16 Larb gai
> Restaurant: Night + Market Weho
> City: West Hollywood, California
This was the first of three casual and uncompromising Thai restaurants run by Kris Yenbamroong (whose family has the more elegant Talesai). This authentic chicken version of the classic Thai spicy salad combines minced chicken with lime juice, fish sauce, rice powder, chiles, cilantro, and onions. It’s meant to be eaten with one’s hands as part of a mouthful including a bit of sticky rice and salad.
17. Lewellyn’s fine fried chicken
> Restaurant: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
> City: Miami and other locations
A “yardbird,” of course, is a chicken, so it’s obvious what the specialty here will be. The birds are Mary’s free-range chickens from central California’s Pitman Farms, and the recipe comes from restaurant partner John Kunkel’s Grandma Lewellyn. It involves brining the bird and dredging it in paprika-spiced flour before frying. Half a bird comes with honey hot sauce. If you order the whole fowl, you get the sauce, spiced watermelon, a cheddar cheese waffle, and bourbon maple syrup.
18. Miler Amish chicken and gnocchi
> Restaurant: The Dearborn
> City: Chicago
Irish-born sisters Amy and Clodagh Lawless designed this 8,000-square-foot restaurant as a tribute to old-fashioned American taverns. It’s doubtful that any tavern, however, ever served this complex creation of roasted garlic-mustard chicken with house-made parmesan gnocchi, fava beans, peas, carrots, and chanterelle cream sauce in a truffle-Dijon cream sauce.
19. Pan-fried regular chicken dinner
> Restaurant: Stroud’s
> City: Kansas City, Missouri, and other locations
Any chicken-lover in the vicinity who wasn’t put off by Stroud’s famous motto from the 1930s — “We choke our own chickens” — doubtless enjoyed this classic pan-fried bird at one point or another. Juicy, tender, peppery, and crisp, it pretty much defines the genre in the Midwestern style. Fried chicken livers, gizzards, or a combination of the two are also on the menu.
20. Piri-piri chicken
> Restaurant: Fat Rice
> City: Chicago
This dish from Portugal’s former African colonies, Angola and Mozambique (piri-piri is a local name for the chiles that go into the marinade), became popular in Portugal itself — and by extension its other colonies in Asia and South America. Fat Rice specializes in the cooking of one such place, Macao in southern China, and prepares an authoritative version of the dish, using char-grilled chicken thighs, with “fatracha” hot sauce (the house-made version of sriracha).