Tony Street owns YO Ranch, and also claims the chef title. There he is cranking out hundreds of covers each night, many who are tourists in search of more Texas-style cuisine with true atmosphere. The building is loaded with memorabilia from the YO Ranch in the Texas Hill Country, including photos of the family to an actual windmill snagged from the sprawling ranch. Most would be content to own and operate a successful operation like YO, but Tony is from the Street family where gravy courses through each of the members veins. Enter Liberty Chicken, the latest on the drawing board from the Street family. This new concept will be operated by Tony, his uncle and restaurant veteran Gene Street, and Mariel Street who operates Liberty Burger.
There are plenty of restaurants selling chicken. Tony Street’s favorite in the Dallas area is Babe’s where they make their chicken by the train car load at any one of the many locations across the city. Tony wants to serve you chicken similar to Babe’s, but with his own special take on the bird. He probably doesn’t want you to necessarily know that the chicken he offering has half the fat. He had the chicken lab tested and showed me the documents just before presenting me a platter of his fried chicken. There are several ways the younger Street has improved the fat content of his chicken, one is by using a CVAP type device. Consider this a sous vide process. But there is another nifty trick to cut the fat, and he shared that with us.
“In the fryer there is this brick made of titanium, ceramic and platinum. When the fat in the fryer are heated up the molecules form strands. These strands form around the chicken, but the brick breaks the molecules up and circulates the fat,” said Street.
When a salesman first presented this brick to Street he thought he was nothing more than a snake oil salesman. But the rep agreed to leave the brick behind and Street used it in his fryers, and sent the chicken to a lab for testing. The fat content was actually half of what he had been making in the past.
The taste test proved that there was no love loss with the lower fat content in the chicken. The chicken is actually quite amazing. I also sampled the roasted chicken, and it was juicy and packed with flavor. A load of that flavor comes from the brining process, which Street has a special recipe for.
The rumors have been circulating that the first Liberty Chicken would be in the Lakewood area, quite possibly very near the Liberty Burger which opens today. In actuality the first Liberty Chicken will be in the same shopping center where Alamo Draft House is located in Richardson. Lakewood will come later. Look for the fist restaurant to open in January, or possibly February.
Liberty Burger now has three locations,with the new Lakewood store. Targeted next is Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Fort Worth.