From Nashville to Long Island, Ryan Carroll is introducing the widely popular hot chicken concept to Farmingdale’s Main Street.
The Sayville native said it all started with a trip he made to Tennesse’s capital, the birthplace of hot chicken.
“Me and one of the partners, Mike [LoManto], went down to Nashville, went to Hattie B’s and Prince’s, it was awesome,” he said. “The way the hospitality industry was going, it was absolutely crumbling — I was doing fine-dining, to charity, and when Mike approached me about a space here, I think that quick service was the way to go for the future.”
Carroll worked as a chef in New York City, but he lost his job due to the pandemic.
In March 2020, Carroll launched Carroll’s Kitchen in March 2020 with the mission to feed those in need on Long Island. And just before the opportunity for Kick’N Chicken arose, he opened up Harley’s American Grille in Farmingdale.
Seeing the hot chicken trend on the rise and only a few places offering this variety of chicken on Long Island, he thought why not bring it to Farmingdale.
“I researched fried chicken for like seven or eight months, and went to every single fried chicken place on Long Island,” Carroll said.
What he learned was that more and more people are staying home for their meals, ordering takeout through third parties like DoorDash and Grubhub. Right now, Carroll said he’s just riding this “new wave” of dining with Kick’N Chicken.
“I didn’t expect to leave New York City, and I wanted to be a fine-dining chef, but that’s not an option,” he added. “So, I’m frying chicken and I think it’s really cool. It’s fun, we have really awesome equipment and a beautiful space.”
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Kick’N Chicken at 342 Main St. in Farmingdale makes chicken in all the ways one can imagine: tenders, buckets, chicken and waffles, sammys, plates, wings and more.
The menu also includes vegetarian options, including their plant-based chicken sandwich.
Carroll emphasizes the importance of the food being certified halal, as well.
For those not familiar, halal means meat that is prepared as “permissible” under Muslim law.
“I did a demographic search, and this area is densely populated with Muslim people,” Carroll said. “There’s like Shah’s Halal and chicken over rice, but nothing like this creative.”
Patrons can also indulge in Kick’N Chicken’s gelato-based milkshakes that come in three flavors: rainbow cookie gelato with chocolate sauce, vanilla gelato with Mike’s Hot Honey swirl, and mint chocolate chip gelato.
The gelato flavors are also available as scoops.
One of the bestsellers, Carroll said, is the OG Sammy with heat level “Hot AF,” which is fried chicken breast with a lot of heat, Kick’N pickles, slaw, and sauce on a brioche bun.
Kick’N Chicken also hosts some events, such as the recent “Carolina Reaper Challenge” for those who want to brave the spicy burn for a chance to win $1,000 in cash.
During the day, Carroll is establishing a welcoming atmosphere for families to come out for a bucket or plates of chicken.
At night, he said, he’s hoping to pull in a younger demographic and late-night crowd just looking for some good old-fashioned chicken after a night hanging out in the bars.
“I think this is an up-and-coming strip,” he said of Farmingdale. “We’re going to be open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and just sell tenders, shakes, and loaded tater tots.”
Scroll down for some awesome photos of Kick’N Chicken’s food taken by Andrew Theodorakis of Yellow House Images.
Top: Kick’N Chicken’s chicken and waffles. Photo by Andrew Theodrakis.