Onion Rings

Beer batter onion rings? No way!

Today is National Onion Ring Day, which presents a real dilemma for me because the very best onion rings I ever tasted was in a restaurant called Hackney’s in Glenview, Illinois and I live in Connecticut.

I first tried Hackney’s onion rings when I was in college and the crunch and salt taste of those things made a lasting impression. Sometimes, you know, the memories outweigh reality. But I went back to Hackney’s a few years ago and the onion rings were just as good as I had remembered.

Here’s what’s good about the Hackney’s onion rings. They aren’t thick with batter crust. Thick batter crusts are all about the crust (which can be soggy or fall off). Hackney’s is about the ONION!

I don’t know what they do to it, but it comes looking like a loaf.

Now, it’s only about 8:30 a.m. on the east coast but I could eat an order of those right now, for breakfast.

I’ve tried making onion rings many ways over the years. The closest I ever came to Hackney’s is the recipe that follows. No beer batter.  Just crispy, salty, wonderful fried onion rings.

Fried Onion Rings

2 large Spanish onions, sliced thin


all-purpose flour



vegetable oil

Place the sliced onions in a bowl and pour the milk on top. Scatter the rings to get all the onion rings moist. Place about one cup of all-purpose flour on a large plate or in a big plastic bag. Add some salt and paprika (about 1/2 teaspoon each). Heat about 2-inches of vegetable oil in a large, deep pan to 360 degrees (a bread crumb will sizzle). Using a few onion rings at a time, remove the rings from the milk and place in the flour. Toss to coat the rings with some flour. Fry the rings for about 3 minutes, tossing them about as they cook. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue with the remaining onion rings. Sprinkle with more salt if you like. Makes about 4 servings unless you really love onion rings, in which case this recipe will serve 2.

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