The Southern Foodie Giveaway & Chicken Perloo

Sometimes it's fun to cook outside of your comfort zone.

I recently received a copy for review of The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die.

When I say "comfort zone", I mean that I don't usually cook with a lot of butter, I rarely fry things and I don't use ingredients that are not local to me.

Grits are foreign to me, having only been in Birmingham, Alabama once in my life, and oyster stew and creole eggplant are just not something I would usually make.

But I LOVED leafing thru this cookbook, which is broken up into states.

There's Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina and Kentucky and all the popular Southern restaurants with the chef's recipes that make these establishments well known.

I was a bit intimidated by these beautiful regional recipes.
I was not familiar with pan fried rabbit livers or salt & pepper pork rinds (though it all sounded amazing to me), corn fritters and pimiento cheese sounded safe, but I decided to choose ATLANTA'S (the east coast city of the South!) HOLEMAN AND FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE recipe: Chicken Peanut Perloo.

What the heck is a "perloo" anyway? I think they should call it "Whoo Hoo Perloo!".
It was that good.

Check out their website and menu, I want to go to there.

Do not skip the peanuts in this recipe, they make the dish outstanding.

Chicken & Peanut Perloo (adapted from The Southern Foodie) by Chris Chamberlain:

8 chicken thighs skin on, bone in
kosher salt & pepper
1 cup Carolina long grain rice (you can use any rice you like)
1/4 lb. smoked bacon
1 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp peanut oil
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup minced tomato
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup of chopped roasted peanuts, chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat peanut oil in large Dutch oven on medium high heat.

Season chicken thighs liberally with kosher salt and pepper and sauté in oil till golden brown on each side, remove from pan and reserve.

To the pan, add bacon and cook till golden brown then add the onions and sweat the onions until translucent but without too much color, then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

At this point, if there is too much fat in the pan, carefully drain some out, leaving a few tablespoons, then add rice, peanuts and coat well. Add the tomatoes and stir.

Add the stock, bay leaf, parsley and thyme, bring to a simmer, add the chicken thighs, cover and bring to another simmer, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

This was nothing short of excellent, I loved the addition of roasted peanuts and the simplicity of this stew. Perfect for the chilly months ahead.

The desserts in the book look decadent and amazing too, especially the Alabama Bubble Bread (made w/ storebought dinner rolls, vanilla pudding, butter and sugar......can you say Paula Deen?).

Leave us a comment telling us your favorite Southern recipe and one random reader will receive a copy of The Southern Foodie. Winner will be announced on Wednesday.

Have a good y'all!

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I grew up in one of those states and pimento cheese was one of my favorites. I hardly eat it anymore because it's so rich, not to mention fattening. I don't fry things nor do I cook with a lot of butter. Never have. You think maybe I'm a traitor :)

Have a great weekend Stacey. I sure enjoyed your posts about your trip to France.

SueZ said…
Gumbo, and with it, potato salad...plopped right on top of the gumbo! Learned that trick from my New Orleans born-and-bred neighbors.
Lisa Nickerson said…

I was on a Habitat for Humanity build in Tarboro, North Carolina. Soybeans growing all around. "Beware of the rattlesnakes while walking around..."

We were staying at an historic Congregational Church camp ground facility. It was said the town slave whipping post was located at the top of the long dirt driveway.

To this day, my mouth still waters thinking about the breakfasts and dinners we were served by the local kitchen staff. It was a step back in time -- think -- for those who have read or seen the help -- Minnie's fried chicken. When I tell you that chicken was crispy and delicious on the outside and moist and perfectly cooked on the inside -- you must believe me. :) The biscuits, string beans and mashed potatoes give 100% cred to the notion of "comfort food." I've never eaten fried chicken since. Seriously. Why bother. I've been to the top.

And I happen to adore grits and the fresh grits made for breakfast with fried egg and bacon -- oy vey is all I can say.

And as a fellow antiquer -- you'll get a kick out my story of buying and bringing back on the long bus ride home -- several handmade antique pieces of bentwood furniture I found in an old cabin on the property. A settee and two chairs. Good thing I was a leader on the trip and could get away with it.

Thanks for the memories...
Anonymous said…
Sometimes we go to Zingermans Roadhouse which serves Southern food. I always enjoy the pimento cheese appetizer because they serve it with curled celery sticks sticking out of the cheese all over - looks like a porcupine. It's delicious, too!
Thanks for the chance to win.
Allison C said…
Shrimp and cheesy grits! I also LOVE cornbread and pimento cheese!
Janice said…
Oh this is a tough one. I'm torn between Carolina barbeque (pulled pork, please) and shrimp grits.
TheJimBar said…
Perfect over a pulled pork and homemade cole slaw sandwich.

Carolina Red Barbecue Sauce
1 ½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Jim from Monville.

ldhitch said…
I LOVE grits...basically grits are the south's version of polenta! So yummy with melted butter...
rain said…
i love southern corn pudding and pecan pie- yummm!
Melanie said…
My all time favorite southern recipe is Tomato Basil Pie! It is to die for!!! (And of course with some fruit tea!)
Gail said…
Pulled pork sandwich and potato salad!!!!
TK said…
classic southern fried chicken with some fried okra too!
Anne B said…
I love grits. I grew up on my grandmother's grits, fried chicken, and fried okra.
Kelly said…
I love a moist hummingbird cake. I also love cheese grits!
Vickie said…
I love a lane cake at Thanksgiving and Christmas! Three layers of homemade cake, with filling and frosting made from cooking too much butter, egg yolks, brandy, coconut, raisins, and chopped pecans. You make it early, secure it in a box lined in foil and sit an apple in there, too! Sprinkle brandy on it from time to time, and by the big day, it's ready to go. Thank goodness the holidays are comin' up!!!
I have been a hummingbird cake groupie for a long time. But barbecued pork with a vinegary sauce is a new fave.
Have everything to make this! I love shrimp and grits....
Andrea said…
I love gumbo with andouille sausage and warm cornbread.
Being from Argentina and living in South Florida I love to discover new dishes.
I really enjoy collard greens also.
Margaret said…
Shrimp and grits!!!
nonnie said…
I'm a Beaufort, SC gal and let me tell you, our Frogmore can't be beat! Need recipe?
Ruth said…
I went to the New Orleans School of Cooking in 1988 and learned how to make Jambalaya. It's been a family favorite ever since...even with the kids.
Rachel said…
Grits when other people make them (probably because I would never add so much butter)!

Sweet tea when I'm visiting - if I drank it all the time, I'd be a wired diabetic.

And these aren't southern, but the homemade fudge my Augusta, Georgia grandmother made (and her homemade turtles). She was the queen of fudge and we buried her with her fudge pot and passed out little squares at her funeral.

Anonymous said…
Fried green tomatoes.
Anonymous said…
My favorite is biscuits and gravy.
Luvdaylilies said…
My favorite southern dish would be Shrimp and Grits! Good Eats=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net
Anonymous said…
In the early 1990's my husband and I lived in Marietta, GA, pronounced May-retta by the locals, just outside of Atlanta. We were students and had little extra $ for restaurant dining. Prior to graduation we splurged and went for more than the local pizza place. It was there that for the first time we tried Fried Green Tomatoes, perfectly crunchy on the outside and not soggy on the inside. They were served with a side of red tomato sauce, but we enjoyed them best plain. I grew up in a home with a large vegetable garden, the yielded 100's of tomatos, but noone ever thought of battering and frying one! Not sure if it's a southern specialty, but a reward after studying and tests was to walk to the local bakery for a yummy turtle brownie. Thanks for the chance at the give-away!
Lisa from Sag Harbor
Oui Chef said…
I would cook this dish just for the name!

I was born in Georgia and this sounds good. It's not your typical southern food. Now if it had okra in it and no peanuts it might pass as Gumbo.
Ah Stacey, I just made this. Easy and lovely, and most of the ingredients are always at hand. Looking forward to leftovers.
Anonymous said…
So many good things in the South! My fav is Corrine Dunbar restaurant artichoke and oyster appetizer. Also gumbo, and all the food we had in Charleston.

Thanks, Dennee L.A.
Bonnie said…
I would love a bowl of seafood gumbo from Mother's restaurant in New Orleans! Thanks for your wonderful website and a chance to win!
The JR said…
Tomato gravy and hot buttermilk biscuits.
Chris R. said…
Pecan Pie!