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Favorite Dish: Fried Chicken From Red Cow in Fort Lauderdale

There’s a lot to love about fried chicken.

First, there’s that hot, crunchy, crispy crust, fried to golden-brown perfection. Once you get through that, your taste buds are rewarded with another layer of juicy, succulent meat. If you're a true food-obsessed American, you might be willing to drive cross-county for a taste of fried chicken done right.

While South Florida isn't generally regarded as a landmark for fried chicken, we've got a few good spots. And one of the best places for a solid plate of Southern-style fried bird is right here in Fort Lauderdale. The Red Cow does a version that is distinctly Southern and 100 percent all-American.

The barbecue joint opened in May 2013, but began serving the dish about six months ago. The recent addition is compliments of executive chef Freddie Lawton, whose recipe churns out some of the best fried chicken wings, legs, thighs, and breasts south of the Mason-Dixon line.

To make his bird moist and tender, Lawton starts with a full-day brine, bathing various cuts of skin-on chicken in buttermilk for 24 hours. From there, it's all about the breading, here a combination of flour, egg, more buttermilk, and cornstarch for an extra crackly crunch. Last, a dash of sugar and a secret blend of seasonings lend the meat a hint of spicy-sweet.

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But Lawton's fried chicken has one extra step, the one step no one really does around these parts: smoking. Like any good 'cue, Lawton gives his meat an extra dose of flavor with a slow turn in the smoker before it's dunked in the fryer to-order. The result is nothing short of Southern-style heaven — lip-smacking tender chicken meat encased in a thin shell of golden-friend skin.

As if that weren't decadent enough, the dish is served with a thick slice of the chef's creamy cornbread pie and a side of warm honey for dipping. And be thankful for the warm wet napkin at the end of your meal, because you'll need it.

Red Cow is located at 1025 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-652-1524, or visit redcowftl.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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