If you’re on Facebook, there’s a better-than-50 percent chance that your eyes have seen the blackness glory. When the good Lord said, “Let there be a people of color with feet adorned in Jordans and homes full of TCB,” he was speaking of his plans to imbue one nigga named Harvey J—a COMPLETE wizard with a bottle of Henny; seriously, he’s got a whole canon of Hennessy recipes—with all of the stereotypical blackness one deity could muster.
That’s what I thought when I was introduced to the video for Henny Fried Chicken, which I’m PRETTY sure is a thing that most of your “questionable five-year disappearance” aunties and uncles make every Tuesday night. Harvey decided to put it on the Summer Jam screen in such tremendous fashion that Henny would reach out to him about touring a live fried-chicken exhibit in any city with a black population greater than 13 percent.
Henny Fried Chicken is chicken fried with Hennessy, also known as Black Kool-Aid or the Brown Hornet in certain parts of southern Arkansas. Instead of using vegetable oil, you use Henny, because vegetable oil is not good for you, which isn’t untrue, though I can’t imagine Hennessy is ACTUALLY more healthy. I don’t even know what to say to that.
Look, I’m not trying to tell on myself here, but admittedly—with no regard for whether or not this would actually work; survey says probably not—I saw it and was sad. I was sad because I didn’t think of this years ago and I love Henny. As Harvey calls it, it’s “soul in a bottle.”
I remember being so distraught when my grandmother passed that my auntie gave me a fifth of Henny and a can of Coke to drink by myself. And a straw. Listen, do not drink a bottle of Henny and what amounts to a splash of Coke through a straw. It’s not a good look. Do you know what is a good look? Henny fried chicken.
Let’s get to the substance of the video, shall we? Yes, let’s. This nigga’s fried-chicken-preparation technique actually isn’t bad ... if by “isn’t bad” you mean, “Who let this nigga near the raw chicken and fryer?” Using the loosest—but most efficient—definition of “marinate the chicken,” he pours some Henny over some HOPEFULLY cleaned chicken. Then again, doesn’t alcohol, like, clean germs and shit? I used to gargle with gin.
So he pours some Henny on the chicken—to marinate it—and then he adds the flour, which is the right order. His technique needs a little work here; he’s pretty much just throwing the shit up in the air and letting it land on the chicken. They do NOT do it like that at Popeyes, fam.
But then he makes up for it by lovin’ all up on that chicken by holding it tight. I can’t hear it in the background, but I’m pretty sure Johnny Gill’s “Wrap My Body Tight” was playing on the Sirius XM The Heat channel. That’s channel 47.
Then this nigga really levels up the blackness by pouring Henny into the fryer. I can’t stress enough how New Money Black this is. A bottle of Henny is going to run you somewhere around 40 bucks—can I just pause here and point out how fucking hard it is to spell Hennessy? I paused—so this is akin to lighting a cigar with a hundred-dollar bill. But once you’re devoted to the Ministry of Niggadom, you really have to see it through. For safety purposes, he does add a shot of water “to balance it out.”
Next, he brings the Henny to a “pristine boil,” a phrase he has typed out on-screen. This is super black, and I don’t even know why. It just is. Somebody get this man an Ida B. Wells Peace Prize. What? Exactly.
I would like to point out that he does mention that “technique is everything” after putting the chicken in the fryer. This is true. It’s just like saying “ball is life.” Same shit, really.
Because there is no Niggadom without at least some form of blasphemy or creative Scripture, he cites Helenthians Proverbs 7:5, which says that “thou shall drinketh Hen or thou shalt never drinketh again.” Thing is, I’m not sure this isn’t in my Lost Books of the Bible text; I’m just too lazy to check. Can’t be lost books if I found them, though. I’m just sayin’.
After some amount of time—I do not know how long you have to fry Henny chicken to get the desired crispiness or even what a desired level of crispiness would be with Henny fried chicken—he takes the chicken out of the fryer, does the obligatory martial arts prayer pose and then eats his chicken. A fitting conclusion to a fitting day’s work.
All while dressed like Ghostface Killah.
Mama, there goes that man.
That is some black shit.