Somehow and sometime in the last few years, fried chicken has gone from being a greasy hangover shameful snack tarnished with slut-shaming terms like 'dirty bird', to being a snack of the food connoisseur.
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I blame Mexico and their beloved fried chicken for the millennial chicken movement. The Parnell La Cigale market, that popular Instagram location, is even throwing a fried chicken festival.
But does this mean fried chicken is now bougie? Or do we still have room for greasy hungover feeds?
That's where Texas Chicken comes in. On Henderson's Lincoln Road, the food outlet already has a loyal following of locals and Dancing With The Stars NZ audience members, given its close proximity to South Pacific Pictures. That closeness also means many of the kitchen workers are extras on Shortland Street, juggling the glitz and glamour with their time on the soap opera.
The first co-worker to answer my group message and I made our way out to Lincoln Road this week, geared up and ready for our first restaurant review. We were unsure what to expect - a knock-off KFC, but featuring those famous 'honey butter buns' we had heard so much about?
But it was so much more.
I don't know if this is typical of most restaurant write-ups, but we sampled basically everything on the menu to make sure it was a balanced and accurate review. Is this what Jesse Mulligan does with his work? I like to think so.
But boy, nobody loves chicken more than the Texas Chicken team. They were so keen for us to try everything on the menu, we practically had to be rolled out of the building. We were given burgers, wraps, potato and gravy, cheesy bacon mash... Basically picture the opposite of what Julia and Libby would post on Instagram, and that was our lunch.
But the star was the chicken - oh, the chicken. Giant pieces the size of my head (slightly exaggerated.) So crunchy and crispy on the outside, so juicy on the inside. I am a KFC Wicked Wing girl through and through, and even I thought Texas Chicken's spicy chicken topped that. A big call I know.
My main gripe with many takeaway outlets is that the food they title 'spicy' is anything but, catering to all demographics - including those who find a bit of heat in mayonnaise. But the Mexicana wrap carried actual fire, enough to make me chug my second Coke (no sugar, obvi).
The star of the menu at Texas Chicken is the honey butter buns, three words whispered throughout the formica tables like a secret password. I had heard rumours of these buns and I was excited to try them. Or at least find out what they actually were. In my head I was envisioning a soft bread roll, but honey butter buns are in fact a small scone.
I know. I hope you were sitting down.
They can both be included in your savoury meal or your dessert. I don't know how I feel about that, but on their own, they were great. Or maybe they would have been, if I wasn't so full I had to pull my tights away from my tummy. No work was done that afternoon. I distracted my co-workers with free leftovers and had a nap under my desk.
I don't know if that feeling is typical of dining at Texas Chicken. I have a feeling most wouldn't order almost the entire menu for a casual Wednesday lunch. But on a hungover Sunday, who knows the damage you could do? No judgements here.