Fried chicken at the Lobozó restaurant, in Vila Madalena, western Sao Paulo. Photo: TABA BENEDICTO/ESTADÃO
Gone are the days when fried chicken it could only be found outside of bakeries, baking for hours inside “dog TVs”. Over time and appreciating this dish, grill bars in São Paulo have begun to invest more and more in this ingredient, and now it is on the menu of restaurants, and chefs are looking for new interpretations and ways to make fried chicken on the Brazilian table.
One of these restaurants Tagging, focused on rustic cuisine. Under the guidance of Gustavo Rodriguez, Marcelo Correa Bastos and Carlos Alberto Doria, the house prepares fried chicken stuffed with loboso. This is a variant of moist cornmeal farofa with peanuts and bacon. According to Gustavo, the idea to offer the dish came at the very beginning of the restaurant’s operation, back in 2020, when they were closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Besides, there is all the importance of the dish. “This food is present in the life of almost every Brazilian, especially in big cities, as it represents convenience and ease for families during the weekend. This is the main dish that needs to be put on the table and shared with him,” says Gustavo. Taste. “This dish was also good for delivery. Today Lobozó serves fried chicken every day, not just on Sundays.” The dish costs 96 reais as a whole and is designed for five people. Half, for two, for 58 reais.
Frango do Lobozó comes stuffed and can be bought whole or half. Photo: Clayton Vieira
Gustavo Rodriguez also says that in addition to the filling, they were looking for another differentiator: the quality of the chicken. The goal from the beginning was to use free-range chickens in accordance with the rules of the Brazilian Association of Technical Regulations (ABNT), which guarantee that it is a slow maturing bird that is fed organically throughout its life. “Unlike baker chickens, which are white birds that take 25 days to mature before slaughter, free-range chickens take 65 to 80 days to mature. This is a larger bird, weighing up to 2.2 kg,” says the chef.
After that, a few more concerns that seem simple, but which can affect the taste of meat. “We have tested the recipe and we understand that seasoning is essential for a good chicken. Other things like tying, padding and leather finishing. Basically, this is how we prepare the skin for baking so that it is golden and crispy. We worked hard to get the perfect fried chicken,” Chef Lobozó concludes.
Origin of fried chicken
There is a lot of controversy about the origin of sidewalk-fried chicken in these machines that salivates dogs (and humans). There were already indications that the shops that slaughtered chickens in the São Paulo hinterland had a custom of displaying fried chicken for sale on the side of the road. But the dish took off in the 1950s when a family in Luveira began selling fried chicken cooked on Sundays on their doorstep.
José and Rosa Mamprin had a fruit stand at Kilometer 73 of Rodovia Ankhanger. On Sundays, it was a tradition in the family to cook very homemade fried chicken to gather relatives around the table. However, when the customers came to pick up the fruit, they smelled the treat and asked the couple if the dish was for sale. With that little by little, the couple started selling fried chicken.
It was so successful that José and Rosa renamed their small business from Rancho São Cristóvão to Frango Assado. It is worth noting that today the chain, which was born from the flavor of chicken Jose and Rosa, is no longer owned by the family after being sold to a multinational corporation in the 2000s. However, the success of chicken since the 2000s has inspired other outlets to follow suit. the paths are mostly bakeries that have invested in “chicken spinning” machines over time.
Nostalgia and rereading
In addition to the reinvention, some restaurants are also banking on the nostalgia that fried chicken evokes. This is the case of Dalva e Dito, led by Alex Atala. There, the dish is sold under a name that immediately becomes clear: television chicken. Cut in half, it costs R$44. Adding to the Sunday dish feel, Atala also sells sugo spaghetti chicken and soft cockada with strawberry sauce for R$99.
Alex Atala serves the traditional “TV chicken” in Dalva e Dito delivery. Photo: Rubens Kato
Restaurant chef Daniel Lee bark and peel, also does not hide the nostalgic appeal of the dish. “A whole fried chicken is a nostalgic dish that saves family moments. Who has never eaten fried chicken on Sunday with the whole family. I see the importance of this! Meals that bring the whole family together,” he explains Taste.
Lee’s restaurant in Pineiros serves whole chicken with rice, potatoes, caramelized pineapples, mayonnaise salad and tropeiro beans on Sundays only. It goes for 119.70 reais. “We do it a little differently. We not only bake them, but also smoke them,” says the chef, who included the dish during the pandemic in the delivery. “We slowly fry the chicken and add a smoky flavor
Do you have room for more? “As we strive more and more towards ‘affective gastronomy’ and the democratization of different cooking methods and different cuisines, I see that we still have a lot to explore,” says Daniel Lee. Gustavo of Loboso follows the same path. “This fried chicken discovery came about because we now appreciate chicken,” he says. “We’re still going to find a lot of fried chicken, whether it’s in restaurants or bakeries.”