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Lucy’s

 

 
James Holmes has taken the wildly popular chicken offered at brunch at Olivia and also sold at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and turned it into a new casual concept Lucy’s  Fried Chicken.  They are located at 2218 College Avenue near the corner of Congress and Oltorf.  I grew up in Travis Heights very near here and can definitely see this place turning into a neighborhood favorite.  Yet another reason to miss my old hood.

The place offers a full bar with craft cocktails and all Texas beers, a covered porch area with heaters and fans for whatever Texas weather might hold, and a music selection that is fine blend of classic Country and Honky Tonk.

 

Of course, the most important question is, “How’s the chicken?”  Best. Damn. Chicken. In. Austin.  They use locally sourced farm raised birds that they obviously butcher themselves.  My three piece basket actually had four pieces in it because the breast was so large they split it in two.  I love breast meat but sometimes with larger pieces you have to sacrifice the perfect crust to meat ratio you get with smaller pieces.  Not at Lucy’s.  Oh, and that crust.  Crispy, crunchy, salty, and slightly spicy.  At $9 for 3 pieces of chicken with no sides, it is a little pricey compared to chain places but the quality is well worth it.

I got the black eyed peas and cornbread stuffing as sides.  They were good versions of country classics but not as outstanding as the chicken.  I will have to try some more of their offerings like collard greens or Mexican Coke sweet potatoes to find a better match.  I did really enjoy the starter I had of fried chicken livers with an extremely spicy dipping sauce.  Again that crunchy crust won me over especially against the creamy interior of the livers.  The menu offers many diverse options like oysters both raw and grilled, chicken boudin, deep fried deviled eggs, and even calf fries.  Reasons for many more visits.
I ended my first visit to Lucy’s with a piece of Sweet Tea Pie from Olivia pastry chef Taff Mayberry.  I was intrigued when I first heard about it and despite being stuffed to the gills, I had to give it a try.  It was a custardy filling and the tea gave it a caramel flavor.  Loved it!  Loved it even more when I got the recipe in an email from Tasting Table.  Try it at Lucy’s and if you like it give the recipe a whirl.

Sweet Tea Pie
Recipe adapted from Taff Mayberry, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Austin, TX
Yield: One 10-inch pie
INGREDIENTS
Crust1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and diced into ½-inch cubes

⅓ cup ice water

Filling

1 cup hot water

2 orange pekoe tea bags

2½ tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons medium-grind cornmeal

⅔ teaspoon kosher salt

2½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes

11 egg yolks

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS
1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Using the paddle attachment on low speed, add the butter into the flour mixture, beating until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on, gradually add the ice water. Beat until a dough just forms.2. Form the dough into a rough circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove the dough and set aside to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch-round-and-¼-inch thick circle. Carefully place the dough over a 10-inch pie pan with about 1½ to 2 inches of dough hanging over the edge. Press the dough over the edge and use a fork to crimp the rim of the crust. Refrigerate the dough while you prepare the filling.

4. Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350° and move the rack to the center of the oven. In a coffee cup, pour the hot water over the tea bags. Set aside to brew for 5 minutes, then remove and discard the bags. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt. Set aside. In a large, heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar. Whisk in the reserved tea and lemon juice. Whisk in the flour mixture.

5. Fill a medium saucepot with water and bring to a simmer. Place the mixing bowl with the sweet-tea filling over the simmering water and add the butter in four batches, whisking until each batch is melted before adding the next batch. Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell and place in the oven on the center rack. Bake until the center jiggles but does not ripple and the top is a deep brown, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too much). Remove the pie from the oven and set aside to rest at room temperature until cool. Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.

I noticed on the chalkboard wall where the special were written that Lucy’s was offering their first steak night the following Tuesday.  At $19 for a 13 oz. strip steak with 2 sides of potato gratin and spicy green beans along with bone marrow and a roll, I had to check it out.  I was going to a book club meeting on later in the evening so I found myself back at Lucy’s right at 5pm and I was honored to be the first customer on the first steak night and it was indeed worth the trip.  My steak was charred  on the outside and a perfect rare in the middle.  The gratin was slightly underdone but I chalked that up to being so early in the evening.  The green beans had a nice crunch to them without being undercooked and a nice punch of tomatoey spice.  I used the marrow as meat butter on my roll. Mmmmm, meat butter.  So check out Lucy’s and let me know when you are going because I will probably meet you there.

 

 

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christyluv

My name is Christy and I was born, raised, and still live in Austin, TX. I love to travel. I have been all over the US, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc. My second favorite place in the world is Negril, Jamaica where I have been 10 times and counting. I am a trained pastry chef but I am not currently working in "the industry" right now. I became a pastry chef in part to complement the fabulous dinners conjured up by my best friends Ethan and Michelle, who hopefully will be contributing to this blog as well. We went through a 2 year period of "Tuesday Night" dinner parties which were a smorgasbord of bloody meat and red, red wine. Friendships and laughter. The men did all the cooking while the women got tipsy, as all dinner parties should be. If I wanted to participate with food, I had to bring something and I became Dessert Girl. Eventually I attended the Le Cordon Bleu program at the Texas Culinary Academy and received a certificate in Pastry and Baking. I have had several baking jobs but found it hard to make ends meet, so I earn my living elsewhere for now. I have had the pleasure of working with several celebrity chefs including Rebecca Rather, Bronwen Weber, and David Lebovitz. I have also cultivated some amazing friends and resources in the Central Texas area and would like to share my knowledge with all who care to join me. My most recent honor was winning Best Sweet at the Bacon Takedown during SXSW 2011. As the culinary icon Ms. Childs' says, "Bon Appetit!" ***CONTACT ME at christy111luv@yahoo.com or twitter @christy111luv***

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