Photo by Denny Culbert, 2018.
The Chicken or the Egg?
Open for less than a year, New Orleans’ Turkey and the Wolf in the Lower Garden District has become a big hit for its imaginative menu that pairs local bounty with throwback pantry staples like club crackers and Doritos. Here, chef-owner Mason Hereford shares one of the restaurant’s standards. “I love to eat fried chicken and deviled eggs together, so I thought ‘why don’t I make a dish that has the best of both?’”
Don’t skimp on the hot sauce, Hereford says. “We make our own, but Crystal is what’s up.”
Deviled Eggs with Fried Chicken Skins
Makes 8 to 12 Deviled eggs
For Fried Chicken Skins:
½ pound chicken skin, or skin from 1 whole fryer chicken
1 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1¼ cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup finely-ground panko bread crumbs
1½ tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery salt
Oil for frying
Kosher salt, to taste
For Deviled Eggs:
6 hardboiled eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (Crystal), plus more for garnish
Juice of ½ lemon
Kosher salt to taste
Fried chicken skins (recipe follows)
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
Make fried chicken skins: On a cutting board, lay out chicken skin, fat side up (the side that doesn’t have the bumpy texture from where the feathers were plucked). Using a spoon, scrape off all the fat. Removing the fat is key to a crispy end product. Next, place skins in a medium pot and add onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat and the let the skins sit for 15 minutes. Next, drain skins and allow them to cool by spreading them flat on a resting rack or a piece of parchment paper. Once skins are cool, they are ready to be fried.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, panko, and seasonings. Dredge cooked chicken skins until fully coated. In a deep skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry skins, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick together, until they reach a golden brown, about 4 minutes. Keep your distance when frying as the skins have a tendency to pop and crackle when they enter hot oil. Remove skins from oil and drain on a paper towel. Season immediately with salt, and reserve until ready to assemble eggs. They last a few hours before losing crispiness.
Make deviled eggs: Peel hardboiled eggs and cut each in half lengthwise. Remove yolks from whites, and rinse whites in cold water to remove any excess yolk left behind. Press yolks through a fine mesh strainer into a mixing bowl. Next add mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice, and salt, trying not to overwork egg yolk mixture. The filling should be slightly fluffy and not loose.
To serve, arrange eggs on a platter, and using a piping bag or zip-top plastic bag with a snipped corner, fill whites with egg yolk mixture. Garnish with fried chicken skins, a drizzle of hot sauce, freshly cracked pepper, and some torn sprigs of fresh dill.
You can find chicken skin at your local butcher shop (ask for a half-pound). Otherwise, you can buy a whole fryer chicken from the supermarket and remove the skin with a chef’s knife or scissors. Ignore those areas that are especially difficult to remove the skin, as you’ll get plenty for this recipe from the breast, back, and thighs.
If you are ever in New Orleans, make sure to put this great place on your list of places to eat. It will be worth trip!
Turkey and the Wolf
739 Jackson Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
Wednesday – Saturday, and Monday: 11am – 5pm or until we sell out
Sunday: 11am – 3pm