Every year, Charlie Boghosian, aka Chicken Charlie, tries to outdo himself with his deep-fried concoctions sold at California fairs. The man began his arterial onslaught modestly several years ago with deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried Snickers bars.
Seeking ever greater challenges, he took on deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried cookie dough, deep-fried Spam, deep-fried Pop-Tarts and of course, the Zucchini Weeni. Many thought he had reached the apex of his hot-grease powers in 2011 with deep-fried Kool-Aid.
But that was until a CBS News reporter’s daughter, along for an interview, recently challenged Charlie to deep-fry her bag of nacho cheese-flavored Doritos.
“I did and it was delish,” Boghosian told the Weekly. “What's amazing is the deep-frying made it more crunchy.”
Boghosian explained his process: “I dipped the chips in a very watered down fish-and-chip batter, and after they were finished frying, I topped them with a season mixture of mine similar to Cajun seasonings.”
He quickly added the new deep-fried discovery to his fair-food menu. Now a week and a half into the Orange County Fair, “It has become a fan favorite,” he says. “We are selling a lot. We have gone through over 100 big boxes already.”
There’s just one slight problem for the big guy: “They’re so good I can't stop eating them. I have had a small plate every day but one so far. I suggest a nice cold beer will go real good with them.”
The deep-fried Doritos aren’t the only new addition to Boghosian’s menu this year. Proving that they don’t call him Chicken Charlie for nothing, he's also debuting deep-fried chicken skins.
“You know people always say the skin is the best part,” he explains. “I thought one day, let's just get to the best part and not waste any time on the rest of the chicken. It worked. It's amazing and delicious. It's like chicharrones, only better.”
Boghosian says he flours the skins in his housemade breading, “and after a little bath in the veggie oil, I top them off with a secret seasoning that will make your mind stop for a second.
“And yes they are so good with a glass of very cold beer,” he adds.
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Look for Chicken Charlie’s stand at the L.A. County Fair from August 20 to September 28. Other items on his diverse menu include the Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger, fried bacon-wrapped pickles, waffle dogs, chicken kabobs, charbroiled corn on the cob and frog legs with french fries.
But who are we kidding. This year, deep-fried Doritos are the only option.