“Solid, good cooking and comfort are always on-trend,” says Chef Richard Blais. We reached out to the Top Chef all-starand co-owner of The Crack Shack to talk chicken sandwiches because, well, that’s all people seem to be talking about lately. We figured, if anyone would understand how a sandwich basically turned into a cult obsession at the tail end of summer ’19, he might.
“Chicken is incredibly universal and always a crowd-pleaser,” Blais adds. “As is fried food, so… I think it’s just math.”
While he may be ignoring one massive reason for the phenomenon — Popeyes, the brand at the eye of this storm, has created a sandwich that is certainly very good, if not great — the chef is definitely onto something. It’s hard to deny the utility of a great fried chicken sandwich. The cushy bread, the tangy mayo, the crunch of a salty pickle, and, of course, a beautifully seasoned and deep-fried piece of chicken (hopefully brined thigh meat) is about as complex-yet-simple as a sandwich can be. Add a little heat and it’s bliss in a bun.