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Lou’s, an Origin Story

July 23, 2019 | Gary Mulkins

Luca. Listen. I promise you I can make you a better sandwich. I can brine the chicken, so it’s seasoned on the inside, too, and salt and pepper the breading so it’s just perfectly flavored, and cook it in a pressure fryer so that it’s nicely crisped and coated and delicious. I’d put bread and butter pickles on it, too, just three, the way you like, and I’ll skip the tomato because I know you hate them, even though some day you’ll appreciate what ripe tomatoes do for flavor. They elevate a sandwich, they really do. I’ll make you a special sauce that’s better than their sauce and I’ll call it. Rooster Sauce. Because I like the sound of that. Don’t you? I’ll put it on Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls, because damn that’s a good roll, it holds up and stays soft at the same time, and if you want, I’ll even make you waffle fries to go with your chicken sandwich. Oh wait, even better: tater tots. Maybe both. Just wait, Luca. It will be the best chicken sandwich you’ve ever eaten, and we can stop going to that cheerful little factory with the powdered lemonade. Here. Try.

I think you got Rooster Sauce on your chin. 

Jacqueline. Honey. I’ll cook you something vegetarian later, I promise. I just need some feedback on the Nashville chicken, so don’t mind all of us. How great does this smell? It’s not quite right but it’s super close. The spice isn’t getting all the way through to the meat. What do you think Liza? Not spicy enough, right? The meat isn’t really seasoned enough, either. Here, wait, try this one, Lauren, I think this platter is a little better. Wow, the windows are steaming up with all this chicken. What about the tots, try the tots. Nick, do you think I need to brine the next batch of chicken? What if I just sort of roll it in spicy duck fat after it’s cooked? Jonny and I will  just make another batch real quick and I’ll leave this one up here. . . .Gosh, this whole office smells like fried chicken, doesn’t it? Maybe you can just try the fries, honey. I’ll bring you some carrots or something. Look how perfect this skin is, Karlie, golden and crunchy, and you can see the bits of pepper clinging to the folds. Try it. Does it taste as good as it looks? Hey I made your eyes roll, that’s a good thing. Liza, Nick, what do you think? I really feel like I got the heat right on this batch. Jacqueline, you want to just try the skin? It’s not really the meat and. Here, Jacqueline, just the skin, I think I nailed it, what do you think? It’s making your nose run. Not just heat just for heat’s sake, though, right? The spice should do more than burn, ideally you’ll sort of crave another bite. Oh sure, I’ll get you some more skin, Jacqueline. Try it with some honey, honey. Hey I thought you guys were full when I brought up that last round. Is it really? That’s nice of you to say. Ok, I’m just going to try one more batch. . . Nick, your lips are swelling. A thigh, Jacqueline? Seriously?

I think we nailed it.  

(The story behind Lou’s chicken sandwich and our Sunday fried chicken. Hope to see you here!)