Why Did Paula Patton’s Fried Chicken Recipe Break the Internet?

Paula Patton, the actress best known for roles in blockbuster hits like ‘Hitch’ and ‘Mission: Impossible,’ smashed the internet this week after she shared a clip of herself eating 138 fried chicken wings after the ‘famous “ prepared her mother’s recipe.

Immediately, social media users shouted poultry. Thousands fired passionate answers to the viral video that was shared on various platforms.

“If this fried chicken video is an April Fool’s joke, then Paula Patton is a genius.” tweeted Television writer (“Queens” and “Woke”) and actress Kyra Jones.

“If this fried chicken video is an April Fool’s joke, then Paula Patton is a genius.”

Commentators identified two main problems with Patton’s recipe. First, she didn’t wash her chicken long enough before cooking it. (For what it’s worth, washing chickens is a hotly debated topic; Julia Child famously recommends it, while the CDC doesn’t.)

Second, rather than seasoning her flour, Patton used plain flour and added her seasonings — including Lawry’s seasoned salt, paprika and pepper — to the avocado oil she used to fry her chicken. By the end of the 90 second video, the oil had taken on a really dark, cloudy appearance. It’s unclear how much spice actually stuck to the wings.

Now there are objectively worse food videos on the internet. (Remember the lady whose “hack” for making spaghetti and meatballs for a crowd mixed all the components by hand on a countertop?) So why did this one evoke such a violent reaction? As various commentators have pointed out, the way someone prepares fried chicken is often indicative of their cultural or racial identity.

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“When Paula Patton seasoned that fat, I knew her mother was the white parent,” said one Twitter commenter wrote. (For the record, Patton has publicly stated that despite having a white mother, she personally identifies as black rather than multiracial.)

Discussion over the recipe was reminiscent of the “raisins in potato salad” debate that peaked in 2018, when, as Salon’s Melanie McFarland wrote, the late “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman appeared as a contestant on “Saturday Night Live.” the recurring sketch “Black Jeopardy”.

“There the King Wakandan occurs against the Americans and Shanice[RashadanundentdecktschnelldassersagenwirnichtandieRealitätengewöhntisteinePersonafrikanischerAbstammunginAmerikazusein”schriebMcFarland”AberderentscheidendeMomentfürT’ChallakommtalserdieKategorieWeiße’für400Dollarauswählt”[RashadandquicklydiscoversheisshallwesayunaccustomedtotherealitiesofbeingapersonofAfricandescentinAmerica”McFarlandwrote”ButthepivotalmomentforT’Challacomeswhenhechoosesthecategory’WhitePeople’for0″[RashadanundentdecktschnelldassersagenwirnichtandieRealitätengewöhntisteinePersonafrikanischerAbstammunginAmerikazusein“schriebMcFarland„AberderentscheidendeMomentfürT’ChallakommtalserdieKategorie‚Weiße‘für400Dollarauswählt“[RashadandquicklydiscoversheisshallwesayunaccustomedtotherealitiesofbeingapersonofAfricandescentinAmerica”McFarlandwrote”ButthepivotalmomentforT’Challacomeswhenhechoosesthecategory’WhitePeople’for0”

The answer? “Your friend Karen is bringing her potato salad to your cookout.”

“I think I’ve got the hang of it,” T’Challa said. “Before I answer, a few questions. That woman Karen – she’s Caucasian, eh? And she has her own recipe for potato salad, huh? Ah I understand.”


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“It’s noble that she volunteers to cook for everyone,” T’Challa continued. “And although I’ve never eaten potato salad, I can sense that this white woman doesn’t flavor her food. And if it does, then only with a little salt. And without peppers raisins. So something tells me to say, ‘Oh damn, Karen, keep your stale potato salad to yourself!'”

At this point, McFarland wrote, “One must sympathize with the Karens of the world.”

“They’re legion, and as the Black Panther points out, they’re just trying to contribute to the potluck. (Trick statement, Karen: In this situation, you’re at a cookout, not a potluck.) On the other hand, it’s unlikely they’ve ever faced the cultural pressure to make a potato salad that pleases the masses, let alone because one for an audience that will read you in the face and won’t let you live out your failure for years.

Whether it’s packing root vegetables into macaroni and cheese a la Food Network’s Katie Lee or sprinkling dried fruit into potato salad, there are just a few things not to do.

Whether it’s packing root vegetables in macaroni and cheese à la Food Network’s Katie Lee or sprinkling dried fruit into potato salad, there are some things you just don’t seem to do — as Patton discovered this week. That said, the actress is taking the backlash in stride. In a follow-up message posted to Instagram, she said, “I just wanted to respond and say, ‘Listen, I see.'”

She continued, “It might look crazy. So we do it. My mom taught me… We put the spices in the oil and all that. That’s just how we do it.”

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