Two Omaha guys and spicy chickens are taking the pandemic by storm | Omaha Dines

Dan Whalen, front, speaks to customers while Moses Moseley and Mike West prepare orders at Dirty Birds. The eatery was recently the top seller on The Switch. “We must have underestimated how it blew itself up,” says Whalen.


Whalen, 33, started out washing dishes at Kitchen Table and worked his way up to Sunday brunch. Moseley, 35, graduated from Atlanta with a degree in culinary arts and then became a backstage chef for touring artists. He ended up in Omaha when he became the head chef of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which tours Council Bluffs every year.

The secret to their chicken, they said, is a lard-based sauce.

“The chicken is soaked in fat after roasting so that it doesn’t lose its crispness. It takes it from one fat to another, ”said Moseley.

It has a lot of cayenne pepper, garlic and a little molasses.


Dirty Birds’ Pickled Fried Chicken Sandwich, which opened at Switch Beer and Food Hall on January 2nd.


“We’re burning all hell out,” said Moseley. “It’s really hard to be in the kitchen when you’re doing it because of all the seasoning.”

The Dirty Birds menu also features a grilled pimento and cheese sandwich with jam on kitchen table bread, deviled eggs, hush puppies, and side dishes like potato salad and beans.

The place and its food received rave reviews on social media almost immediately. Whalen and Moseley said they don’t do social media so they had no idea about the buzz. The restaurant doesn’t even have a phone.

“Dirty Birds has only been open for a week and a half and I’ve been open three times. This is becoming a problem, ”said a poster on the Omaha Food Lovers Facebook page on January 14th.

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