About2019-05-24T14:55:29-06:00

SPICY HOT CHICKEN STORY

Anyone who knows me at all is aware that I am a fanatic over spicy hot foods, especially spicy hot fried chicken. I have been eating this kind of chicken since I was at least five years old. I’m sure it wasn’t as spicy as I eat it now, but it was still spicy.

My father, George Morgan, found a place one night back in the 1950s after playing the Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN almost by literally following his nose. The scent took him to a brick-o-block building, on Charlotte Avenue, with two windows and two doors (one in back and one in front). He walked into a smoke-filled establishment with the smell that made his tongue water, only to find he and he alone was the only white person in there. This was some serious soul food.

With about four wooden booths in the front, the back room had one long table that was designated for the white people. The stove had two large black cast-iron skillets full of hot lard bubbling over beautifully frying chicken breast quarters and leg quarters to a dark golden brown.

The man cooking the chicken smiled up at my father and there was an instant friendship born. Bolton Polke was this distinguished black man’s name. His wife sat behind the counter on a stool and ate the hot chicken and talked to the customers. My dad quickly became a regular and their biggest promoter of this great chicken. He even spoke of it on the Opry occasionally and told folks to visit “The Chicken Shack” on Charlotte.

This chicken became a staple in our family over the next fifty-some years. It’s made with dry Cheyenne pepper, paprika, white pepper, and a few secret ingredients. Each piece according to the heat you like, or think you can endure, is rolled in the mix of all the ingredients, either thick or not so thick, and then rolled and coated with thick white all-purpose flour. Then it’s fried to a golden brown, placed on two pieces of white bread, topped with dill pickles, then wrapped in waxed paper and placed in a brown paper bag for takeout. Scrumptious!!!