No, Wiggins isn't heading out on an epic road trip with camper in tow; she's converting it into a food trailer called the Lil Yellow Chick that will serve fried chicken, biscuits and side dishes. Wiggins was born and raised in Louisiana, so is returning to her roots with buttermilk-marinated chicken that she'll sell by the whole, half or quarter bird from a permanent parking spot on the Eastbridge plaza.
The chef did have to make a road trip to Tennessee to retrieve the trailer, and it's now in the hands of Mile High Custom Food Trucks, where it's being tricked out with a full kitchen. From there, it will receive a new paint job and a crowning neon sign to guide neighbors to their Southern-fried destination. Wiggins anticipates that the majority of the work will be done in thirty days, and the paint job and final setup won't take long after that.
The menu hews close to Louisiana classics, especially the fried chicken. "Where I'm from, we like it crispy and flaky," she describes, so the bird gets a very short bath in buttermilk (otherwise the milk sugars tend to burn when fried) and a single dip in a flour dredge "so that it's not too bready."
Seasoning options for the chicken will be "naughty" (spicy) or "nice" (not too spicy), as a nod to Cattivella, which means "naughty" in Italian.
In the South, most folks call all sodas "cokes" (as in "What kind of coke do you want?"), and Lil Yellow Chick's coke of choice will be Shasta, to match the trailer and to bring another popular taste of the Gulf Coast to Colorado.
Wiggins's goal with the opening of Lil Yellow Chick is to bring something new to the neighborhood and to provide an extra source of revenue, since business could drop drastically at Cattivella and other sit-down restaurants if COVID-related in-house dining restrictions continue into the winter. "I have a commitment to my team," she explains. "I need to do everything I can so that when winter hits I'll be able to keep afloat."
So the chef will launch Lil Yellow Chick on a wing and a prayer in late August or early September near Cattivella. Wiggins says the trailer, with its "retro wings on the back and its adorable rotund shape," will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with a weekend brunch menu also in the works.