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About The Ornery Chicken

employee in a mask during winter deliverying curbside pickup for the ornery chicken in des moines, ia

Our Story

Welcome to The Ornery Chicken, where innovation meets the love of chicken! Born out of opportunity and culinary passion, our journey began in the heart of Des Moines, amidst the unprecedented times of early 2020. Darren, our founder and a seasoned BBQ aficionado, saw potential in an empty kitchen next to our Smokey D’s BBQ sauces and rubs warehouse. With a vision to explore beyond BBQ and dive into the diverse world of chicken, The Ornery Chicken hatched into existence, thanks to a clever name from Sherry, our creative naming genius.

two chicken burgers on a checkered red and white paper. The burger on the left has a fried chicken patty with a creamy white sauce and lettuce, while the burger on the right is topped with a glazed or sauced fried chicken patty and lettuce. Beside the burgers are crinkle-cut fries. The image has a casual dining vibe, possibly suggesting a fast-food or diner setting.

The Birth of a Virtual Kitchen

Our adventure started with a simple yet ambitious idea: to fill a gap in the Des Moines metro’s food delivery scene with nothing short of exceptional wings. As the first to introduce the ghost kitchen concept locally, we aimed to simplify dining by focusing on delivery and curbside pickup, eliminating the need for traditional restaurant hassles. Our signature wings, brined, baked, and fried to perfection, alongside our beloved Smokey D’s BBQ smoked wings, set the stage for what was to become a local favorite.

Beyond Wings: A Culinary Playground

But why stop at wings? Darren’s travels and culinary explorations inspired a menu that’s as diverse as it is delicious. From experimenting with chicken sandwiches that boast homemade Focaccia bread to crafting an array of chicken tenders, boneless nuggets, and unique sides, we’ve embraced innovation at every turn. Our sandwiches aren’t just about the fillings; they’re about delivering a unique experience with every bite, thanks to a variety of bread and buns that elevate the humble chicken sandwich into something extraordinary.

The Evolution: From Ghost to Virtual Kitchen

The transition from a ghost kitchen to a bustling virtual kitchen was sparked by our desire to connect more directly with our customers. Introducing curbside pickup alongside delivery transformed our business, doubling our reach and solidifying The Ornery Chicken’s place in the hearts of the Des Moines community.

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The Crafty Mac: Expanding Our Horizons

Our culinary adventure didn’t stop with chicken. The Crafty Mac emerged as our next venture, answering the call for innovative, comfort food with a twist. From the Chicken Bacon Ranch to the unique Chicken Pot Pie Mac, we’ve turned mac and cheese from a side dish into a star meal, thanks to hearty portions and creative toppings.

What’s Next?

As we continue to grow, our focus remains on expanding our catering services and exploring new concepts that excite and delight. With Sherry’s knack for names and our team’s passion for food, the future is bright (and tasty) for The Ornery Chicken and its sister ventures.