup, not a cup, and it's part of the meal.  Of course, a bowl of bad soup would actually be worse than a cup of bad soup, but that was not the case at all as it was flavorful and packed full of barley at the expense of some of the vegetables.  More barley?  Fewer veggies?  Works for me!
 
The standard 4-piece dinner is $7.99 and for $1 more it's possible to get all white (boo!) or all dark (yay!).  Potatoes with a tasty brown gravy and a vegetable medley round out the plate.

 
The coating on the chicken seems almost like an afterthought, as it's very thin.  But this also means the skin itself gets nice and crispy and takes on that cooked flavor, and I thought it was excellent.  Heavy breading or batter isn't mandatory for good chicken, and the flavorful, juicy meat proved it.  As often seems to be the case in this part of the country it was mildly seasoned with not much more than salt.

I also enjoyed the potatoes and gravy, and the vegetables, while most likely from a can, weren't just boiled and served but actually seasoned a little bit so I ate all the peas, beans, and corn and left the carrots behind.  Carrots are a plague upon humanity, you know.
 
Without a doubt this was one of the better fried chicken meals I've had since I started this thread, and was worth the drive.  If the Jefferson Cafe's other menu items have the same level of quality I can see why it has a good reputation.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2014/01/19 11:46:45
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Twinwillow
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/19 11:59:05 (permalink)
Jim, many thanks for your comments and video clip. Like Pancho, I was also overcome with emotion watching the great Pete Maravich.
CCinNJ
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/20 20:23:54 (permalink)
I hope the train keeps rollin'.

You got the Midas touch with finding the good fried chicken.

🐓🐔🐣🍗
post edited by CCinNJ - 2014/01/20 20:25:06
CajunKing
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/20 20:28:30 (permalink)
In my best Homer Simpson voice
 
Hmmmmmmm Chicken!
 
My vote is for the chicken train to keep on a rolling
MilwFoodlovers
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/21 13:45:12 (permalink)
More fried chicken!
CCinNJ
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/21 13:48:59 (permalink)
Let's roll...

🚂🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/21 14:06:26 (permalink)
I don't even like fried chicken and want to see more.
Wintahaba
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/21 18:10:24 (permalink)
Great job Brad...keep it going...Thanks for the hot spots.
ann peeples
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/21 23:51:21 (permalink)
A good beef barley is a treasure to find-and then great fried chicken! Keep finding all of us great places!
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/22 09:28:32 (permalink)
Thanks for the kind words, but at this point I'm starting to get a little concerned that I haven't found a bad place yet.  Sure, some have been better than others but so far in every case the chicken's at least been properly cooked and the only pluses and minuses have been matters of taste and preference.
 
Perhaps I should hit a KFC at closing time to establish a benchmark.
Pancho
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/01/22 13:46:41 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken

Thanks for the kind words, but at this point I'm starting to get a little concerned that I haven't found a bad place yet.  Sure, some have been better than others but so far in every case the chicken's at least been properly cooked and the only pluses and minuses have been matters of taste and preference.

Perhaps I should hit a KFC at closing time to establish a benchmark.
I encourage you to keep up the good work. Are you running out of restaurants? I've heard that the Esquire Club on Sherman has a pretty good broasted chicken special. Have never been.

JRPfeff
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/02/02 19:29:48 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken better have a damn good alibi.
Firefighters in the Town of La Grange in Walworth County were back on the scene Sunday morning pouring more water on the remains of a huge fire Friday night at the S&R Egg Farm that killed more than 300,000 hens.
 
La Grange Fire Chief John Duerst said the fire began about 7:30 p.m. Friday night in one building. The family-run operation, with 14 barns, normally has 2 million hens on site.
 
Duerst said the fire became so large that 150 to 200 firefighters from at least five nearby counties representing as many as 55 departments helped fight the blaze. The building, which Duerst estimated was 300 feet long, 80 to 90 feet wide and three stories tall, was a total loss.
That is a lot of roast chicken.
CajunKing
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/02/02 20:46:19 (permalink)
I like roast chicken, but not burned to a crisp chicken!
 
HEY BRAD put down that lighter fluid, fork and knife!!!
alishaikh
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/02/06 08:20:15 (permalink)
It looks so yummy I love to have this type of chicken so am planning to make this chicken at my home in the weekend time.
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/03/02 15:36:47 (permalink)
Well, it finally happened...some chicken that I just didn't care for.
 
My first choice for February fell through so last Monday Mrs. Chicken and I made the short trip to Romano's in Evansville.  The original in Janesville has been around since the mid '70s and judging by the building the Evansville location opened not too terribly long ago.

 
Half of the customer area is the dining room and the other half is the lounge; we chose to eat in the dining room.

 
All dinners come with garlic bread, which I suspect might be a commercial loaf that's cut, seasoned, and toasted in house.  Regardless, it had a nice crunch and wasn't too garlicky.

 
Mrs. Chicken opted for baked lasagna and it was pretty good.  The sauce was a touch sweet for my taste but she didn't mind.

 
I'm not sure what possessed me to order a pizza but a 10" sausage version found its way to the table.  As with the lasagna I would've preferred a less sweet sauce but the crust, cheese, and sausage were good.  Overall it was a fairly mild pizza flavor-wise and I've noticed that often seems to be the case in areas where there isn't a strong Italian influence; for example, Madison's only 30 minutes from Evansville but has a significant Italian history, so pizzas and pastas there tend to have fairly assertive flavors.

 
Oh, that's right...this is a chicken thread!  As you can see I dripped a little pizza sauce on the drumstick, and I wasn't in the mood for fries or a baked potato so I chose the steamed broccoli as my side.

 

 
The menu says the fried chicken is the crispiest I'll ever taste and it's not an empty claim; the crust was indeed quite crisp and pebbly, and it covered some juicy, tender chicken.  However, I would've preferred that it be less sweet and more salty, and I just couldn't get on board with it.  Maybe there's sugar in the breading or maybe honey's involved somehow, but it was a flavor profile that I didn't care for.  Not that I'm saying it was bad because it definitely wasn't, it just wasn't my kettle of fish (pardon the mixed-food metaphor).
 
However, the service was outstanding, the $37 bill for 2 dinners, a pizza, and drinks was more than acceptable, and the owner took time from his own dinner to thank us as we left.
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/03/21 22:06:00 (permalink)
Last weekend found me in northern Illinois to check on my parents' house while they were on vacation, so the entry for March comes from the Hoffman House of Rockford, Illinois.

 
There's actually a little bit of a backstory this time.  On April 1, 1980 I was hired as a busboy and I worked there regularly through high school and summers and holidays when I was home from college, and seeing the restaurant business from the other side was not only an educational experience, but certainly contributed to my interest in food and cooking (although that interest lay dormant for quite a few years).  And the irony doesn't end there; the first Hoffman House opened in Madison, Wisconsin in 1946 and Madison's where I work today.
 
Back when I was at Hoffman House the decor was sort of old European with lots of dark wood and red leather, but that's no longer the case as the restaurant has been remodeled both inside and out.

 
But some things never change, and that's the case with the locally famous salad well.  On Sunday nights the late-shift busboy had to remove all of the ice and scrub the stainless steel liner (cleaning off the crusty items like week-old macaroni salad, potato salad, etc. was the worst part) and this was one of the jobs a number of the bus crew didn't particularly care for.  Far easier was the job of the Monday lunch busboy, as all he had to do was pour in fresh ice.

 
All meals come with sugar-dusted fried bread and honey butter.  The bread was warm and crisp with a light, flaky center and even though I don't have a sweet tooth I enjoyed it.

Was it on the menu 30 years ago?  I honestly can't remember.
 
There's a self-serve soup station near the salad well and last Saturday's selection was ham and baked potato, and it was very good.

 
What did I have for dinner during my very first shift nearly 34 years ago?  Yep...fried chicken, the first of many orders I placed over the years.

 

 

 
One of the co-owners used to be the head chef (and may still be for all I know) and he really took his job seriously, so I wasn't at all surprised that my chicken dinner was very good.  The batter wasn't too thick and it was nice and crisp, the meat was juicy and flavorful, and the potatoes had a mild garlic flavor that went well with the brown gravy.
 
I wasn't sure how nostalgic the experience would be as it'd been 24-1/2 years since I'd set foot in the restaurant (the night of my bachelor party, in fact), but the different look and not running into anyone from the old days made it seem like a visit to any other restaurant.  Fortunately the quality of the food and the excellence of the service were as I remembered, and that's what matters most.
CCinNJ
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/03/27 11:26:17 (permalink)
What a beautiful meal (psst extra fried bread please) warm place & great memories!

Rocky Enfield
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/04/25 11:56:48 (permalink)
Screaming Chicken,
 
I will be coming to Stoughton the first week of July.  I have rented a cottage from Crown Point and am looking forward to some great fishing.
I have enjoyed your reviews of all the chicken you have had for the last year or so.  My question is which on of these is close to Stoughton and you would highly recommend.
While we will be preparing most of meals in house I am interested in hearing your recommendations for breakfast and any others...I already read your report on Yeti's and that certainly sounds interesting.
 
Thanks,
Rocky Enfield
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/05/13 13:16:20 (permalink)
April
 
The Parkway Family Restaurant has been just across the highway from my workplace for probably 20 years but for some reason I've only eaten there a couple of times, so late last month I headed over there after work for an early dinner.

 

 
I started with a cup of excellent chicken dumpling soup.  The broth was flavorful and well-seasoned with a light, peppery bite and the dumplings were soft but not to the point of being mushy.

 
The chicken was also well-seasoned and had a thin batter crust that fried up nice and crisp while being just slightly oily (in a good way).  A serving of mashed potatoes and flavorful gravy rounded out a very good dinner.

 

leethebard
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2014/05/13 14:08:58 (permalink)
Good looking chicken!!!
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