Haute fried chicken is a trend that will not die. Bon Appétit published Thomas Keller’s famed Ad Hoc recipe for it last month. San Francisco’s SPQR (the sister restaurant to A16) recently made whole fried chickens available every Tuesday night.
But perhaps the funniest permutation of the trend (and proof that it’s time to give it a rest) is KFC’s new “everyday entertaining tips” PR push. While geared toward dining in and on the cheap (admittedly, a good cause), the press release promises that after combining the $9.99 seven-piece value meal with some “upgrading tips” from coupon mom and value expert Stephanie Nelson, you’ll have yourself “a five star dining experience.”
So what are these tips that can magically turn my 10 bucks into a meal on a par with five-star-rated restaurants like Jean Georges and Alinea?
Well there’s parsley, which they direct us to garnish the Original Recipe Chicken with after putting it on a nice platter. Then there’s trickery: “… put the large home-style side in its own dish and top with favorite kitchen staples for that ‘prepared-at-home’ look.” Some of the suggestions include adding blue cheese to their mashed potatoes or topping off the mac ‘n’ cheese with breadcrumbs.
And naturally when you are having a fancy meal, you want a little ambiance. Easily done with some candles, “soft background music, and other restaurant cues” (plastic cutlery and the smell of fryer grease?). This will allow us to “skip the big check at the end of the meal, but get the same effect.” Take that Ad Hoc.