Young and Hungry

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Lashings: The General Store’s Fried Chicken

There's a reason food stylists and photographers make real money to shoot cookbooks. They can make anything look appetizing. I, on the other hand, have made Gillian Clark's fried chicken, now available at The General Store in Silver Spring after a loooong absence, look like something I just tripped over on the street. Forgive me. The bird tastes nothing like this picture suggests.

I'll blame part of my photographic failings on Montgomery County, which has forced The General Store to serve take-out grub until Clark and partner Robin Smith can work out their parking issues. I had to take this shot on my lap in the car, which was parked just across the street from the new restaurant at 6 Post Office Rd. (301-562-8787). I wasn't about to wait another 10 minutes to find a real spot to eat.

Despite my downscale dining location, I was extremely satisfied with the fried chicken. It was a tad greasy, yes, but frankly, I like a little oil on my bird. When not excessive, the oil adds an extra element of flavor to skin that can, all too often, just taste like seasoned flour. These folks that talk about perfectly greaseless fried chicken, they seem to be just echoing all that American anti-fat sentiment. Even better, Clark's birds are moist to the bone, which contrasts nicely with the crispy element she adds to the skin.

All in all, I was happy to have the bird back on the market—even if I had to eat it on my lap.

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