Story Summary

Black History Month: Soul Food

“Soul Food” is a four-part “Chicago’s Very Own” series focusing on conversations with people in the African American community about what the traditional southern recipes mean to them.

In each segment, WGN News focuses on the meaning and definition of soul food, the effect it has had on the black family, and how it has shaped lives and inspired them.

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We visit a woman who left the law profession after practicing for almost 25 years. 50 year old Michelle Thomas gave it all up to go to cooking school at Chicago’s Kendall College.

She’s learning how to make Soul Food. And in her words, take it to the next level- Nouveau Soul Food if you will.  We talked with her, along with Chef Dina Altieri.

We found out why she’s so passionate about Soul Food.

Sautéed Collard Greens

Ingredients:

1 Bunch fresh collard greens,  Stems removed & chopped into roughly 2” pieces

3 tablespoons of butter

½ cup onion, diced small

1-tablespoon garlic, minced

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

½ Cup Chicken stock

Kosher Salt, to taste

Ground white pepper, to taste

Procedure:

1) Wash greens in cold water

2) In large pot, bring hot water to boil, place collars in pan & stir for approx.. 3-4 minutes or until leaves are wilted & tender

3) Remove collards from pan, drain water

4) In large sauté pan, melt the butter, add onions, garlic & crushed red pepper flakes & sweat for 3-4 minutes.

5) Add chicken stock & collards to sauté pan.  Cook on high, stirring for 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.

6) Season with salt & pepper

Pistachio Crusted Catfish Medallions

Ingredients:

1 Catfish fillet, sliced into thin medallions

Juice of 4 fresh lemons

1 Cup Pistachio nuts, finely ground

5 tablespoons Clarified butter

Kosher Salt, to taste

Ground white pepper, to taste

Procedure:

1) Place the medallions, one at a time into the lemon juice
2) Removed medallion from lemon juice & dredge in pistachio mixture, covering the medallion

3) Melt the clarified butter in the sauté pan

4) Place the medallions into the heated sauté pan and sauté for approximately 3-4 minutes or until medallion crust turns slightly brown & crunchy

5) Add salt & paper to taste

We visit a legendary soul food restaurant in the city’s Austin neighborhood that has stood the test of time. While many of Chicago’s soul food restaurants have closed, MacArthur’s restaurant remains vibrant. It’s a place where local politicians and celebrities come to eat, meet and enjoy southern cooking. We introduce you to owner MacArthur Alexander and his niece, Sharon McKennie to find out why soul food is the glue that holds their family and community together.

For more info: www.macarthursrestaurant.com

MACARTHUR’S  RESTAURANT’S: SIMPLE SOUTHERN “DEEP FRIED” CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:

1  CHICKEN (2 ½ – 3 POUNDS) CUT INTO INDIVIDUAL PIECES

5-6 CUPS (APPROX. 2 POUNDS) ALL PURPOSE FLOUR FOR COATING

SEASONED SALT

BLACK PEPPER

GARLIC POWDER

2 QUARTS PURE VEGETABLE OIL (YOU CAN USE OLIVE OIL, CANOLA OIL, ETC.)

——————————————————————————————————————————————

DIRECTIONS:

IN A LARGE SKILLET/POT, FILL OIL APPROXIMATELY 1/3 – ½ FULL (ALLOWING ROOM FOR OIL TO RISE WHEN CHICKEN IS INPUT).  HEAT OIL OVER MEDIUM HEAT (325-350 DEGREES).  WHILE OIL IS HEATING, YOU CAN PREP THE CHICKEN FOR FRYING.  (CHECK THE HEAT OF THE OIL BY SPRINKLING A LITTLE FLOUR IN THE OIL – LOOKING FOR THE SIZZLE).

AFTER CLEANING/RINSING  CHICKEN, LAY ON SEASONING RACK.   SPRINKLE SEASONED SALT, BLACK PEPPER, & GARLIC POWDER DIRECTLY ON YOUR CHICKEN (TO TASTE).  POUR FLOUR IN A LARGE BOWL.  ROLL CHICKEN IN FLOUR TO COAT.  WHEN OIL IS READY, SHAKE THE EXCESS FLOUR OFF YOUR CHICKEN BEFORE CAREFULLY PUTTING IT IN THE OIL.  ALLOW CHICKEN TO FRY APPROXIMATELY 12-15 MINUTES (DEPENDING ON SIZE), TURNING CHICKEN TO EVENLY BROWN.

YOU CAN CHECK THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR CHICKEN WITH A MEAT THERMOMETER (160-170 DEGREES INTERNALLY), OR YOU CAN CUT THE CHICKEN TO MAKE SURE IT’S NO LONGER PINK INSIDE AND ITS JUICES RUN CLEAR.

ONCE YOUR FRIED CHICKEN IS DONE, PLACE A PAPERTOWEL IN THE BOTTOM OF A PAN TO DRAIN THE EXCESS OIL — AND SERVE.

BROWN, CRISPY, AND EXCELLENT TASTING SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN.

NOTE:  YOU MAY PUT SEASONINGS DIRECTLY IN THE FLOUR.  MIX WELL BEFORE COATING CHICKEN.

We visit a bakery on the south side of Chicago.  The owner Bill Ball, started baking after giving up his corporate job in the suburbs because the long drive and stress wasn’t making him happy.

So he reached back to roots and his mother’s recipe for pound cake, and decided to put his heart and soul into baking.

1.  Prepare baking pan with shortening and brown sugar
2.  Line baking pans with pecans
3.  Place apple wedges over pecans
4.  Dice bread pieces, raisins, nuts
5.  Mix the above with eggs, milk and sugar
6.  Place this mixture over apple and pecans
7.  Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes
8.  Remove from oven and flip entire pan upside down onto a serving dish
9.  Cut and Serve

For additional information please contact:

Abundance Bakery at 773 373-1971

105 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 6061

http://www.abundancebakery.net/

 

 

We introduce you to Cliff Rome, a 42-year old local award winning chef and owner of the catering company. Rome’s joy, and his spirited 88-year old grandmother, Mary T Winn,  who’s been cooking soul food since she was 14-years old back in Tennessee. Grandma turns 89 years young in a couple of weeks, February 20th.

They say there’s more than one way to cook a pot of greens.

Cliff Rome’s Green’s recipe

  • 1 white onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 smoked turkey wing
  • 3 cups chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 5 pounds collard and mustard greens cleaned and stems removed (cut or torn)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

CVO Cliff Rome

Saute onions and garlic in oil then add turkey wing cook about 10 min under a low flame. Add cut/torn collards first then mustard greens, deglaze with chicken stock. As greens cook down, add water or stock as needed season to taste with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Cook until tender, about 45 minutes lid is optional . Serve with vinegar and raw onions on the side.

romesjoy.com

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