While most pandemic trends have come and gone–dalgona coffee, anyone–one trend that has seemingly flown under the radar and is poised to take flight as the stand out winner for years to come, is fried chicken. Almost everywhere you look, you're bound to see a new or emerging fried chicken restaurant, or restaurants adding fried chicken dishes to their already-established classics. You see it everywhere and you want to try it. From beer-battered chicken to Nashville hot chicken to fast-food places, it's hard to avoid. While the competition for best fried chicken is becoming increasingly more interesting with several new spots sprouting up across the country, it's safe to say fried chicken is here and it's here to stay.
There’s no denying the popularity of, and love for fried chicken. In particular, the fried chicken sandwich tops the list of the most popular takeout food of the past year. Among its tasty attributes, the sandwich travels well, ticks all the boxes for the ideal comfort food and is easily enjoyed on the couch in front of Netflix or with a good book. Sandwich in one hand, remote in the other.
Not only is fried chicken an instant winner, but it’s also incredibly easy to execute. Ask any chef and they’ll have their own fried chicken recipe, promising the very best. Chefs can still flex their creative muscle with batters and seasoning, while restaurants have the ability to get large quantities out the door pretty quickly without compromising on either taste and quality.
The Rise of The Neighbourhood Restaurant
Even before the pandemic, the fried chicken sandwich was quietly taking flight as the number one menu option, moving beyond a fast-food-only option to a more up-scale-style and in-demand menu item at finer dining establishments. No matter which way you slice it, chicken was reigning supreme.
Now, as we see the return of the cozy neighbourhood restaurants across the country, expect to see smaller menus with comforting, nostalgic fare–just like fried chicken–that brings back the fresh, familiar tastes and flavours many people have grown up with and have come to love.
Tips for the Tastiest Chicken
- An intensely flavoured buttermilk brine tenderizes the chicken while keeping it moist.
- Adding wet ingredients to the dry flour coating ensures an extra-crunchy crust with lots of nooks and crannies.
- Starting in hot fat and finishing in a convection oven gives you fried chicken with a crisp crust and evenly cooked meat.