The best fried chicken in the world
I happened to stop by the Old Country Store in Lorman, Mississippi, today. That’s a lie. I did go to the Old Country Store but not by accident. I have been planning this stop for weeks and Lorman is barely on the map. You have to want to go there but, trust me, you do. The Old Country Store’s proprietor, Arthur Davis, makes the best fried chicken in the world. At least Alton Brown thinks so.
A few years back, Alton produced a Food Network special called Feasting on Asphalt. And he found Mr. Davis and his fried chicken. And Alton Brown is exactly right. It is the best fried chicken in the world.
What makes it so good? I’ll attempt to describe it. The crust has a distinctive seasoning that Mr. Davis massages into always fresh – never previously frozen – chicken. Those girls get a good spa treatment. He dredges it in simple flour and deep fries it in extremely fresh oil. The crust is both light and extremely crunchy and deeply flavorful. And the chicken is incredibly moist. I ate five pieces.
It made me incredibly happy and totally depressed all at the same time — happy that I had tasted fried chicken perfection and depressed that I might not get back to Lorman, Mississippi, anytime soon.
So I take a pretty miserable selfie, but here I am with Mr. Davis. He greeted all of his customers today, table by table. And I found out through one of his employees that his chicken seasoning mix is now available for sale. I bought three bags.
Fried chicken in the South is sacred. It is a yardstick by which hospitality and capability in the kitchen is measured. There’s lots and lots of good fried chicken here. Even great fried chicken. But I can tell you after a brief but meaningful stop at the Old Country Store that I can say with complete authority that I have now eaten the best fried chicken in the world.