The Fried Chicken Shop - Netflix

Written on

A unique portrait of contemporary life, illustrated by fried chicken, the staff who serve it and the customers who buy it.

The Fried Chicken Shop - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 45 minutes

Premier: 2013-02-19

The Fried Chicken Shop - Fried chicken - Netflix

Fried chicken (also referred to as Southern fried chicken for the variant in the United States) is a dish consisting of chicken pieces usually from broiler chickens which have been floured or battered and then pan-fried, deep fried, or pressure fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior of the chicken. What separates fried chicken from other fried forms of chicken is that generally the chicken is cut at the joints, and the bones and skin are left intact. Crisp well-seasoned skin, rendered of excess fat, is a hallmark of well made fried chicken. The first dish known to have been deep fried was fritters, which were popular in the Middle Ages. However, it was the Scottish who were the first Europeans to deep fry their chicken in fat (though without seasoning). Meanwhile, a number of West African peoples had traditions of seasoned fried chicken (though battering and cooking the chicken in palm oil). Scottish frying techniques and West African seasoning techniques were combined by enslaved Africans and African-Americans in the American South. Prior to the rise of synthetic pesticides in the Second World War and their role in the development of intensive industrial animal farming, chicken meat was a delicacy and very expensive. Eating chicken, including fried chicken, was only enjoyed on special occasions. Then, with intensive chicken husbandry, and especially in the late 1900s and early 2000s with mass-production of fried chicken, the price of the dish has gone down significantly. When being cooked, fried chicken is often divided into smaller pieces. The chicken is then generally covered in a batter, often consisting of ingredients such as eggs or milk, and a thickener such as flour. This is used to create a crust on the exterior of the meat. In addition, seasoning is often added at this stage. Once the chicken is ready to be cooked, it is placed in a deep fryer, frying pan or pressure cooker (depending on the method used) and fried in lard or a type of oil. The dish has created a large number of spin-off recipes which are commonly used around the world. For example, Korean fried chicken, a dish which is commonly served as fast food in Korea and is known for being crispier than normal fried chicken. There is also a racial stereotype surrounding fried chicken and African-American people, mostly because it was popular among slaves in the American Civil War.

The Fried Chicken Shop - Racial stereotype - Netflix

In the United States, fried chicken has stereotypically been associated with African-Americans. The reasons for this are various. Chicken dishes were popular among slaves before the Civil War, as chickens were generally the only animals slaves were allowed to raise on their own. Minstrel shows and the film The Birth of a Nation led to a prevalent stereotype associating African-Americans with fried chicken. On two occasions the golfer Tiger Woods has been the target of remarks regarding fried chicken. The first occurred in 1997 when golfer Fuzzy Zoeller said that Woods should avoid choosing fried chicken for the Masters champions' dinner the following year; the second when golfer Sergio García was asked in a press conference in 2013 whether he would invite Woods to dinner during the U.S. Open to settle their ongoing feud. García, a Spaniard who was unaware of the existence of this stereotype in American society, committed a gaffe saying: “We will have him round every night . . . We will serve fried chicken”, which Woods said was “wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate”. Both Zoeller and García subsequently apologized to Woods. In 2009, a KFC in Beijing renamed their restaurant to “Obama Fried Chicken” in reference to recently inaugurated President Barack Obama. Despite controversy at the time, the owner refused to change the name back, and the restaurant continues to operate under this name. At a dinner during Black History Month, an NBC chef, Leslie Calhoun, served fried chicken. The drummer of the Roots, Questlove, was angered by this and thought it both offensive and ignorant. In 2012, Burger King withdrew a commercial which featured Mary J. Blige singing about a crispy chicken wrap due to the racial stereotypes surrounding fried chicken.

The Fried Chicken Shop - References - Netflix