Food News

What’s For Lunch?

We’re through playing chicken

By John Chandler May 6, 2010

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.

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