AJC food and dining coverage is adapting to the pandemic

Chef Todd Richards talks drumsticks. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

Chef Todd Richards talks drumsticks. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

The story that I am going to share with you today is vastly different from the one I planned to write a few weeks ago.

The story I thought I was writing was about chicken drumsticks: why folks haven’t been buying chicken legs, even though they are flavorful, easy to cook and inexpensive. I was going to discuss consumers’ preference for white meat these days, and how, as whole chickens are being processed and packaged into trays of identical poultry parts at supermarkets, more of the dark meat — drumsticks, in particular — is being exported, or sent to pet food suppliers.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

Well, that has changed. A lot has changed since terms like coronavirus and COVID-19 have entered the vocabulary of our daily lives. Not only are chicken drumsticks getting snatched off grocery store shelves right now, but also canned goods, frozen foods and toilet paper. It’s a lot to absorb. (Pun intended. Please, let’s laugh, lest we cry.)

In this time of uncertainty, one thing is certain: We all still need to eat. While your grocery shopping and dining routines have been disrupted, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s food and dining team is committed to keeping you as informed as possible, so that you can feed your families safely, and enjoy your time together at the stove and table.

We also are committed to keeping you up to date about the people and businesses who enable you to put food on the table. Georgia’s food community includes more than 500,000 food service workers across nearly 19,000 eating and drinking establishments in this state, as well as hundreds of food producers, all of whom have been impacted severely by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To that end, I’d like to share with you some of the changes you can expect in the AJC’s food and dining coverage in the weeks ahead.

We are suspending restaurant reviews for the time being. During a period when numerous restaurants are closed, and the remainder are operating via carryout and delivery service, restaurant reviews are neither feasible nor appropriate.

In lieu of restaurant reviews, we instead will be sharing restaurant briefs — short stories that will put a spotlight on metro Atlanta restaurants that are still operating. In these stories, we hope that you will learn about the challenges that restaurants are facing, as well as the creative measures they are taking via their menus, and other avenues, to stay afloat to serve their communities and their employees. These briefs will run Mondays through Thursdays in the Living section and in Friday's reformatted Do Guide. I encourage you to read these stories at ajc.com/things-to-do/atlanta-restaurants-blog, where you also can hear directly from restaurateurs, chefs, servers and other staff members through video interviews.

The Food section also will undergo changes. Feature stories, as well as recipe columns, will reflect the adaptations that home cooks are making to meal planning, as more households limit their public exposure with less frequent grocery shopping, and stock up on nonperishable goods.

The Food section column that I write, Kitchen Curious, will focus on this manner of frugal cooking, beginning with the April 2 edition. In addition, Kitchen Curious will run weekly, rather than biweekly.

As we make adjustments to our coverage, to provide you with a mix of informative and enjoyable food-related content every day of the week, we also want to hear from you. Perhaps staying at home has sparked your interest in cooking. Maybe you've landed on a winning recipe, or a great kitchen hack. You might have learned about a gesture of kindness, as many people work to fill the bellies of neighbors and unknowns. Please email me those stories and other tips to me at ligaya.figueras@ajc.com.

Today’s column isn’t the one I had planned to write, yet the chicken drumstick recipes that were to accompany that story still are worth sharing. They are from Atlanta chef Todd Richards.

Chef Todd Richards serves some of his drumsticks. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

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Todd isn’t one to waste. He seeks to feed hungry people, and he tucks away any leftovers. More than anything, he knows the comfort that comes from a plate of good food.

Roasted Chicken Drumsticks in Olive and Tomato Sauce

Some of chef Todd Richards’ chicken drumsticks. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

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Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

Simple Rub


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