La Belle Vie is Frying Up Some Chicken

Lowbrow is rubbing elbows with highbrow these days at La Belle Vie with the addition of fried chicken to the menu by chef Michael DeCamp.

You might not know it, but fried chicken is hard to pull off in restaurant. It takes a while to cook—around 25 minutes. It doesn’t sit well—you get about five minutes when its crispy out of the fryer before its glory starts to fade. Also, it burns through fryer oil quicker than almost any other fried food, spoiling the oil and turning it brown with fried chicken debris.

So why would a place dedicated to more highfalutin foods mess around with fried chicken? I called chef DeCamp to ask about the new dish.

So tell me about the fried chicken.
We use poussin [young chickens] legs and thighs. We fry them throughout the night on low, like 275, and then on high heat, like 375 to crisp them up. We then drizzle them with a little lavender and cumin honey and then some harissa yogurt for dipping.

It seems like in a restaurant it’s hard to make fried chicken?
That was the thing. We have a few fried things on the lounge menu and they’re all the popular stuff. We just have one fryer with two baskets. We needed to figure out a way to make it work with what we can do.

Who around the Twin Cities do you think has good fried chicken?
I don’t think there’s much here in town. Correct me if I’m wrong. Popeyes’ is ok, and then in North Minneapolis on the corner of Penn and Broadway, there’s a place. They just got a sign up. Before, you had to take it on faith that they had food. It’s called Golden Chicken.

I’ll look it up.
Good luck on finding it online. You kind of have to drive by [to find it]. The chicken’s served in a paper bag, and that’s about it. It’s pretty good.

Was it a big decision to put it on the menu? It’s kind of lowbrow for you guys isn’t it?
We’ve been thinking about it for a while. In the lounge, anything goes, as long as it’s good. Well, almost anything—no hot dogs yet.

I guess you could make your own.
Actually it’s been discussed.

La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Ave.
Minneapolis, MN, 55403