Ted’s chicken? Kickin’. (photo by Charles Womack)
For several years I’d heard stories about this cool little place tucked away in Winston-Salem called Ted’s Kickin’ Chicken, but I’d never the opportunity to give it a try.
I love chicken. Really love chicken. So last week when the hungers of lunch hit me, I found myself thinking of chicken, thinking of Ted’s and doing an iPhone mapquest to lead me to the place.
After a few turns and couple of missed exits, I finally pulled into the huge parking lot of the place I had heard so much about.
According to owner Ted Briggs, he opened his namesake place back in 1991 in a spot directly across the street from the current location.
“I was in the convenience store business with stores in Welcome, Arcadia and a South Main Street Winston-Salem location,” Briggs said. “We served sandwiches at the stores. I loved chicken and used to go to this little place a few times a week in Spencer, until it closed.”
With his love for chicken growing and no place to scratch the itch, he decided to start making it himself. He worked on a few recipes and after hearing so much positive feedback from friends and family he decided to offer it to the masses.
“I’m a heart patient and do not like deep-fat-fried chicken,” he said.
We came up with a recipe that uses no butter and has actually been checked out by Baptist Hospital. Our sauce is a little Texas Pete and a lot of spices and herbs.”
When you first walk into the place, the great smell of chicken fills your nose and the overwhelming array of things on the walls fills your eyes. The walls are lined with dollar bills and a few neons, TVs and other signs. Mostly, just dollar bills.
“I’m not really sure how it took off like it did.” said Briggs. “I had one fellow say he wanted to do it and next thing I knew I came in and it had spread all over the place. It’s something people really talk about.”
Another thing that customers really talk about is Ted’s chicken. From the menu you can choose from the “upper”. Which is breast and wing or the “lower” which is leg and thigh. If you are really hungry, you can just go for the half-chicken and have it all.
The half-chicken is very popular, but their most popular item has got to be the sandwich. Billed as “Ted’s Famous Chopped Chicken Sandwich,” you can have it with your choice of slaw, mayo, mustard and cheese.
I went for the sandwich AND the lower. The sandwich was delicious and if I hadn’t ordered it myself, I would think it was a pork BBQ sandwich. The chicken, the famous Kickin’ Chicken, was served covered in Ted’s famous sauce with a roll. The roll came in handy so I could mop up all the remaining sauce on my plate.
Ted’s also has wings in various flavors, salads, hamburgers, hotdogs and beer.
“Our Philly cheesesteak is also very popular,” said Ted. Ted’s has four locations in North Carolina. Mooresville, Pfafftown, North Wilkesboro and the original Winston-Salem location. Every Thursday, the Winston-Salem location host one of the largest bike nights in the Triad with nearly 1,000 bikes showing up.
Ted’s Kickin’ Chicken 4695 S. Main St. Winston-Salem