Recipe submissions for Black History Month


Lane-Scott Fried Chicken

For Manny Lane-Scott, a BHS junior, a special family recipe is fried chicken. He and his family pan-fry the chicken, season it with some salt and pepper, and serve it with Louisiana hot sauce. Lane-Scott also likes to wash it down with a glass of Kool-Aid. He explained his favorite aspect of the meal. “I like mine to be crunchy,” Lane-Scott said. “The crunch gives it all the taste. The skin, the meat, the bone, gives it the flavor and everything like that.” 

When his great grandma was 14, she moved from Louisiana to Oakland and adopted the recipe from her sisters and brothers. It was passed down by word of mouth, generation to generation. Today, he eats it with his extended family every two weeks. “We have Sunday dinners, mostly after church. My family, my cousins, my aunts, and uncles come to my house and we all eat soul food like fried chicken, mac cheese, mashed potatoes, and potato salad together,” he said. 

Lane-Scott finished by saying, “Soul food is just delicious, and it came from African Americans always.”


Skin-on chicken



Ground black pepper

Louisiana hot sauce


1. Heat oil in a pan over the stove

2. Put in the chicken and cook until it reaches desired crunchiness

3. Season with salt and pepper

4. Serve with Louisiana hot sauce and a glass of Kool-Aid

Roberts Hot Water Cornbread

Hot water cornbread is an essential family meal for junior Montay Roberts. It originated during slavery in the 1800s, specifically in Louisiana. His family uses the recipe on the back of the Martha White yellow cornmeal mix and replace the milk with water, giving it its name. They also fry it rather than baking it in the oven. Roberts likes it because “it’s different.” 

He grew up watching his mom and grandma cook the recipe, and reminisced, “I learned the recipe as I watched them. They would be telling me like, you know, ‘Montay, come help.’” Roberts continued by explaining when his family eats the meal. “We make it (on) Thanksgiving a lot and family comes over and stuff. We eat cornbread, with other meals.” Roberts and his family enjoy it over black eyed peas or other meals.


1 teaspoon all-vegetable shortening

2 large eggs

1 cup hot water

1/4 cup pure vegetable oil

1½ cups Martha White Self-Rising Enriched Yellow Corn Meal Mix

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar


1. Spoon shortening into an 8-inch ovenproof skillet, an 8-inch square, or a round baking pan. Heat over stove for about 5 minutes, to melt.

2. Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Stir in water, oil, corn meal mix, flour and sugar until smooth. Batter should be creamy and pourable. If too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of additional water. 

3. Carefully tilt skillet to coat bottom with shortening. Pour batter into skillet.

4. Fry for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Johnson Gumbo



1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon powdered bay leaf

1½ tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

½ teaspoon ground cayenne, or more to taste

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)

½ teaspoon black pepper


4 tablespoons salted butter

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 small celery stalk, finely chopped

½ red bell pepper, finely chopped

½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

½ cup dried shrimp

1 tablespoon tomato paste

5 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock

4 ounces fresh or thawed frozen okra, sliced into rounds (1 cup)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 lobster tails, shelled and cut into ¾-inch pieces (optional; see Tip 3)

¼ pound picked crab meat

¼ pound sea scallops

½ pound medium shrimp



Kosher salt and black pepper

4 cups rice, for serving


1. Make the spice mix, placing all ingredients in a bowl and stirring until combined. Set aside 2 tablespoons for the gumbo and save the rest for a different use in an airtight container.

2. Heat the butter and oil in a 4 to 5 quart pot over medium heat. Allow the butter to bubble slightly, then add the flour. Stir to form a smooth paste.

3. Stir continuously as you cook the mixture for 10 to 13 minutes to make a chocolate-colored roux. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to avoid burning. It is necessary to keep a close eye on the roux during this step. Lower the heat if needed.

4. Immediately add the onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and tomatoes, and stir well. The vegetables will stop the roux from overcooking and burning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to stick to the pan, around 5 to 10 minutes. Add the dried shrimp, if using, tomato paste, and the 2 tablespoons of spice mix, then cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

5. While whisking, slowly add the stock and whisk until the stock is completely blended with the roux and vegetable mixture. Add the okra, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce and let simmer for 50 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the lobster, crab, scallops, chicken, sausage, and shrimp, and simmer just until cooked through, about 10 minutes more.

6. Season the gumbo to taste with salt and pepper, serve over rice.