What’s the deal with fried chicken in this town? How come with the exception of the broasted bird at the Reel ‘M’ Inn, and a few other outliers, there’s no joy in Chickenville?
Yes, we featured an international chicken roundup a few months back, but where is that finger-lickin’ fowl that I seem to remember from the furthest recesses of my childhood (or perhaps from a previous lifetime)? Is KFC my only option? If so, shoot me now.
The Swamp Shack, the nearly-impossible-to-resist Cajun cart on SW Fifth and Stark has temporarily pacified my cluck lust. For $7.50 the lucky luncher can walk away with two tree-trunk-sized chicken tenders fried to a delicate and peppery crunch. The meat is cooked through correctly: chewy (but not rubbery), with ghostly spices still lingering in the crust.
It also comes with a smattering of corn and mashed potatoes, but the coup de grace is delivered by the smoky, slow-burning crawfish gravy. When the chicken is deftly dragged through the spuds and spicy sauce, my taste buds ring, flash, and go "tilt" like a KISS pinball machine that’s been slapped silly by a liquored-up Gypsy Joker.
Be advised, these are boneless pieces. If part of your pleasure lies in the atavistic crunch of wing and drumstick being introduced to your choppers, well, I can’t help you. But it’s damn good chicken.