You can eat the ‘bones’ in this Atlanta chicken dish

Dish of the Week: Lemon pepper wet chicken at Southern Belle

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Atlanta may be in the Peach State, but our signature flavor is lemon pepper wet. As I ordered a cocktail called FILA (Forever I Love Atlanta) at Southern Belle, my eyes zeroed in on the lemon pepper wet chicken entree — chef Joey Ward’s love song to our quintessential zing.

With incredible attention to detail, Ward takes comfort food and turns it on its head. Breast and thigh meat undergo a 24-hour brine, get pounded flat, cooked sous vide and chilled. As they are ordered, pieces get a dredging in seasoned flour and wet batter, then are fried for a moist interior and crisp crust, featuring the house lemon pepper seasoning and no bones to manage.

But there are bones, sort of. Asher blue cheese crackers in the shape of chicken bones are scattered on the plate, with a Buffalo sauce made from mashed local hot cherry peppers. Instead of the traditional celery sticks, a butter lettuce salad with shaved celery and strips of carrot is served on the side.

Southern Belle. 1043 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-698-3961,

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