By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 08, 2023 at 11:01 AM Photography: Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel

Sundays are for chicken dinners. And, starting this weekend, you should head directly to ARIA at the Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel, 139 E. Kilbourn Ave., for their new family style broast-ish chicken dinner.

The dinners, which are served family style, include your choice of four or eight pieces of ARIA’s remarkable “broast-ish” chicken, a hefty portion of confit leek mashed potatoes, a boat of gravy, dry pan seared green beans and goat cheese biscuits ($35 for four piece; $60 for eight piece).

But, before you make any decisions about whether or not to eat this chicken, you really should know more about it.

After all, ARIA’s Broast-ish Chicken is just one among many marvels at this hidden gem of a hotel restaurant, which conjures phenomenally executed Midwestern nostalgia with every bite. Think: food that your grandmother may have made, only better.

Aria Sunday chicken dinnerX

What makes it so good

In this particular case, Executive Chef Paul Funk takes everything that’s right about the tender, flavorful Broasted chicken that used to be served at almost every supper club across the state… and takes it up a notch.

“Most regular fried chicken is heavily breaded or battered,” says Funk. “Broasted chicken is crispy and flavorful, but also much lighter. And we discovered a way to get there and give people that experience without a pressure fryer or broaster.”

It begins with high quality Amish-raised chickens that are sourced from the Midwest. Those chickens are ordered whole and hand-cut in the kitchen at ARIA, ensuring that each piece of chicken is nicely butchered and doesn’t include any of the unnecessary parts which machine-butchered chicken often retains.

“These things ensure that I can start with a  high quality bird,” Funk explains.  “Buying whole chickens and breaking them down ourselves gives the diner the best eating experience possible.”

From there, the chicken embarks upon its journey through a top secret three-day process which results in chicken that’s light and ultra crisp on the exterior while remaining tender, juicy and flavorful all the way through.  

“The inspiration behind creating a family style chicken dinner is really about inviting people to share a meal together,” says Funk.

What he didn’t mention is that a meal of ARIA’s broasted chicken might just be one of the best family meals you’re likely to have all week. 

Broasted-ish chicken dinners are available at ARIA every Sunday evening from 5 to 9 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.