Crazy Bird is part BBQ joint, part chicken shack

Sunday, December 7, 2014
Crazy Bird is part BBQ joint, part chicken shack
Larry Tucker, the former owner of NN Smokehouse, is still smoking rib tips on the weekends, but now he is spending more time brining, dredging and frying chickens.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- You spot the aquarium-style smoker in the front window, and you think, is Crazy Bird a barbecue joint or a fried chicken shack? A little of both, actually. Owner Larry Tucker makes everything himself, but really focuses on trying to make the best chicken he can.

"From the time that I hand cut it, goes into a brine, then it goes into a buttermilk solution then we have a top secret flour that I mix up," said Tucker.

Then into a fryer for just a few minutes until golden brown. He'll happily spoon up some collards or sweet, candied yams; even mac and cheese. Corn muffins come with everything, and he'll do more than his fair share of prodding, trying to get you to try the pound cake or sweet potato souffle. But please don't ask for barbecue sauce.

"In fact one person said that it would be a sin to put sauce on that," he said.

You can save the sauce for his rib tips, which only make appearances on weekends. Tucker says he wanted to make use of that smoker, and of course, he also wanted to listen to his customers.

"What I wanted to do was to be able to offer something more than just fries and coleslaw with a fried chicken meal," said Tucker.

Now since Larry inherited an aquarium-style smoker with the business, he does have rib tips every Friday, Saturday and Sunday but clearly, he is trying to re-establish himself as a chicken guy.

Even though most orders are to-go, there are a few small tables to eat-in, if you can't wait to get home.

Crazy Bird Chicken

1138 S. California