Journalism isn’t for chickens

June 18, 2014 by Philip Maramba
Harding's Family Restaurant in Mink Shoals uses a seasoned mix and a combination pressure cooker/deep fryer to create fried chicken that is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

Harding’s Family Restaurant in Mink Shoals uses a seasoned mix and a combination pressure cooker/deep fryer to create fried chicken that is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

There comes a time when you must set aside your own needs for the good of the team. And you can only hope that you can answer that call when it comes. Yesterday was my time.

My colleague, features editor Zack Harold, had written the second installment of his series on fried chicken, which he calls the perfect summer food.

This week’s piece focused on area family-style restaurants and their takes on this deep-fried delicacy. (And here we observe a moment of silence for the Kanawha City’s late, lamented Southern Kitchen and as well as South Charleston’s Farm Table. Amen.)

Zack found two local eateries that still flour their own chickens and fry them on the premises — The Grill on Charleston’s West Side and Harding’s Family Restaurant in Mink Shoals.

Owing to the The Grill’s semi-regular fried chicken availability — they only serve every other Friday, including this one, so you’re in luck this week — he hoped to arrange a photo opportunity at Harding’s.

Well, circumstances being what they are, the photo shoot fell through and the story was going to run minus any illustration of fried chicken.

“How can we run story about golden, delicious, family-style fried chicken without a picture of golden, delicious, family-style fried chicken? This cannot stand,” I thought to myself. “This. Cannot. Stand.”

So I got on the horn and called Harding’s and ordered takeout. Leg and thigh. Mashed potatoes. Green beans. Dinner roll. Eight bucks.

I took a shot of the platter with my iPhone in the rays of the setting sun in the back of my Jeep. Being late in the day, the shadows were already too deep, so I shot it again in the newsroom for the quick and dirty shot you see above.

As I am not a professional photographer, I can’t say I did the meal justice, but I hope I made it at least look appetizing.

In real-life, just to let you know, even as takeout it was mighty appetizing. And in keeping with the lessons of my first grade teacher, Sister Doris, I didn’t want this food to go to waste, so I took one for the team and selflessly disposed of it.

It was delicious.

(In the name of journalistic integrity, of course, I should probably also head out to The Grill this Friday — just for comparison’s sake.)

 


Brad McElhinny is the editor and publisher of The Charleston Daily Mail.  I’m the managing editor and design editor for the Charleston Daily Mail. I was raised in Beckley and graduated with two degrees from West Virginia University. I live with my wife, two kids and a cat in Charleston. I’m a terrible, terrible homeowner. Read more from this author


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