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Watch Top Chef Richard Blais Make Us His Iconic Fried Chicken Sandwich

For those who don’t consider fried chicken a delicacy — it’s probably because they’ve never tried The Crack Shack, one of San Diego’s most legendary fried chicken joints, led by well-known Top Chef and restaurateur, Richard Blais.

FOODBEAST recently caught up with Chef Blais at his newest Crack Shack location in Costa Mesa, California, to check out one of the most iconic fried chicken sandwiches ever created — the Firebird.

It all starts with The Crack Shack’s signature Nashville-style fried chicken. After marinating the chicken in buttermilk and pickle juice, the chicken is doused with a helping of “Crack spice” – a signature blend of herbs and spices – before it’s fried.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair to call this sandwich “The Firebird” without throwing this perfectly crispy chicken breast into something that’ll get your forehead sweaty, which is why every Firebird is dunked in a hot sauce blend of paprika and cayenne pepper right before it’s set on the toasted bun.

The Firebird comes together with a double helping of Ranch dressing on each bun, some fresh pickles and crispy onion straws.

Next time you’re craving fried chicken, just know that The Crack Shack is FOODBEAST Approved.

To plan out your next foodie-venture in Costa Mesa, visit travelcostamesa.com/eatcation and tag your pics with #eatcation!

Photos by Pete Pham


Created in partnership with Travel Costa Mesa

By Travel Costa Mesa

At the heart of Southern California is Orange County, the destination of choice for more than 46 million visitors each year. And nestled within Orange County is the internationally acclaimed arts and theater district – Costa Mesa.

Stay in the City of the Arts at one of the top hotels in Orange County. Enjoy Broadway productions and concerts at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, experience designer shopping at South Coast Plaza, boutique shopping at The OC Mix, and support “little American business” at The LAB and The CAMP.

Make it an Eatcation and dine at award-winning local hotspots and hidden gems throughout the city. Just minutes from top-rated beaches, and a short drive to major Southern California attractions, Costa Mesa is the perfect place to stay for an Orange County getaway.