“How was the duck confit?” a friend will ask if she knows I have gone out to do an Eats story. She just likes saying duck confit, with drawling emphasis on the “cawhn-FEET,” and it’s a blanket name for fancy food (by the way, my favorite food-related name to say is cochon de lait). Not every trip involves duck confit or its equivalent, though. Sometimes, you just want something really Southern, something familiar. Something fried. Say, fried chicken.
Doc’s Fried Chicken opened Feb. 16 at 501 Jeff Davis Ave. You can’t miss it. It’s the pale yellow building in the southernmost block of the street. There are picnic tables on the front porch if you want to dine al fresco, plenty of air-conditioned seating inside and a convenient drive-through if you’ve already put on your pajamas.
I chose to sit inside for this. Not long after they opened, I had opted for the drive-through to get some chicken livers for a coworker and to try myself. Yes, Doc’s offers both fried chicken livers and gizzards, and yes, they are good, if you like livers and gizzards. I know these are not everyone’s favorites, but I am a fan.
This time around, I went with the classics: two pieces of fried chicken (I had a wing and a breast), with potato salad and red beans and rice as my sides, and a biscuit ($4.99), with half and half tea. You order at the counter and choose your seat, and you can be sure to get friendly service. By the way, when I ordered the livers, the lady at the window let me know she left their box lid tented open “so they won’t get all mushy and soggy.” Little things like that make a difference.
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The red beans and rice was heavy on the beans and light on the rice, which is fine with me. The beans and sausage are cooked with some heat, but if you want to add more, there are bottles of Crystal and Louisiana hot sauce available to season to your liking. The potato salad was chunky and creamy with no mustard in sight. I have a feeling the buttery biscuits could acquire their own fan base.
Now, for the fried chicken. The skin is crispy and crunchy while the meat stays moist. In fact, the breast meat, which often can be dry, was surprisingly moist. I also was happy to note the chicken wasn’t too salty.
The chicken recipe came about as a result of plenty of testing with friends, said Lynn Alexander, who is co-owner along with Jason Ladner. And the name? There are several doctors in her family.
“We sell a load of livers and onion rings,” she said. “And gizzards, but especially the livers.”
The biscuits and all of the sides except for the fries are made in house, Alexander said. Those sides, in addition to the red beans and rice and potato salad I had, include cole slaw, barbecued beans, mashed potatoes, lima beans and macaroni and cheese.
Doc’s Fried Chicken
Where: 501 Jeff Davis Ave., Long Beach
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday
Details: Fried chicken, livers and gizzards, as well as homemade sides and biscuits. Daily specials are available.