written by: Mary Brown Malouf
After decades of banishment, fried chicken has made a comeback. Fears about fat have been allayed and it’s hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t serve a version of the everlasting favorite. Soon to come on the scene is Viet Pham’s Pretty Bird on Regent Street. His will be Nashville-style with a Vietnamese twist, another version of a dish that’s universal, but never prepared the same way in two different restaurants. Do you brine it? Batter it? Dredge it? Each step requires a decision. We asked some notable local chicken-fryers to let us know how they do it.
Tips and Tricks:
Eric LeBlanc at Powder cooks the chicken sous vide before frying.
Matt Harris at Tupelo says, “Watch the oil temp—not too hot or it will brown before cooking thru, not too cold or it will be soggy.”
Amy Britt at Pig & A Jelly Jar says, “Use cast iron when frying at home—make sure the oil temp is correct—no smoking oil!”
Briar Handly likes to fry in a combination of duck fat and lard at home. “Its all about firmly packing the dredge on and making sure your oil is not too hot—we fry around 325 degrees.”
Fried Chicken in Utah:
Viet Pham warns over-brining can make the chicken mushy.
Tupelo: 508 Main St., Park City, 435-615-7700
Pig & A Jelly Jar: 401 E. 900 South, SLC, 385-202-7366. 227 25th St., Ogden, 801-605-8400
HSL: 418 E. 200 South, SLC, 801-539-9999
Pretty Bird: will be on Regent St., SLC, no phone info yet.
Powder: Frostwood Dr., Park City, 435-647-5566