Briar Handly of Handle in Park City and HSL in Salt Lake might have started the fried chicken invasion of Utah—when HSL first opened, it was the fried chicken everyone was talking about. (Of course, back in prehistory, the first Kentucky Fried Chicken was in SLC, so we have a long history of fried.)
But now it seems you can’t run a restaurant without fried chicken. Bars as different as Garage on Beck and Proper Brewing serve chicken and waffles, fried chicken is on most brunch and breakfast menus now—Pig & a Jelly Jar makes great fried chicken. So does Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade. And Rye. Pretty Bird brought us the first hot fried chicken sandwich, Nashville-style; Justin Soelberg’s Nomad Eatery also makes a tasty hot fried chicken sandwich.
(One wonders whatever happened to other chicken preparations. Chicken and dumplings. Chicken pie. Has roasted chicken been entirely relegated to grocery store rotisseries? Has Costco’s $4 chicken so dominated the poultry pecking order that no other roast chicken dare show its face?)
But as a Southerner, to me, a world with too much fried chicken is just enough fried chicken. Curry fried chicken, hot fried chicken, organic fried chicken—I tend to like it all.