Friday, April 10

Fried Chicken at Dirty Bird To Go

One of my favorite things about doing work for my friends is that I'll more often than not get paid in food. And when that food is fried chicken, well, that's pretty much all I need to hear to get out of the house... especially if Zack's the one doing the summoning. His knowledge of tech is rivaled only by his appreciation for delicious.

Dirty Bird To Go is a tiny little chicken shack on W. 14th - one of those joints where the kitchen is way bigger than the seating area. I think there were a whopping two tables in the place, both adorned with salt, pepper, and two kinds of hot sauce. That pretty much sold me right there.

First up were the sides.

The kale was delightfully garlicky without being laden with butter or bacon fat. The mac and cheese was a careful balance between cheese and mac, with neither overpowering the other. The smashed potatoes with gravy were simply delicious - everything I ever wanted in the side, deftly dodging the common pitfalls of overworking and oversalting. All in all, the sides were simple, but very skillfully done.

But I was there for chicken, and Dirty Bird did not disappoint.

The chicken arrived, picture perfect with two wedges of cornbread and way too freaking hot to put in my mouth. Ha! Like that was going to stop me.

Aaaaaaah. The crust was thin, but substantial. Crunchy, but not mouth-cuttingly so. And it did a good job of staying put when I bit into it. The meat was moist, dripping with chickeny goodness, coating my hands and falling onto the plate where it could be absorbed by the cornbread. The cornbread which, until blessed with a drizzle of fallen chickeny goodness, had been somewhat pallid in flavor.

It was then that I realized something. The cornbread was kind of boring... but perfect with the chicken. I took a bite of chicken and followed it with the kale. The textures melded together beautifully, with the garlic just punching through enough. The mac and cheese got a shot of meaty goodness and that crunch from the crust when eaten in tandem with the chicken. And the mashed potatoes... I can't really describe the combination without sounding like a pervert.

Dirty Bird knows their chicken. And they know how to bring the best out of their chicken in their sides, which is a beautiful and rare thing to experience. If you get the chance, make a break for it - it's some of the best fried chicken in the Village.

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