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Nashville Style Hot Chicken That Ranks Among The Nations Best

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah is a state filled with varieties of delicious cuisine. If you are into southern style fried-chicken, you are in luck. The head chef and owner of Pretty Bird, Viet Pham, has introduced a mouthwatering treat to satisfy anybody’s fried chicken cravings.

When you think of a fried chicken sandwich, you probably think of a rather simple dish. In fact, most of you probably think that you could replicate the Pretty Bird sandwich yourself.

I thought similarily until I spoke with Pham and he informed me of the delicate and intricate process it takes to put this chicken sandwich together.

The Chicken Sandwich, Explained

Double battered boneless chicken thighs are brushed with buttermilk before being coated in flour. The buttermilk acts as a magnet, sticking the flour to the thigh. If you were to use water or milk, the flour would likely run off the thigh, as opposed to sticking.

The frying process is different than most. Pretty Bird spent some money on their “Ferrari,” as they call it, the engine of the kitchen. It is a pressure cooker, a deep fryer that has a lid. None of this open lid deep-frying nonsense. I am joking, I really have no idea what the difference is. I imagine oxygen has something to do with it? Regardless.

Once the chicken is fried, a seasoning is added. This is where most of the flavor comes from. Once you make your mind up on how spicy you would like your chicken to be (mild, medium, hot, hot behind)  the team behind the counter will start applying the specific seasoning. They all use the same spices, however, they are adjusted based on the spice level.

When they apply the seasoning to the chicken, they cover the entire thigh. From the sides, top, bottom, and all of the little cracks and crevasses, you will never find yourself complaining, wishing that there was more seasoning on your chicken.

A local bakery provides soft and crunchy buns. A layer of their citrus, buttermilk based sauce is applied to the bottom bun. The chicken is then placed on top. Another layer of sauce covers the top of the chicken, allowing the four of five pickles to sit comfortably in place.

The final addition comes when their homemade pickled purple cabbage smothers the pickles and sits gently atop the mountain.

The flavors are amazing. The textures are beautiful.

The chicken is crunchy, soft and juicy. While the bun is warm and buttery. Their sour pickles and cider slaw adds complex diversity to what is traditionally a very savory meal. Their secret citrus, creamy sauce really adds to the final presentation.

Although the chicken sandwich is what Pretty Bird is known for, they also offer another item.

Their quarter bird. You get to choose your choice of breast, wing, leg or thigh served on top of two slices of white bread and pickles. The juices from the chicken soak into the bread that it sits on making for a very scrumptious end to your meal.

The name Pretty Bird comes from the movie Dumb and Dumber. During the movie, main character Lloyd sells Harrys’ dead bird to a blind kid, much to the disbelief of Harry. The next scene shows the child patting and stroking the bird while repeating the words “pretty bird.”

When Pham was channel surfing one night and came across that specific scene, he had an epiphany. The restaurant had its name.

It also helps that when Harry and Lloyd were filming the movie in Salt Lake City, they were staying in an apartment just three blocks from where Pretty Bird is located on Regent Street.

It all just made sense.