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Anyone know if American Deep South Southern Fried Chicken can be had around London?

Broke my heart- I did a drive over to Momma Cherri's in Brighton, believing I was going to be bathed in a bowl hominy slow-cooked grits, green beans, macaroni & cheese, all of it surrounding the most wonderful moist inside, crisp outside fried chicken that would make crunch sounds like footsteps on a new fallen snow. How sad that I built my expectations for such a thing!

Commercialism, mixed with a bout of the boss becoming tired and the staff losing the spark has dramatically affected the place, I'm sad to say.

So that leaves me wondering whether this is simply too an elusive dream to find in our country?

I don't want the spicy stuff. I want the original. A few pork chops, smothered of course, and a wallop of potato salad wouldn't go unappreciated either! But for now, I'll keep my prayers focused. I lugged home a Smithfield Country Ham a couple of years ago from the Homestead in Hot Springs Virginia. It was so heavenly I was ready to depart this planet. In fact, I could hear sounds that resembled the wooden planks on an old ocean liner as they yielded to the movement of the ship. That turned out to be my arteries hardening. But for now, I'll stay focused and just ask or beg for the compass coordinates to point me to a decent fried chicken luncheon.

Anyone care to join me?

Fr Bill+

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  1. I suspect your quest will be as successful as if I searched for Lancashire Hotpot or Lobscouse in America's capital. But good luck.

    Momma Cherri's? IIRC, this was one of the Ramsay Kitchen Nightmare places. Was sure it had closed a year or so back. Must have started up again as a different company.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Hey Harter! You're right. I think one of the lads who worked for Mama Cherri tried to make a go of it. Sad it collapsed but to be honest after watching the er um Venerable Mr Ramsay it didn't appear as if it was going to succeed.

      You're absolutely right...needle in a haystack. But I thought perhaps there might be a little hideaway somewhere in Brixton that does the whole ethnic thing.

      Interestingly, where so many people crow about the 'southern' friend chicken, I think the best I ever had was years ago in Harlem!! It was a time when white people were not supposed to be up there, but I was too dumb to know that. I ended up in a place called 'Sylvia's' . I was eyed very suspiciously during my first visits after church on Sundays. But eventually the owner used to catch the customers coming in who couldn't decide whether to run or draw their guns. She'd scream at them 'don you pay him no mine - he ain't nobody.!' And I thought I was being hospitable by saying hello to people who'd come in the door and she'd scream at me saying 'I told you, don't you talk to none o my customers - you dumb cracker!' That was many years ago. She actually became quite famous years later when Harlem began its revival and people felt more free in moving around. Haven't been there in years as when it became so public it seemed to have lost much of its quality...I think a bit like Mama Cherri.

      Fr Bill+

      1. re: FrBill

        I'm just wondering if you've ever eaten at one of the Bodean's outlets in London. I had a terrific BBQ sandwich there a few years ago, complete with onion rings to die for. It was the Soho branch, and I'm not sure why I haven't gotten back there again, but I will. It was very authentic. Real 'southern fried chicken,' is not that difficult to make at home... just Google a recipe (probably using buttermilk) and go to it!

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        Bodeans
        Poland St, London, Greater London W1F 7, GB

        1. re: zuriga1

          Bodean's is superb! I live up North but make sure I go every time I visit London. The pulled pork there is incredible. Good value too.

          Speaking of Deep South food, I've got a huge chicken, prawn and chorizo gumbo on the go. Can't wait!

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          Bodeans
          Poland St, London, Greater London W1F 7, GB

          1. re: Stegzy

            I thank someone on here long ago that talked about Bodean's. I must get back there one day soon. My husband's British, so the lure of BBQ meat etc. is not for him what it is for me. I hope you have some Bay Seasoning for that gumbo! Amazing how chorizo goes with everything.

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            Bodeans
            Poland St, London, Greater London W1F 7, GB

            1. re: zuriga1

              I sure do have Bay Seasoning! And yeh chorizo is great. I searched everywhere to get Andouille sausage but I can't source it anywhere in the UK.

              I'm British and I can't resist BBQ meat. The brisket with BBQ sauce that they do at Bodean's is to die for. My mouth's watering.

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              Bodeans
              Poland St, London, Greater London W1F 7, GB

              1. re: Stegzy

                Oh how I wish you could get andouille here! I find chorizo a bit too paprika-y for gumbo, but have a bit more luck recreating the recipe from home with polish sausage instead. You don't get the same spice kick, but the smokiness is about right.

                1. re: souhaite

                  Thanks Souhaite. I read something about spicy Italian sausage being a good replacement too. I'll experiment next time.

                  1. re: Stegzy

                    I seem to remember getting a good Italian sausage once at Sainsbury's. I'm sure one of the Italian shops like Camisa would have some.

                    1. re: zuriga1

                      Thanks. I'll pop in next time I visit London.

      1. re: gembellina

        Thank you Gembellina!

        Just read it...shame on me for not having delved deeper the other day when I posted this!

        Fr Bill+

        1. re: FrBill

          Not that it provides the answer you were looking for! More the opposite :(

      2. If it's helpful, Cook's Country just did Nashville-style fried chicken. It looked very do-able if you care to pursue it.

        Here's another less spicy version from a previous show: http://www.food.com/recipe/extra-crun...

        1 Reply
        1. re: rainey

          The digression about U.S. Southern Soul Food has been moved here:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/815377

          Posts waxing nostalgic about food had in the past in the U.S. have been removed from this thread as the mission of this board is to find great food and drink available in the here and the now in the U.K.

        2. If you find somewhere for fried chicken I would so absolutely be down!!!