What to Cook This Weekend

Good morning. I’m feeling a powerful urge to cook fried chicken this weekend. Maybe the fiendishly spicy version (above) that Melissa Clark learned at the elbow of Rodney Frazer at Peaches HotHouse in Brooklyn, or the dead simple one Michael Ruhlman picked up at Wagner’s Village Inn, in southeastern Indiana.

I’ve got a recipe for buttermilk fried chicken, myself; I sometimes amp up the flour with Old Bay seasoning. Nicole Taylor has a berry-jam fried chicken that pairs exceptionally well with her scallion cornmeal waffles. Kim Severson learned a great pan-fried one from Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. We have a lot of recipes for fried chicken.

Whichever recipe you choose, and whether you’re serving it with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, coleslaw or brown-butter cornbread, I hope you’ll consider making a gravy to go along with it. Simply combine a few tablespoons of frying oil after cooking with an equal amount of flour in a separate pan for a roux. Heat it until it takes on some color, then add salt, black pepper, milk and hot sauce. (Melissa’s as good on this subject as anyone alive. If I’m being too vague for you, here’s her guide to making gravy from scratch.)

Other things to cook this weekend: a Swedish almond cake; creamy vegan polenta with mushrooms and kale; caramelized plantains with beans, scallions and lemon; blue cheese swirl bread; a quinoa salad with avocado and kalamata olives.

And for breakfast on Sunday? Sour cream and fruit scones, is what I’m thinking, or this elegant rosti with smoked salmon and poached egg. (The rosti calls for clarified butter or duck fat, so that there are no milk solids to burn as the potatoes crisp up. I’m sorry for your troubles, but it’s a crucial point.) Alternatively: Dutch baby!

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Now, it’s a far cry from bulgur or brats, but it’s Kingsley Amis’s birthday and he would have been 99, as good a time as any for you to read or reread his 1986 novel, “The Old Devils.”

You also ought to check out Nick Bilton in Vanity Fair, on the dark culture of tech titans in Silicon Valley.

On the NYT Cooking YouTube channel, we had Zainab Shah teach us how to make crispy samosas two ways.

Holland Cotter’s review in The Times sent me on a virtual trip to Louisville, Ky., to check out “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” at the Speed Art Museum, a show mounted in direct response to the killing, by the Louisville police, of Breonna Taylor in March 2020.

Finally, here’s new writing from Noémi Lefebvre, translated by Sophie Lewis, “The Mob and the Crowd,” in Granta. I’ll see you on Sunday.

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