The most popular of poultries, chicken has been a staple on menus of all cuisine types for centuries. Whether grilled, smoked, roasted or fried, this easy-to-love bird has earned a reputation as a solid menu standby — the original white meat to order up when nothing else seems appealing and no adventuresome entree will do.
But recently, lots of classic chicken dishes have been revived, reimagined and revamped in restaurants across the country, making this farm-to-table favorite the comeback protein of 2016. Here are 23 dishes that prove chicken is the bold choice.
CHICKEN DISHES YOU CAN’T MISS
1. CHICKEN UNDER A BRICK – Bar Mezzana (Boston)
The Chicken Under a Brick at Bar Mezzana in Boston is flattened to tender perfection and served up whole with delicious panzanella (Tuscan bread salad) and broccoli rabe.
2. CHICKEN THIGH – Two Birds One Stone (St. Helena, CA)
A savory blend of Thai basil vinaigrette and young onions, the chicken thigh dish at Two Birds One Stone in Northern California’s Napa Valley is sure to curb your chicken craving.
4. ROASTED GIANNONE – Vee Vee (Boston)
Swing into Boston’s Vee Vee for the Roasted Giannone, made with warm chicken breast, ricotta gnocchi, greens, zucchini and Grana Padano cheese.
5. SOM TOM KOONG YANG – Lers Ros (San Francisco)
At refined Thai eatery Lers Ros in San Francisco, the Som Tom Koong Yang — shredded green papaya salad with chili, tomatoes, lime-based salad dressing and grilled prawns — is made all the better with the addition of juicy, marinated chicken wings on the side.
6. CHICKEN – Mourad (San Francisco)
Enough to feed two, the chicken at California-inspired Moroccan spot Mourad is flavored with preserved lemon, green olive and marash (a pepper native to Turkey).
7. CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE – Tuome (New York)
At Tuome in NYC, French techniques meet Asian-inspired contemporary American fare in a range of unique dishes, including Chicken Liver mousse, served with New York maple and milk bread.
Smoke.oil.salt is a Spanish restaurant and wine bar featuring authentic dishes for sharing, including a Pollo Frito (Spanish for “fried chicken”) made with crispy chicken, Serrano ham and brava sauce (a spicy tomato sauce).
9. CHONGQING CHICKEN WINGS – Mission Chinese Food (New York)
For a taste of Chef Danny Bowien’s fiery dishes, order up the Chongqing Chicken Wings at Mission Chinese Food in NYC — prepared with crispy beef tripe, bold chili and Xinjiang spices.
10. HOT CHICKEN – The Fat Ham (Philadelphia)
Don’t let the name fool you, The Fat Ham in Philly knows how to dish out chicken. Swing by this Southern-inspired favorite for some Hot Chicken — a favorite of Chef Kevin Sbraga’s — on brioche with ranch dressing and dill pickles.
11. WOOD ROASTED 1/2 CHICKEN- La Brasa (Boston)
Specializing in wood-fired fare with inspiration from Mexico, Peru and the Middle East, La Brasa in Boston crafts a savory Wood Roasted ½ Chicken made with jerk seasoning (a mix of allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers and other spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, thyme and ginger), fingerling potatoes and chicken broth.
12. WOOD GRILLED CHICKEN – The Chef’s Counter at SOUTH (Philadelphia)
The Chef’s Counter at SOUTH in Philadelphia crafts upscale Southern fare, like its Wood Grilled Chicken made with lima bean puree, Sea Island succotash, house-made Tasso ham and pearl onions — perfect alongside many of their great whiskeys.
13. KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN – Southgate (Philadelphia)
Crispy double-fried wings — nicknamed “kfc” for “Korean fried chicken” — hit the spot at Southgate in Philadelphia. Choose from soy garlic or spicy gochujang sauce (a savory, fermented Korean condiment), grab a few extra napkins, and dig in at this Asian-inspired gastropub.
14. FRIED CHICKEN – Momofuku Noodle Bar (New York)
Momofuku Noodle Bar, David Chang’s Asian-fusion destination in NYC, offers a Fried Chicken meal that serves 4-8 people and includes two whole fried chickens, one Southern style and one Korean style. The family-sized portion comes with mu shu pancakes, baby carrots, red ball radishes, Bibb lettuce, four sauces and an herb basket.
15. SALT & WHITE PEPPER CRISPY CHICKEN – DanDan (Philadelphia)
At chic, Asian-inspired DanDan in Philadelphia, try the Salt & White Pepper Crispy Chicken off their extensive menu of Taiwanese specialties, including noodle dishes, vegetarian stir-fries and more.
A whole lot of a good thing can be a great thing at A-Frame in LA. Every Sunday from 5-10pm, enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast of Cracklin Beer Can Chicken, Mochiko Chicken and Korean Chicken Wings with plenty of tasty sides like corn on the cob, salad, fries and Hawaiian rolls.
From Chef Sarah Simmons, Southern comfort food comes to vibrant life at Birds & Bubbles in NYC. Order a basket of Buttermilk Chicken, made with fresh Amish chickens from Pennsylvania that have been marinated for 48 hours and are best enjoyed with champagne or a bottle of rosé.
A New American eatery in Philadelphia, Vernick Food & Drink does chicken right with their Organic Amish Chicken, served whole or by the half and made with lemon and herb jus.
Offering an Italian dining experience with a farm-to-table approach, La Storia Ristorante dishes out Chicken Milanese with crispy chicken, chicken liver mousse, crispy capers, watercress and citrus in a welcoming dining room with an old-school vibe.
20. SASSO CHICKEN – Le Turtle (New York)
New York’s Le Turtle dishes out a healthy portion (make that an entire bird) of steamy, delicious Sasso chicken (a breed that’s fattier and firmer than most). A 5-day preparation process involves brining, drying, steaming and whole-roasting until the masterpiece is finally delivered tableside on a bed of smoking embers and served with rutabaga and chicory-pumpkin vinaigrette.
21. LEMON CHICKEN ZA’ATAR – Oleana (Boston)
Inspired by Eastern Mediterranean flavors, Chef/Owner Ana Sortun serves a Lemon Chicken, Za’atar with a Turkish Cheese Pancake. Sink into the cozy ambience, complete with Turkish carpets lining the walls and an outdoor garden patio.
Currently serving a Spicy Half Chicken with Thumbelina carrots and marble potatoes, Travelle Kitchen + Bar is a sophisticated lounge and restaurant in the Langham Hotel offering a seasonal American menu and stunning river views.
23. ROASTED CHICKEN – The Larchmont (Los Angeles)
A classic dish to drool over, the Roasted Chicken at The Larchmont in LA gets better with every tender, juicy bite. Add a glass of white wine, and this meal will have you in heaven.