If you needed any indication of the enduring popularity of chicken, consider this—there’s a new craft beer that’s made using fried chicken. Called Fried Fried Chicken Chicken (no, that’s not a typo), it’s a double IPA that’s the result of a collaboration of The Veil Brewing Co. and Evil Twin Brewing. The brewers have been quoted as saying: “The idea came to us after eating a significant amount of fried chicken at various establishments in our beautiful city of Richmond, Virginia.”
If you manage to get ahold of enough of this limited-edition brew to include it in service, you’ll want to pair it with… well, duh, chicken, to accompany it as a menu standout. You can serve it in any number of ways, from a simple roast to a nostalgic fried chicken Sunday suppers. And leftovers can become tomorrow’s chicken noodle soup special.
As with other seemingly simple dishes, it helps to pay attention to the basics when you’re putting chicken on the menu. Sourcing fresh and local birds can make a difference. At Minneapolis-based Revival, chef Thomas Boemer re-creates the cherished foods of his Southern childhood, including “Tennessee hot” fried chicken. He uses three- to four-pound birds, and he insists on all-natural and air-chilled chickens. (He sources his from Wild Acres Farm Fresh Poultry in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.)
A roast chicken seems like such a simple dish, but a standout prep can make a difference. New York chef Jonathan Waxman has been serving roast chicken for more than three decades. At Barbuto, he serves a wood-oven-roasted “JW” chicken that’s one of the most popular items on the menu. He’s been quoted as saying: “We baste the hell out of it.”
Chicken is always a good blank canvas for soaking up spice and heat. At Ma’ono in Seattle, chef Mark Fuller serves a Hawaiian-style version that comes with a diner’s choice of Chile sauce or Chinese mustard and honey glaze. Both versions pair well with beer, fried chicken flavor or otherwise.