Category Archives: Chicken

Nando’s Peri-Peri

Nando’s Peri-Peri has been around a while now but we finally visited (for carry-out) the Bethesda location. Their Portuguese grilled chicken is fairly spicy with lots of flavor, not so different from many of the Peruvian grilled chicken places that abound in greater DC.  Nando’s may have an advantage with their yellow rice, which also packs a good punch, and their sweetish Portuguese dinner rolls, both of which I prefer to the fried yucca we usually get at El Pollo Rico and the like.  Nando’s also has a broader menu than most other grilled chicken places, offering a variety of appetizers, salads, chicken sandwiches, even a veggie burger.  But we didn’t get any of that: just the chicken, ma’am (and the rice and rolls, and maybe a salad, which if so I have already forgotten) (I’m sure it was fine, if not memorable).  Not really worth seeking out, but a good quick lunch or dinner source for those who work nearby or stumble upon one at the right time.  I’ve also heard that the spice levels vary widely depending on location and even day to day, but in general the capsaicin-averse should be careful here.

Chicken Paws

Chicken Feet
Fried + Sauced = Nom Nom?   (image: avlxyz/flickr)

Last weekend’s Washington Post article on the developing chicken “paw” trade war between the U.S. and China caught my attention. I have never eaten chicken feet but am getting intrigued; I know many Chinese restaurants sell them (for sure Hollywood East and probably others in Wheaton too), and I believe H Mart* and other local Asian food purveyors carry them in case one wants to cook ‘em up at home.  Which apparently is fairly easy to do. It is nice to know that U.S. chicken feet are most coveted in China due to their relative meatiness. I eagerly await the stateside marketing campaign in 2012… More on the freakonomics of chicken feet here.

* Odd and amusing: if you search the H Mart website for “feet” you get a list of mostly hair curlers.  A search for “chicken” gets a list of mostly not-chicken-related items, led by Aveeno Baby Soothing Bath Treatment.

All Your Chicken Are Belong To Us

Fried chicken is one of those dishes I have more or less mastered at home (thanks Alton Brown!) but feel like it isn’t really worth the time or massive amount of oil, so I’m glad the General Store is so close and fries chicken so well. They probably wish people would order more diversely, but it’s their own fault for excelling at chicken, by far the best thing on the menu (besides pie and in addition to the collard greens). Everyone there was superfriendly on our very recent visit, dunno if they’re trying extra hard lately given recent publicity, but they have always been gracious hosts in our experience. Apparently all the publicity was at least break-even publicity, if not good publicity, because they were doing pretty brisk business on the later side of a school night.

I also ate an entire slice of lemon chess pie, and I have no regrets.

In less-local fried chicken news, this recent NYT article on Kennedy Fried Chicken is fascinating, and I wish a Kennedy franchise would open in Wheaton to compete with our KFC, not to mention El Pollo Rico and the like.  Afghan chicken versus Peruvian chicken, to the death! Kennedy is to KFC as chicken is to the other white meat.  Um…completely unrelated.  Anyway, the last line of the article is the best:

Hunched over a plate of lamb chops at his favorite Afghan restaurant in Queens, he shook his head and sighed: “You know, Afghans don’t even like eating fried chicken.”

Chicken Out

Another rotisserie chicken source, woohoo. The excitement is palpable. Chicken Out (hq in Rockville, with 12 DC-area locations) is average, fine if you’re nearby and craving chicken but not worth seeking out, in nearly every way — chicken, mashed potatoes, caesar salad, all good but nothing special.  But the potato salad, for some reason, is superb, and simple too: mostly just potatoes and egg, a little mayo, salt, pepper, a few scallion bits.  Could the secret ingredient be celery seed?  Cook’s Illustrated has established the subtle importance of celery seed to awesome potato salad. In any case, I wish our local supermarkets had potato salad this good.

Roast Chicken, Smoked House

Roasted a chicken last night — very simple, just salt and pepper at 450 degrees for an hour — and set off the smoke detectors. Wheaton Fire & Rescue were not called into duty, lucky for all of us. Guess we need to upgrade to an industrial fan above the stove, because the microwave fan isn’t cutting it.  At least we know our smoke detectors work.  And the chicken was tasty!