Fried chicken isn’t just for families in a rush anymore. Today’s fried chicken can go a round or several with the finest five-star cuisine and easily hold its own. From bloodcurdlingly hot to sinfully sweet and savoury, it is not hard to figure out what there is to love about the new breed of fried chicken.

The New Culture of Chicken Fried

Whether or not you have ever wondered what “daikon radish” or “shichimi togarashi” is, 2016 is definitely your year to find out. By combining a staple of nearly everyone’s diet with toppings, garnishes and seasonings that need their own pronunciation tables, even normally cautious diners may feel inclined to dip a toe into something new.

Chicken Fried Preparations Making the Rounds

Here are some of the coolest new fried chicken trends making their presence felt bar-side, at drive-throughs and sit-down tables across Australia:

  • Fried chicken with waffles.
  • Fried chicken with griddled gourmet donuts.
  • Fried chicken with mac n’ cheese.
  • Fried chicken with the hottest hot sauce imaginable.
  • Fried chicken, smoked, with chilli-lime barbecue.
  • Fried chicken, brined, with green papaya, habanero, cilantro and fish sauce.
  • Fried chicken, Taipei style.
  • McDonald’s “artisan” fried chicken (no words, but props for effort!).

A Word About Chi-Mc

If fried chicken tastes good when it is fried once, it is bound to taste even better when it is fried twice….or even three times. Such is the concept behind 2015’s still-building trend for Chi-Mc, or Korean fried chicken.

Lauded by food critics from New York to Sydney, “Chi-Mc” gets its nickname from the Korean practice of serving the dish with an icy cold beer. Packed full of sugar, MSG, chillies and of course chicken, the dish is now known to be served up in at least 16 different ways. Want to try it out with your clientele? Head to Koreatown in Sydney or Gami in Melbourne or Perth.

Fried Chicken on Your Menu

The most interesting thing about fried chicken’s resurgence of popularity is the innovation being poured into one of the world’s most basic staples. So if your establishment is better known for its Acai bowls or “vegetable forward” entrees, this doesn’t mean serving up some good old fashioned fried chicken is totally off-limits.

It just means you need to get creative. Same goes for “special diet” menu items – and even vegans can appreciate a good piece of tofu or tempeh “fried” up to taste like a childhood favourite! And if you know it just won’t work at your place, don’t be afraid to create promotions with other local restaurateurs – chances are, it’s nothing a little collaboration won’t solve!