"And we freaked out because our chicken has lots of black pepper, lots of garlic powder, lots of zestiness to it and that honey butter just kind of evened everything out, mellowed it out. We ran out to the dining room and told everybody, 'put the butter on the chicken," said co-owner Joshua Kulp.
So Kulp and his partner, Christine Cikowski, now brine Amish birds in a citrus and chili-spiked brine overnight; dredge in seasoned flour with garlic and onion powder, as well as rice flour, dunk in buttermilk, then dredge again, before frying in trans fat free, non GMO canola oil. Batches are checked for temperature.
"When the chickens come out of the fryer, we do hit it with a little bit of smoked paprika or pimentón, it's a Spanish spice that's sweet and a little bit smoky and we just like how it really goes with the chicken and with the honey butter," said Kulp.
Sides are truly glorious: creamed corn is spiked with green curry and Thai basil; perfectly-cubed sweet potatoes are dressed and crowned with cilantro. Even the cocoa nib, toffee and sea salt cookies are crave-worthy. Kulp says the fact they de-bone all of the pieces (except the drumsticks), makes creating a towering sandwich with cabbage that much easier.
"And you get the experience of eating the chicken without the bone, which, honestly, is pretty pleasant," he said.
As for the sudden popularity sweeping Chicago?
"Apparently people really love fried chicken," said Kulp.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
3361 N. Elston Ave.