Linger Ficken’ Good: Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken


This is the inaugural Linger Ficken’ Good post. Devoted to all things fried chicken, Linger Ficken’ Good, named for the most excellent album by Revolting Cocks (see/buy here), will showcase the best, the worst and everything in between that the Chicagoland area has to offer with regards to fried chicken.

Today we’re taking a look at local mini-chain Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken (four total, three in Chicago proper and one in Broadview), a rather interesting name considering its ties to the much buried Walt Disney film Song of the South, not to mention this bit of antiquated racist advertising.

The family that owns Uncle Remus is African-American, so the idea would seem to be to take the name back from its racist ties and turn it into something positive. Charmaine Rickette took over for her father Gus Sr. and her goal appears to be expansion, with the West side company recently making a move into the South side neighborhood of Bronzeville, traditionally assumed to be Harold’s territory. Fried chicken knows no boundaries in my opinion, so I’m sure everybody is happy that there’s just more of it available.

For my trip to Uncle Remus I stopped in at perhaps the weirdest location to get fresh, made to order food in the world: Wal-Mart. I’m someone that only goes to Wal-Mart if I absolutely need to, so an exception was made for fried chicken.

The ordering process is a bit confusing…in retrospect I don’t know if that was because of me or because of the menu. I got a two piece white and a two piece dark…both came with fries (something I didn’t know or I would have just ordered one with fries and one with nothing else but chicken) and I stupidly ordered a meal only to get a small Styrofoam circle of bland cole slaw. Both came with rolls that were discarded quickly.

What sets Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken apart from most fried chicken out there in the world is the ladling of hot sauce on top of the chicken (and on the fries, but more on that in a minute). The hot sauce isn’t very complex, truth be told, but it became obvious how necessary it was to the betterment of the fried chicken.

On a scale of 1 – 10, I would probably give Uncle Remus fried chicken a 6. I appreciate that it’s made to order and not sitting around under heat lamps, that means something in today’s fast food world, that’s for sure. But the coating, while featuring a nice crunchy crust, is a bit boring. The breast, in particular, took a real beating, having set in the fryer perhaps a couple of minutes too long, the sauce helping this piece out the most. The piece that somehow came out the best was the leg. Go figure. Normally the thighs in a four piece of chicken come out the strongest.

Back to that sauce, there’s something kind of amazing that happens with it being spilled all over the French fries. The saucy fries ended up being my favorite part of the meal and I considered asking for more sauce for them.

So yeah, I probably won’t be running back to Uncle Remus’ any time soon (especially at Wal-Mart), but if you’re stuck in that Wal-Mart and you’re hungry, it’s better to have that than the options most of the chain’s stores have (*cough*Subway*cough*).

Come back next time to read about my recent trip to Jimmy Bannos’ ode to New Orleans, Heaven On Seven, and the Nashville Hot Chicken he recently added to the restaurant’s menu.

Until then, this is your friendly neighborhood Rock ‘n Roll Ghost telling you too eat more fried chicken and to always save the thighs for last.

Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken


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