We ask Comfort Kitchen: what’s the secret behind great southern fried chicken? Plus, discover their #StreetEatsLoves in London’s street food scene.
Describe Comfort Kitchen in three words…
Big crazy family!
What makes southern food so attractive, and comforting..?
Southern food is the most attractive as its homemade, has big yet subtle flavours and is satisfyingly filling.
How did you research your recipes?
When I was 21 I travelled the ‘Deep South’ from Florida to Mississippi, stopping everywhere in between. I made a few friends who taught me about a lot about southern cooking, the research was already done I just didn’t use it until my 30s.
How did you decide what dishes went on the menu?
I’ve always stuck to the same menu from the beginning, the main ones being The Big Bird and The Dirty Bird, every now and then I decide to add a special one at Islington Green Night Market, the Skinny Bird (our chicken wrap). Plus, come Christmas time I may get a little festive and add some corn bread stuffing.
Why did you choose to combine pancakes and chicken? Not that we’re complaining!
I’ve spent a lot of time in America and spent years eating sweetcorn pancakes in our house, and a lot of people have never tried them. I’ve seen a lot of chicken and waffles around, and I thought it would be different to do the chicken and pancakes, as its a winner in the US.
Where do you source your ingredients?
All of our chicken is supplied by Thompsons of Smithfield and is halal butchered, we hand cut all of the fillets ourselves. All of our vegetables are supplied by Side Salads of New Covent Garden Market. I buy all fresh bread from Village Bakers, my local bakery, I dry all of this myself and make all of the breadcrumbs out of fresh bread. Most of the spices that I put into my chicken are imported giving it its unique flavour.
How did you start out and tell us a bit about the people involved…
Before having my two children I was an IT trainer for the Home Office, after having a three year break I decided that I didn’t want to go back to working in an office, I ended up working on a few street food stalls and loved it, I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of fried chicken stalls around and decided that was exactly what I was going to do, as who doesn’t like fried chicken! Our team is all family and close family friends.
Who are your #StreetEatsLoves?
Chunky Buddha: not only is Mr Lee Chau Lee an amazing chef, he also has a heart of gold, I have made a friend for life and also someone who can feed me whenever I want. Cheeky Burger: Martha and Seb, the most hard working people I know. They have the best burger around my favourite is of course the Cheeky Elvis. They will always do anything to help you whenever you need them and are genuinely amazing people. All Greek To Me: Barry and Susan, they have amazing sausages which they regularly supply me with when the hunger kicks in. Susan’s sauces are to die for and they are quite simply the sweetest couple I know.
The one ingredient you couldn’t live without…
Can you let us in on the secret to really good southern fried chicken?
Good subtle spices and cooking it low and slow.
Comfort Kitchen | Find them serving at…
Thomas Moore square Every two weeks on a Wednesday 11am-2.30pm
St Giles every Thursday 11am-2.30pm
St Kats every Friday 11am-2.30pm
Devonshire Square the first week of every Month 11am-2.30pm
Islington Green Night Market on a rota, Saturdays, weather permitting.