10.03.2008

Chicken Charlie's

Chicken Charlie is a staple on the Fair circuit. Charlie is also the darling of the media at many Fair’s in the past few years. In Fresno right now, a local TV station does their afternoon and three evening anchor broadcasts from the Fair. They are in the middle of a major walk way with a scrim in the back to shade the light, while still allowing the “Fair” through. So their “backdrop” ends up being Chicken Charlie’s.

Charlie tries to come up with something new to serve each year. Whether the item “has legs” to stick around or not, is not the issue. It’s about something new to talk about, something new for the local media to cover and a new reason for fairgoers to visit his stand – along with the tried and true favorites.

Now Charlie obviously sells chicken, his famous broasted chicken to be exact. But he is also the fry king. He fries fries (of course), avocados (which are pretty good!), tomatoes (which turn to mush), Oreos, zucchini, Twinkies with a topping (the “start” of the fry-anything craze, but not very good – the best part of the Twinkie fresh out of the wrapper is the filling in the middle and it melts during the deep fry phase to become a runny mess), frog legs, onion strips, a chicken sandwich, chicken kebob (the only thing not fried and very good), veggie platter (onion strips, zucchini and mushrooms), Fried Fair Special (fries, chicken strips and something else fried) just to name a few. He has recently added a fried chicken breast on a jelly filled Krispy Kreme donut cut in half as a bun with honey on the side (pretty good!), and deep fried White Castle burgers. Plus this year, it’s the deep fried Pop Tart with a topping, and deep fried Spam (served in chunks with a sweet and sour sauce) – I’ve heard it is very salty!

Charlie doesn’t have deep fried Snickers on his main menu here in Fresno, but he has served that in the past. I’ve had that, and I have to say, the deep fried Snicker is a little slice of heaven in your mouth! I’m a Snickers fan anyway, but this is incredible! I had it a few years ago sliced, so I only had one small slice – that was enough! With the Snickers deep fried, it has a fabulous sweet batter coating on the outside, and the Snickers inside is warm and melty, chewier than normal, but smooth and creamy and decadently delicious! Have I sold you yet?!

Charlie has also been known to do deep fried pickles on request for pregnant Fair staffers. Just take him your pickles-of-choice, he’ll fry them up and I have known a few women whose cravings have been satisfied completely on the spot!

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