In times of worry and sadness, we tend to turn to comfort foods to ease our troubles. The coronavirus crisis is no different, with the popularity of comfort fare skyrocketing in recent months.
That includes pizza, French fries and chocolate, which provide energy-dense, high-fat relief. It also includes fried chicken.
The quintessential comfort food, relatively inexpensive, is making its way onto more Houston menus.
Levi Goode, who spearheads one of Houston's most recognizable restaurant chains, Goode Co., launched a new pop-up concept around it: Goode Bird.
"With all the stress of the pandemic, I thought Houston could use some comfort food," said Goode. "It is a small escape from what we're dealing with."
Goode Bird, which opened in July, operates out of the kitchen at Goode's Armadillo Palace near Rice Village.
"The Armadillo's business model - it's a social gathering pace - isn't conducive during COVID-19. Rather than have it sit dormant, we put it on pause and switched to this," said Goode.
As it does for many, fried chicken has a nostalgia factor for Goode.
"My grandmother used to fry chicken and my grandfather made biscuits," said Goode. "I've been working on refining their recipes for years."
The results have been well received. Even with limited operating hours, Goode Bird has been a hit from the start.
"We've sold out of fried chicken just about every day since we opened," said Goode. "It eases things a bit for people and allows them to take a step back for an hour while they sit around the table for a meal. We feel gratified to offer something that might help facilitate that."
Brennan's of Houston, is also having success with its fried chicken.
Chef Joseph "Joey" Chavez, whom the restaurant announced this week has been tapped as the new executive chef, is putting his stamp on the Sunday-only special by adding a truffle honey gastrique. Customers can't seem to get enough of it.
While it's not the first time fried chicken has been available at the Midtown restaurant - notably, Mark Holley (Houston's Chef Holley at Davis Street) served it when he was chef de cuisine during the '90s - to date, it hasn't landed a permanent spot on the menu.
This time, it will stay on the food roster at least until year-end, according to general manager Carl Walker.
"The only drawback is that we may gain a few pounds," said Walker. "But when you get a good piece of fried chicken ... it feeds the soul."
Below are five Houston restaurants that are now serving fried chicken.