Great American Chicken Company, the ‘Home of the Deep-fried Pickle,’ opens at corner of 8th Street and Ocean Avenue.
Fried chicken isn’t often perceived as being the healthiest of foods. That may all change soon, thanks to Chris and Christine Pirone’s Great American Chicken Company restaurant concept.
Chris, who’s been steadily employed in the industry since getting his first set of New Jersey working papers 28 years ago, opened a third GACC last month in downtown Ocean City.
His original two locations were in Arizona, between the towns of Peoria and Sun City, and Hillsborough, New Jersey.
During those years, Pirone honed his techniques and developed what he calls “one of the easiest franchiseable businesses anyone could offer.”
He’s not kidding; virtually every aspect of his enterprise has been carefully researched, experimented with, tweaked and eventually codified into a detailed business model.
The first thing you’re likely to notice entering GACC’s 8th Street eatery is an extraordinary level of sanitary cleanliness.
That corner, which had become a sort of restaurant Bermuda Triangle in the recent past, has been completely renovated.
All prior equipment, fixtures and seating were trashed by Pirone when he took over, leaving only floors intact.
His kitchen sparkles with a gleam, which results only from the enthusiastic daily application of much elbow grease.
The fryers, admirably strained of canola oil and filtered each and every day, still look brand new.
Getting back to the linchpin of this venture, Pirone explains that his method of hand-trimming all of the skin from poultry results in removal of “60 to 70 percent of the cholesterol.”
After being meticulously cleaned and treated to a “unique breading process” with either regular or Cajun seasonings, birds get a longer — about 14 minutes worth — dip in 325-degree oil.
This lower heat “allows the chicken to crust completely” according to Pirone.
It also results in a texture that is truly different from other fried chicken.
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