Celebrate Fried Chicken Day with These New Chicks on the Block
By Therese San Diego
Your teeth sink into a flavorful crunch, sometimes salty or garlicky, other times peppery or spicy. If you’re lucky, the white meat underneath boasts a soft, plump and juicy contrast, completing one lip-smacking fried chicken experience.
What’s not to love?
Before this went online, the only other post on the blog tagged “fried chicken” was Erwan’s Non-Fried “Fried” Chicken Pillows with Yellow Squash/Zucchini “Pasta” a.k.a Screw Nuggets recipe. While The Fat Kid Inside is all about eating healthy, delicious dishes, we also endorse the occasional cheat treat.
So here are a few relatively new players in the fried chicken arena—seven enticing options for your much-anticipated reward meals. Plus, it’s National Fried Chicken Day in the US on July 6—another excuse to join in on the fun!
Fried Chicken and Pancakes by Hatch 22 (Power Plant Mall, Makati City)
This fried chicken and cornbread pancake pairing tastes as delightful as it sounds. The breaded fillets remain crispy on the outside, despite being smothered with the savory and subtly sweet combination of creamy spam milk gravy and bourbon honey. The two pancakes, soft yet thick with a delicate cornbread taste, balance the flavors, while the nutty, buttery pieces of popcorn add texture. Perfect for a hearty brunch! (And no, this is not a sponsored mention.)
Buttermilk Fried Chicken by Kettle (Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong City)
An herby take on buttermilk fried chicken, the tender meat is aromatic and covered in golden brown goodness. There is no need for the country gravy it comes with, unless the meat is not salty enough for your liking.
While the honey-glazed cornbread is too sweet and dry for me, the chicken can be quite addictive. Had it as a pre-movie snack with friends, and we were already craving for it again come dinnertime.
Brick Oven Fried Chicken by Olive Tree Kitchen & Bar (Bonifacio High Street, Taguig)
The key to the chicken’s crunchy exterior and baked flavor is flash frying followed by some time in the oven. Paired with fresh vegetables and OTKB’s very own smooth and buttery mushroom gravy, the outcome is a mingling of flavors that can thrill the sophisticated palate.
Chicken-Fried Chicken by The Porch (Anonas Extension, Quezon City)
This classic plate of battered chicken breast fillet may seem straightforward, but it certainly classifies as straight-up comfort food that always hits the spot. The light batter, wrapped around a luscious piece of meat, is kept crisp under the smooth, well-seasoned cream gravy. A side of buttery mashed potatoes and medley of vegetables complete the dish. Also available in Casa Verde.
Crispy Chicken by Lugang Café (all over Metro Manila; click here for the list of branches)
Fried to a crisp after roasting, Lugang Café’s Crispy Chicken delights with its beautiful brown skin and succulent meat. The gravy adds richness to the dish, but the chicken can stand on its own. I thoroughly enjoyed it even after I had my favorite Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao and a couple of noodle dishes. No rice required.
Fried Chicken by Sincere Café and Restaurant (Banawe, Quezon City)
When I heard about the opening of Sincere Café and Restaurant in Banawe a little over a year ago, I thought it was a rip-off of Sincerity Fried Chicken, a classic Filipino favorite. But I learned that the place is actually part of the Sincerity Group of Restaurants, and that it offered the same fried chicken recipe from the original Binondo branch. It’s not exactly new, but I couldn’t resist adding it to the list! Tasty from the crisp, buttery skin down to the bone, it is highly satisfying for a dish that’s so affordable.
BBQ Chicken and Beer (all over Metro Manila; click here for the list of branches)
I first stumbled upon this Korean fast food place on a casual night with friends. With beer and pulutan (finger food) on the agenda, I was not expecting anything special, but the Original Fried Chicken took me by surprise. Marinated in 30 “secret seasonings” and served with pickled radish that adds some complementary tartness, this fried chicken is definitely not your ordinary beer accompaniment.
What about you? What’s your current favorite fried chicken dish?
Photo credits: Therese San Diego (Hatch 22, Kettle, Olive Tree Kitchen & Bar, Lugang Café); Therese Galang (The Porch/Casa Verde)