Thursday, November 28, 2019

Chicagoland's famous Harold's Chicken Shack.

Harold Pierce, a Chicago entrepreneur, founded Harold's Chicken Shack (also referred to as The Fried Chicken King, Harold's Chicken, or simply Harold's) in 1950. Pierce developed the first Harold's out of necessity to serve the underserved neighborhood. The larger fast-food chains tended to avoid opening in African-American neighborhoods.
During the same time, there were legal and social obstacles to black-owned businesses that prevented Harold's from expanding into downtown or the North Side. Harold's became one of the few examples of a thriving take-out chain that was owned by and primarily served the black community.
Harold's fried chicken is different from other fast-food chicken joints (Kentucky Fried Chicken, Brown's Chicken, Popeyes, etc.) in two significant ways. First, the chicken is cooked in a mix of half beef tallow and half vegetable oil. Secondly, they fry your order after you order it.
Chicago-style fried chicken meal.
The basic Harold's Chicken Shack dinner is a half or quarter chicken served with french fries, two pieces of white bread, and a cup of coleslaw. The chicken may be all-white meat, all dark meat, or a mix (known as regular).
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Harolds also has chicken gizzards, a big seller, and some restaurants offer catfish, perch, and a number of side items including fried okra. The chicken can be served plain, but usually, either hot or mild sauce is added. 
Chicago-style fried chicken: Drizzle sauce over the fried chicken and fries to soften the chicken skin. 
The Fry Sandwich: A common practice is to put the sauce-soaked fries inbetween the two slices of bread, which Chicagoans call a "fry sandwich."
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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