Fritou Halal Fried Chicken
216 Saddletowne Circle NE
Fried chicken is one of those things everyone can do, but most people fail to do well. In reading Thomas Keller’s new cookbook Ad-hoc at home, he describes his recipe for fried chicken as “if there’s better, I’ve never had it”. While Keller may be onto something, that doesn’t mean I have to take his word for it. So i’ll keep looking…
Fritou Halal Fried Chicken is part of the Fritou Chicken chain. Each independent owner buys equipment and supplies from Fritou, and then operates the chain in their own preferred method. In this case, as indicated by the name, they offer Halal chicken.
Tucked away in the corner of the city, it can be awfully difficult to find. If you’re looking, know that the Saddledome Circle is one way, and Fritou is on the backside, or the west side of the circle.
The interior for Fritou Halal Fried Chicken is clean and sterile. There isnt much to say about it. The menu is pretty basic. While they serve some Indian Chinese and some pizza, im here for the fried chicken. If anyone ventures forth to try the other offerings, let me know.
Chicken comes in a variety of forms (wings, fingers, popcorn, fried), and some choices are available in spicy or not spicy.
For some reason, we try the chicken wings. I wouldnt bother. They taste like standard bar chicken wings.
The fried chicken is priced to compete with KFC, and comes in a wide variety meals. The chicken itself is pretty good – tender, moist, and juicy. The skin is well seasoned, and often crispy. However, I have had pretty bad skin here occasionally. It’s best to mitigate the risk by asking them to cook it extra crispy. You have a much higher chance at success. I haven’t found much different between spicy and regular.
Now be warned, fried chicken here is not a fast process. They dredge and fry on demand, so your chicken comes fresh. But it certainly takes time. Quite a bit of it.
The jewel of the menu at Fritou Halal comes in the form of the chicken sandwich. Respectably priced at 6 dollars and change, a full marinated, seasoned chicken breast comes straight from the fryer, put into a simple, average bun, with some lettuce, and a bit too much mayo. This is definitely a place where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The crispy, flavourful, moist chicken combines well with the freshness of the lettuce, and the bread binds it all together into simple, manageable bites. This is one of the best chicken sandwiches i’ve had in Alberta hands down. The chicken really shines.
The fries are forgettable. I’d get an extra piece of fried chicken if you’re looking for a bit more to your meal.
Overall, im not sure that it’s worth it to me to drive up to Fritou Halal to get some fried chicken. It’s good, and better than the other competing places i’ve tried (Chicken Cottage, Chicken on the Way), but not better by sufficient enough margin that the extra 30 minutes is worthwhile. If I was in the area, i would definitely stop in. Or, if I wanted a really tasty chicken sandwich, i’d make the trek as well. Otherwise, I would rather just keep looking for the fried chicken that bests all other fried chickens.