One of the best bites of my New Orleans trip was the famous fried chicken from Willie Mae’s Scotch House. The fried chicken has been lauded as the best fried chicken in America and featured on the Travel Channel, Food Network and practically every other food media outlet.

The original restaurant was flooded and destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, but the locals rallied to rebuild it and it is now run by Willie Mae’s great granddaughter. As a result of the restaurant’s fame, there is usually a long wait. Since we do not enjoy lines, we opted go right when the restaurant opens, at 10:30 AM. Fried chicken for breakfast? Hey, we were on vacation!

America’s Best Fried Chicken

Of course we started with the chicken. One order brings you a basket of three pieces of chicken, fried to a crunchy, glistening golden hue. One bite and I was a believer. That initial bite was the best bite of fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Many of my friends have asked me to describe what makes the fried chicken so special and it’s really hard for me to explain because I’ve never had fried chicken like the way it is prepared at Willie Mae’s.

Yes, the chicken is juicy and seasoned. But what makes Willie Mae’s version stand out, is the crust. Though the exact recipe is a closely guarded family secret, the restaurant has revealed that they use a wet batter, whereas most fried chicken uses a dry batter. Here’s a video I found demonstrating how they fry their chicken. The wet  batter, when fried, becomes a thick crust that covers the chicken.

Despite its thickness, there is such a delicacy to it, crumbling into dozens of pieces immediately upon contact. Some have likened it to glass shattering. Whatever the analogy, the effect is definitely unique and immensely enjoyable.

I will say though, that on its own, the crunchy crust is a tad too salty to enjoy solo. You really do need to eat it with the chicken to get the best results.

Buttered Beans and Rice

For your Super Bowl Sunday recipe consideration, may I suggest these bacon wrapped eggplant fries brushed with a light glaze of honey sriracha sauce?

One of my favorite appetizer recipes have been my bacon wrapped avocado fries. But I think these may be even better. Sure eggplant may not sound nearly as delicious as avocado, but here’s why I prefer this version over my original.

First, raw eggplant has a much sturdier texture than avocado, making it a lot easier to wrap bacon around it. And when the eggplant is cooked, it turns soft and creamy, much like the texture of avocado.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are kicked up a notch with the addition of pepperoni slices, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce, creating pizza grilled cheese sandwiches.

It was a cloudy day in San Diego today, perfect weather for these pizza grilled cheese sandwiches. Does anyone else feel like their energy level is significantly influenced by the weather? For me, sunny days mean I’m hopping with energy, but cloudy days sap all the strength out of me and I just want to curl into bed.

So, obviously we’re taking a slight break from the healthy recipes. It’s all about balance right? I don’t feel too guilty because at least I’m keeping up some other resolutions. Okay maybe just one other. But that’s better than nothing.