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[Photographs: Chelsea Ross]

Kiss your New Year's cleanses goodbye, there's fried chicken French toast to be had. Honey Butter Fried Chicken ups the comfort ante on brunch with a new selection of weekend brunch dishes. Because the only way to make honey butter-slathered fried chicken more salacious is by heaping it over a plate of challah French toast.

The brunch roster at Honey Butter Fried Chicken is concise and sensible, adapting their straightforward mantra of locally sourced fried chicken with honey butter to morning preparations. The aforementioned fried chicken and French toast ($10) is a thing of beauty. A few slices of soft, eggy challah bread serve as the foundation, adorned with a couple pieces of some of the best fried chicken Chicago has ever seen, impossibly succulent and sheathed in a crispy golden-brown crust. A hefty dollop of honey butter oozes overtop the chicken, seeping into the crackly nooks and crannies, enriching the poultry to the nth degree. It adds a mild, heady sweetness to the fresh-from-the-fryer birds. Meanwhile, the French toast soaks up a syrup of its own, a potent bourbon-maple syrup. If this dish were a music video, it would be "Single Ladies" and the French toast would be the adept backup dancers to the Beyonce chicken.

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It's hard to out-wow a dish like fried chicken and French toast, but Honey Butter's brunch sandwich ($10) certainly makes a strong case. This hulking beast consists of fried chicken and fried egg striated with braised greens, bacon, and garlic aïoli on a buttery bun. This is what breakfast sandwiches dream of becoming. It's a sturdy sandwich, requiring python-like jaw acrobatics to capture a full bite, but it's worth it. Again, the chicken is rightfully the star, enhanced with egg, aïoli, and those tender, slightly smoky greens. The rich, doughy bun is the perfect pillow for the melee of indulgence.

Simply by adding items like French toast and egg to the equation, Honey Butter Fried Chicken proves that brunch need not be encumbered with bells and whistles to be decadent and delicious. When stellar fried chicken is at the forefront, it needs very little supplement to make it one of the most destination-worthy brunch spots in Chicago.

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