Photo courtesy Larry White

Recipe Friday: Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Recipes Issue: July 2017

If you missed National Fried Chicken Day (July 6) and didn’t get a chance to feast on fabulous fowl, don’t fret: Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles is celebrating all month by offering a free side dish for the table with the purchase of any “Hood Classics” meal.

But if you’d rather try making your own, Larry White, the Valley's king of fried chicken and founder of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, has rustled up a variation of his secret fried chicken recipe.

A couple of tips: Be sure to rub the seasonings into the chicken for maximum flavor; and if the chicken is browning too fast, add a little more oil or another piece of chicken to bring down the oil’s temperature.

And for those who don’t have a cast iron skillet, White offers this advice: “If you want that good old Southern-fried, back-home, best-of-the-west-of-the-Mississippi fried chicken, I suggest you go out to Williams Sonoma and pick up a cast iron skillet. But if you’re lucky enough to have a grandmother like myself, you know your grandma got an extra cast iron skillet that she’s been carrying around since 1964. If you ain’t got no grandma that’s been carrying a skillet since 1964, you ain’t got no grandma making some serious fried chicken.”

Larry’s “In-A-Fix” Fried Chicken
Makes the equivalent of 2 whole chickens
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. garlic salt
1 tbsp. paprika
½ cup kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 gallon water
2 chickens, cut up (your butcher can do this for you)
Canola oil (fill the skillet to about 40 percent)

Begin by cleaning and washing the raw chicken, then brine (1 gallon of cold water, ½ cup of kosher salt) in a salt bath in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to prepare the chicken, remove from brine and pat dry with a paper towel.

Dip the chicken in the buttermilk bath and pull the chicken out, allowing excess buttermilk to drip off. Season with black pepper, garlic salt, paprika, and then dredge in flour – or make your own Lo-Lo’s-inspired secret family seasoning. Make sure the seasoning goes on the chicken first, then cover it in flour to seal the spices inside the skin for maximum flavor.

Carefully drop each piece of chicken into canola oil heated to 350º F in a cast iron skillet. Let each piece of chicken fry for 7 minutes on each side, flip, and then cook another 7 minutes. Pat each piece of fried chicken with a paper towel to soak up any extra grease. Rest for 5 minutes, then serve hot alongside homemade waffles, Koolaid and Lo-Lo’s hot sauce for your own soul food feast.