Family Fried Chicken In New Orleans (2023)


The Mogilles family, the family behind McHardy’s Chicken and Fixin’, has been frying chicken in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward since 2000 ( What started from Grandma’s secret fried chicken recipe has evolved into three generations working together under one roof, day in and day out. At the center of it all is Rahman, who single-handedly fries every piece of chicken, along with his two daughters, his mother, and his father. It’s not always easy running a business with family, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

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-It's a trip to almost get chicken coming out the grease at the same time, they're ordering the food.

So that it's always hot., You, rarely will come here and see chicken just sitting on the back.

I hate when people have to wait.

I, love it when I get it in your box.

And you still have the bubbles on it.

I love, it like that.


All we put in the name, always fresh, hot, and good.


It is, baby, it's.

The brand.

♪♪, -My name is Kermit Mogilles, and I'm.

One of the owners and operators of McHardy's Chicken, &, Fixin's in New Orleans.


My name is Alvi, Anderson, Mogilles., -All I wanted to do was chicken, and I mean, whole pieces --.

Legs, wings, breasts and thighs and French fries, that was it.

In, any business, if you're going to have sustained operation, you have to evolve.

So the things that we do now in terms of the menu is really Rahman's, creation., I guess we're --.

We're partial because Rahman's, our son.


It is fascinating to me to this day to see him orchestrate --.

And use that word, very selectively.

Orchestrate the operation.

People come in and just are in awe in seeing how he can control the flow of everything.

My, name's, Rahman, Mogilles., I, primarily do all the cooking, prep work.

A lot of the frying.

This is my livelihood, I, love, it., And, I continue to do it.

This is what we do.

This is what I do, I love, what I do.

And believe you me, I've had a shit ton of fun.

Gimme that neck, stat!, My, name's, Alanna --.

Alanna Mogilles.


I'm, the daughter --.

Or the second one.

These are our TVs for the menus.

My dad.

He was going to pay someone to install TVs and do all this --.

I was like, no.

We can do this ourselves., My, sister, she's, the, like, real technical one --.

I just come up with the idea.

And my dad is the muscle part who's, putting up all that stuff, 'cause I cannot reach to put [indistinct].

-We've been fryin' chicken since 2000.

It's, a home style, fried, chicken., We have more chicken than batter.


Take a lot of pride in what we do with chicken.

We serve a lot of it.

You know.

This is comparable to what you would fry at your house, just maybe a little better?, But that's --.

You know, because this is what we do.

♪♪ So.

This is like a regular morning --.

Waking up, getting to work.

Good, morning, Mother., -Good, morning., -[, Laughs, ], -They, filming?, -Yes, they're, filming, baby., -Oh.

My gosh.

-Say, "Good, morning.", -Good, morning!, -All, right.

So right, now.

We have about 600-plus pieces in this ice chest.


We just try and keep the rotation, keep the chicken fresh.

Keep it good.


I hate.

This part!, You know, like we say, the six P's, baby:, proper planning prevents piss-poor performance.

She loves it when I say, that., Legs --.

One, two.

Three, four, five..., -Family businesses are very difficult.

You, see.

You oughtta change.

Your shirt., -I'm, workin'., -[, Laughs, ] You are with your family.

The whole day.

I, try not to think about 'em some days, you know what I mean? -[, Indistinct, ], -Ah., Oh!, He called me, "mother." -I, didn't?, I, mean, I, dunno..., -And, then, for all of those out there contemplating a family business..., Think, twice!, Three, times!, -Myself, my mother and my dad.

We are --.



Are the only ones that really know the exact increments.

-I think I know a little bit of it, but..., I know, the basics.

-I like to start off with the big pieces, first.

I don't like to put a lot of chicken in my flour.

My, seasoning, blend, I, blend it into the flour.


Real anal about the temperature of my stoves.

I like to have my temperature set at a certain level, certain temp., I fry a lot of times off of feel.

So, I've actually taken the numbers.


This one will be right at about...

295, 300., This.

One will probably be around 325-ish.

This one.

Here will be on, uh, a higher temp, which is where I get my crisp.

Believe it or not, that'll make or break your chicken.

Temperature., You can either have banging-ass pretty chicken, or you can have some dark, burnt, ugly-ass, chicken., Prefer.

The nice, pretty chicken.

I need a hair.

Net., -Thank, you, love., -Like, my trademark --.

My hair net., My family hates it because I do interviews with a hair net on --.

I'm on the news, whatever, I got a hair net.

On, they're, like, "Daddy.

Why you wearing a hair net?!", I'm, like, "Eh...", Keeps, my hair, in., ♪♪, -About, 20 years, ago, in a past life, I was a commercial banker.

I got tired of going to credit committee meetings and board meetings.

And so I said to myself, "Self, what am I going to do if I don't do this?" I? Finally, decided that a passion of mine was food.

Alvi came from the educational system.

This was not her passion.

But she joined me in this.


First master's was before he was born --.

1977, Tulane, School of Public, Health and Tropical.


1986, I, graduated again from Tulane.

But their executive MBA program.

Since I was not always in this business, I, questioned myself.

Why in the heck am I in here,? You know? And when I first started here, both of them left and I was still doing cleaning, detail., And, I'm, like, "Oh.

My gosh, I have two master's and I have to clean.

The toilet? What is this?!", -Grandma, she's the glue that holds this place together --.

No offense --.

But she is-- -She's.

Right., Hands down.

-She is the literal --.

-That is the perfect analogy:.

She is the glue that holds this bad.

Boy, together.

-We are just the pieces of paper that need to be held together.

-Damn! Girl, go 'head.

I'm gonna use that! -I didn't, even think I was going to like being a grandmother.

I was a career kind of person.

But love of family makes you do certain decisions.

Um, I love, my granddaughters and enjoy spending time with them.

I always tell 'em, I, said, "Nonni might bite during the day, but I'll.

Enjoy you when we come home.", -Let's get some chicken in the grease.

Grandmother had a really banging-ass fried chicken recipe.


We took that, and he had the idea, like, We can make money off of this.

-People would say to me, "Man, that chicken tastes just like at my grandmother's." That was the concept.

And to hear people reiterate that is just unbelievable.


When my dad started it, I was in school.


Then after I graduated, you know, it was like, boom, we're gonna get in there, we're going to make this happen.


The no-salt fries for Mr., Walter., It, wasn't, necessarily my dream to do it.

But it was that family thing.


You know, "I'm gonna to help." -Rahman is truly a thinker and an innovator.

The difficulty for me is that you have to listen to so many things, some of them so outlandish.

But the reality is, you never know which one is gonna really work.


These are how I cook hamburgers.

These are skillets that we developed and made.

I welded, a stainless steel basket inside of the basket.

I use the oil as a heat catalyst.

It heats up the metal --.

In turn, heating up the metal.

Now I have a skillet.


And my dad, we don't always see eye to eye.

-He has a..

a dictatorial type of demeanor when it comes to this operation.


The only employee that mans the fryer station.

My mother, says, "Y'all are just like." -And, I feel like that's true, like --.

-Shut up.

-You are alike!, -We're, not!, -Like.

Sometimes we bump heads --.

-Watch your tongue! -Sometimes.

We bump heads, 'cause, we're, alike., I feel like we agree more than we disagree.


Then sometimes we do disagree.

-Us two, yeah.

We agree more, but me and my dad, we don't always agree., -I feel like you're stubborn, sometimes., -I'm, very stubborn., -And, he's, stubborn, too., -He's, extremely stubborn.

-I'm, just not that stubborn., -But..., -We're stepping back and he's stepping forward by design., I've learned, and Alvi has, too, that if it was going to work successfully, only one person can call the shots in terms of operation.



-I've been in the restaurant since I was like six years, old, probably before that, but --.

-I have pictures of her --.

-Standing on a milk, crate., -Matter of fact, eye-height with the stove --.

She couldn't even see in the stove, she has a little hand --.



I'm, like, "If, the grease pops, it's going to hit you in the face, baby., -[, Indistinct, ] I would say my plan, as in for my future, is I.

Do want to come back because I've been here since forever.

-I told you don't bring that basket over that lip.

-I am sorry! But.

My plan is to basically bring it to the future.

I want it to evolve and to make it as big as possible.

I want McHardy's to be sure., Job, wise, I, haven't figured that out yet.

I'm, 13!, [, Laughs, ], -But, she's going to be the star.


What she doesn't understand.

This is gonna be her show.

And I told her that earlier.

Being able to pay for them to go to college, to where they can come out of college with no loans, for me to be able to do that with them is what keeps me, like I say, in this restaurant, day, in, day, out., That and a James Beard, award, hopefully.


Everybody out there! -I've always felt that the American dream was to own something, to create a business.

As opposed to working every day for someone else.

This is the American dream.

You're only limited by your ability to be creative, roll up your sleeve and take the risk.

And, um.

We've been fortunate.

-One thing.

My dad, said, you know, starting this, is that, "You --.

You pick one thing, son., Pick, one thing and do it better than anybody else" --.

-Pick one thing rather than picking everything.

-See, what I'm sayin'? But, you gotta --.

You have that one idol.

So for us, it's, chicken., And, I feel as though --.

-And that's.

What we're famous for.

-Can't, nobody fry chicken better than me.

You know.

This is like a non-stop show.

And we put this on every day.

Everybody have they game face on.

But at the end of the day, everybody's, still smiling.

-It's, because of the family bond that we have, we support that and it's blossomed.

And for that, we're, very grateful., ♪♪ -For.

The most part, my job is a babysitter: I babysit the chicken in the grease.

So when their parents come buy 'em, I ship their little bastards out.


The most part, my job is a babysitter, I babysit the chicken in the grease, so..


Their parents come buy 'em, I ship their little bastards out.


What is the most famous food in New Orleans? ›

New Orleans is famous for a lot of foods, and chief among them is the traditional rice dish known as jambalaya. Here's where to get it. New Orleans has a tasty Monday tradition known as Red Beans and Rice. Learn more about this traditional NOLA dish and find a recipe to make it at home!

What is the difference between fried chicken and southern fried chicken? ›

Fried chicken, also known as Southern fried chicken, is a dish consisting of chicken pieces that have been coated with seasoned flour or batter and pan-fried, deep fried, pressure fried, or air fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior of the chicken while retaining juices in the meat.

Who is the best fried chicken in America by Eater com? ›

NEW YORK, USA. 15 August 2022 – Jollibee Chickenjoy has been named “the best chain fried chicken in America” by, an international food website by Vox Media. The distinction comes after Jollibee's Chickenjoy bested over 15 global brands in four rounds of contests.

What state is known for fried chicken and bourbon? ›

Fried chicken in Kentucky is known for being floured or battered and then pan, deep or pressure fried. You can find this deep-fried culinary goodness on the menu at many Louisville restaurants from fast to fancy. Or you can try your hand at making it from scratch with this recipe from Bourbon & Biscuits.

What food is a must have in New Orleans? ›

Below, we list the top 13 foods that you need to try when you are in New Orleans, and they are gumbo, po-boys, jambalaya, red beans and rice, étouffée, muffulettas, oysters, turtle soup, beignets, chicory coffee, bananas foster, pralines and king cakes.

What is New Orleans style food called? ›

Creole cuisine is a fusion, unique to the New Orleans area, of French, Spanish, West African, and Native American cuisine. It was also influenced by later immigrants from Germany, Italy (particularly Sicily), and other locations.

What piece of chicken is best fried? ›

We like skin-on, bone-in chicken for frying—the skin gets crispy and the meat stays nice and juicy. Any chicken part can be fried—even the wings. You can buy a package of chicken parts at the store or you can buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces yourself (breasts, drumsticks, thighs, and wings).

Is Southern Fried Chicken meant to be pink? ›

The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness. The USDA further explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.

Where does Oprah get her fried chicken from? ›

SEATTLE—Inside Ezell's Famous Chicken in Seattle's Central District neighborhood, there is the unmistakable smell of fried breading, and an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey.

What is the number 1 chicken place in America? ›


What is Obama fried chicken? ›

So this exists: A President Barack Obama-inspired fried chicken chain in — where else? — China. The “OFC” sign — which we can only assume stands for “Obama Fried Chicken” — looks suspiciously like the KFC logo and depicts the president dressed as Colonel Sanders, complete with suspenders and bow tie.

What is the fried chicken capital of the world? ›

The History of Fried Chicken in Gordonsville

Gordonsville's fame as the world's fried chicken capital can be traced back to the 1840s when the town became a stop on the railroad. Gordonsville benefited from the business and visitors that the Virginia Central Railroad and Alexandria Railroad brought into town.

Which southern state has the best fried chicken? ›

Louisiana. According to the Food Network and the Travel Channel, this isn't just the best fried chicken in Louisiana…it's the best in the whole country. Seasoned solely with salt and pepper, the skin is stuff of fast-food fantasies: a deep golden color and tantalizingly crispy texture.

What is New Orleans signature snack? ›

Famous for being a doughnut without the hole, this popular sweet treat is one of the city's most famous food staples that both locals and visitors savor all year long, available 24-hours a day in New Orleans at more than one coffee hotspot. The New Orleans beignet is great for breakfast, dessert or a midnight snack.

What is the last meal in New Orleans? ›

NEW ORLEANS — The first dish served at Dakar NOLA is called Last Meal. It's a soup of black-eyed peas, crispy rice and Louisiana blue crab, with robust spicing that recalls this city's famous gumbos. Chances are you'll still be thinking about it days later. Last Meal is that delicious — and even more unsettling.

What is Louisiana signature dish? ›

Fun fact: gumbo is the official dish of Louisiana.

What is the name of the famous sandwich in New Orleans? ›

The Muffaletta

A muffaletta is a famous italian sandwich invented in New Orleans with cured meats (ham and salami), provolone cheese, olive dressing and great bread.

What is the New Orleans fried snack? ›

Have you ever had a beignet? These sweet, squares of fried dough buried in powdered sugar are a staple of New Orleans food culture, with tourists making the trek to the famous Café du Monde just for beignets and coffee.

What is the secret to good fried chicken? ›

Fried Chicken Secret #1: A Salty Marinade = Juicier Meat

Most Southern fried chicken recipes start with a bath in a seasoned marinade of some sort, whether it's buttermilk, milk and eggs, or even pickle juice. Adding plenty of salt to this mixture can help your chicken stay moist.

Why is my fried chicken not crispy? ›

If your oil temp is too high, your fried chicken will be scorched on the outside with meat that is undercooked. If the oil is too cool, your chicken will be greasy and will lack the golden-brown crispy exterior you want.

What is better than fried chicken? ›

Overall, grilled chicken offers better health, nutrition, and taste if cooked the right way compared to fried chicken.

What is the oldest fried chicken? ›

The earliest known written recipe for American-style fried chicken actually appears a in British cookbook, Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, which was published in 1747. That recipe's title read "To Marinate Chickens," and called for floured pieces of chicken to be fried in hog's lard.

What type of chicken is used for KFC? ›

Be it boneless thighs, or a whole bird that is cut into pieces, you can be selective. Most people love fried drumsticks. But you can also use chicken breasts & thighs. White meat, dark, or an assortment of the two can please your own tastes, as well as your guests'.

What is chicken fried with flour called? ›

"Dredge" means lightly coating food with a dry ingredient, such as flour, cornmeal, or breadcrumbs. Often, you'll dredge foods before frying. Note: Many recipes call for food to be dredged, then dipped in a liquid (such as eggs or buttermilk) followed by a seasoned coating.

Why is my fried chicken slimy on the inside? ›

If your chicken is slimy, has a foul smell, or has changed to a yellow, green, or gray color, these are signs that your chicken has gone bad. Toss any chicken that's past its expiration date, has been in the fridge for more than 2 days raw or 4 day cooked, or has been in the temperature danger zone for over 2 hours.

Why is there blood in my chicken breast after cooking? ›

What it is: Bone marrow pigment that seeped into the meat. Eat or toss: Eat! The discoloration has nothing to do with how “done” the chicken is. As long as the chicken was thoroughly cooked, you're fine.

Can you eat raw chicken? ›

Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. If you eat undercooked chicken, you can get a foodborne illness, also called food poisoning.

Where is the birthplace of fried chicken? ›

The South is the birthplace of American-style fried chicken. Scottish immigrants are sometimes credited with creating the recipe. Many, however, believe it was brought from Africa.

Who eats the most fried chicken in the world? ›

As a whole, according to El Pollo Norteño, Australia consumes roughly 205 pounds of chicken per person, per year. This is more than any other country in the world including the US, which is believed to be the best place on earth to get fried chicken, of all things.

Where does Chick Fil A get their chicken? ›

Our chicken is raised in barns (not cages), on farms in the United States, in accordance with our Animal Wellbeing Standards, and with No Antibiotics Ever (since May 2019). When it comes to chicken, Chick-fil-A is committed to doing the right thing. Read more about our rigorous chicken standards.

What US city is known for its hot chicken? ›

Hot chicken (or Nashville hot chicken) is a type of fried chicken that is a local specialty of Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States.

Where is the chicken capital of the US? ›

After the end of World War II in 1945, a visionary named Jesse Jewell (1902-75) started what's become the State of Georgia's largest agricultural crop – poultry. The billion-dollar-a-year industry has earned Gainesville the nickname, "Poultry Capital of the World", as its home to numerous poultry farms and plants.

What is the chicken capital of the US? ›

After World War II, a businessman named Jesse Jewell started the poultry industry in north Georgia. Chickens have since become the state's largest agricultural crop. This $1 billion a year industry has given Gainesville the title "Poultry Capital of the World".

Which president loved fried chicken? ›

Theodore Roosevelt: Fried chicken

It's fitting, then, that one of the foods he liked best is something nearly everyone still enjoys today. According to the biography "Theodore Rex," Roosevelt was very fond of fried chicken.

What fried chicken is white meat? ›

What is White Meat Chicken? White meat refers to the breast and wing portions of the chicken (tenders or tenderloin meat is a section of the breast, so this is also white meat). This cut of protein tends to be incredibly lean and has a notable pale (white) color when cooked without seasoning.

What is waterfall fried chicken? ›

This one-of-a-kind deep fryer literally rained boiling hot oil over a piece of chicken, making the chicken golden and crispy within a few minutes.

What company sells the most fried chicken? ›

This statistic shows the leading quick-service chicken restaurant chains in the United States in 2021, by systemwide sales. Chick-fil-A had the highest U.S. systemwide sales accounting for approximately 16.67 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.

Why is fried chicken a southern thing? ›

From the 17th to 19th Centuries, conventional wisdom designated the American South as fried chicken's native habitat. Southerners made it a centrepiece of their regional cuisine and boasted that only African Americans, mostly enslaved, could make “authentic” fried chicken.

Is Louisiana known for fried chicken? ›

Tender, crispy, juicy, and sometimes spicy — fried chicken pretty much embodies the best of Southern foodways. While New Orleans is in but not necessarily of the South, its fried chicken offerings are damn fine, and not just Louisiana's own Popeyes, forever number one in the hearts of many.

What is the most popular fried food in America? ›

The Most Popular Savory Fried Foods Overall

Classic french fries and onion rings are the most popular savory fried foods in the U.S., both most popular in five states. Americans bank on these staple sides at ballparks, hot dog joints, and dive bars alike.

Where is KFC most eaten? ›

China is its biggest market with more than 5,600 outlets while 12 million people eat at KFC restaurants every day around the world. As of 2021, KFC has approximately 25,000 locations in over 145 countries and territories globally.

Which US state gives its name to a fried chicken dish served cold? ›

The term "Chicken Maryland" or "Maryland Chicken" refers to a historic dish associated with the U.S. state of Maryland, but has other meanings from other nations. In its home base, the food dish consists of fried chicken served with a cream gravy.

Which is better KFC or Popeyes? ›

Which fried chicken is better, KFC or Popeyes? Popeye's is superior. It's got a nicer flavor and aroma, it's crunchier/less greasy, and the breading stays on - KFC breading slides off and makes an unappetizing mess. Also, the side dishes are much better at Popeye's.

Where does most of America's chicken come from? ›

The chicken is a descendant of the Southeast Asian red jungle fowl first domesticated in India around 2000 B.C. Most of the birds raised for meat in America today are from the Cornish (a British breed) and the White Rock (a breed developed in New England).

What is Louisiana famous dish? ›

Fun fact: gumbo is the official dish of Louisiana.

What is the most famous dish in Louisiana? ›

Gumbo. Gumbo is a traditional Louisiana food that has been around for centuries. It's like a melting pot of different cultures, dating back to the 18th century when African, French, and Native American cuisine merged. Now, with that cultural mix, the thing about gumbo is that everyone has their own way of making it.

What is New Orleans most famous for? ›

New Orleans is world-renowned for its distinctive music, Creole cuisine, unique dialects, and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street.

What is the official dish of Louisiana? ›

Louisiana – State Cuisine: Gumbo

Made with a variety of vegetables, chicken, seafood, or Andouille sausage, gumbo is a quintessential hearty soup.

What is the most Cajun food? ›

7 Popular Cajun Cuisines You Need to Try
  • Gumbo. Gumbo is one of the favorite stews among Cajun enthusiasts. ...
  • Etouffee. A ubiquitous Cajun cuisine, etouffee is made using a popular cooking method known as smothering. ...
  • Jambalaya. ...
  • Crawfish Boil. ...
  • Boudin Sausage. ...
  • Alligator. ...
  • Corn Maque Choux. ...
  • Bottom-Line.

What is the food capital of Louisiana? ›

Getting to Know Baton Rouge, Louisiana's Undercover Culinary Capital. There's more than one destination-worthy city in Louisiana. Baton Rouge, the state's capital and second-largest city, shares New Orleans' rich, multicultural history, but in a decidedly tamer setting. (Except perhaps on LSU football game days).

What do Cajuns eat? ›

Cajun Food

Think of meals with lots of smoked meats as well as meat-heavy, one-pot dishes like jambalaya or the rice-filled, spicy pork sausage known as boudin. The backyard crawfish boil is also another byproduct of Cajun culture.

What is a famous dessert in Louisiana? ›

Beignets. Louisiana is so proud of this sweet pastry that in 1986 the legislature voted the beignet the official state donut. A simple treat made of a square piece of fried dough, the beignet has long been jump-starting French Quarter workers who head to Café Du Monde for an order of three and a side of café au lait.

What is the most famous dish of all time? ›

Italian pizza is probably the most famous food in the World. Pizza has crossed the borders of Italy a long time ago and nowadays it is consumed all over the world.

What sandwich is Louisiana known for? ›

The Muffaletta

A muffaletta is a famous italian sandwich invented in New Orleans with cured meats (ham and salami), provolone cheese, olive dressing and great bread.

What are 3 things New Orleans is known for? ›

What is New Orleans famous for? A true melting pot of cultures, New Orleans has a wealth of unique heritage and proud traditions. It is best known for its music, vibrant nightlife, numerous festivals, Creole and Cajun food, and colonial architecture.

What is New Orleans famous dessert? ›

Beignets were first introduced to the city by the French-Creole colonists in the 18th century. The concept is simple – dough is fried then covered with mounds of powdered sugar – but the result is extraordinary.

What street in New Orleans is famous? ›

New Orleans' famous Bourbon Street is famous for a reason

Nocturnal. For many New Orleans visitors, Bourbon Street embodies the life of a party town. The street is lit by neon lights, throbbing with music and decorated by beads and balconies.

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