I have very few accomplishments that rival my just completed trifecta of roast chicken. Thursday night, Friday night, and Tonight, I dined on broiled fowl. I am currently basking in the glow of a job well done, and nothing, not even the abolishment of whipped cream at Shake Shack, can remove the cherubic light which presently emanates from my ruddy complexion.
Dear reader, I ask you to sit back, relax, and let me take you on a journey of chicken and delight.
Thursday, March 1, 2012, Pio Pio. Pio Pio, the Peruvian mini-chain, is known for its chicken. All day long I was excited for my dinner that evening, and not just because of the chicken. You see, if you're going to Pio Pio, you must get the Matador Combo (Matador Combination), which is the feast of a warrior. This feast includes an entire chicken, a salad with avocado, rice and beans, tostones (green plantains), salchipapas (french fries with little hot dog pieces) and - I think that's it. All of this should be drowned in the house green sauce, an amazingly flavorful, piquant affair. I enjoy taking baths in it.
I love this feast and always will, but I must say, after careful consideration of the chicken, I was happy enough but not extremely delighted. Granted, bathed in the green sauce, even a sour toad would taste good, but the chicken, on its own merits, was good but perhaps lacking. Still, that green sauce...
Friday, March 2, 2012, Flor de Mayo. Flor de Mayo is a Peruvian-Chinese joint (I actually hate when food writers call places "joint"). What is Peruvian-Chinese? Well, many Chinese people moved to Peru way back when, and they brought their Chinese cooking with them. However, nice people that they are, they decided to also start cooking traditional Peruvian foods. Hence, the birth of Peruvian-Chinese, which is not really an amalgamation of the two cuisines, but rather a co-existence (I am making this observation based solely on the Flor de Mayo menu).
There is no Matador Combo (Matador Combination ) at Flor de Mayo, which made the whole situation a little less exciting; however, I must say, the Flor de Mayo chicken seemed better - a crispier, better seasoned skin. No green sauce, though.
Saturday, March 3, 2012, Purbird. I am not sure what the name "Purbird" refers to. Is it a play on Purdue? Is it the sound a cat makes conjoined with the word "bird?" I don't know. I will say I found myself in a charmingly relaxed place, fast-food in the sense that you order at a counter and you seat yourself. All of this was augmented by the fact that Purbird is located in a charming part of Brooklyn, and I'm pretty sure that 90% of the people in the vicinity had master's degrees in English or art history, and are now make pretty good livings in publishing or media, and dress in a really cute and understated way.
The food, you ask? Absolutely delightful. Our jalapeno mashed potatoes were spicy and homey with a verdant sea of jalapeno puree floating on top. The creamed spinach was green, fresh, and subtle. The chicken, you ask? Probably the best of all three places. Unlike the former two, Purbird's bird did not have any major seasonings such as cumin or garlic powder. It tasted more of well-salted and peppered chicken and nothing else. Also of note: we ordered a whole chicken, but rather than a 3D carcass, we were brought a slab of 2D meat. In some sort of modern marvel of ingenuity, the meat had been pulled off from the underside of the bird and pounded into flat submission, although there was part of the wing protruding upwards. If this description is not making any sense, I wouldn't expect it to. Let's just say this was a tasty chicken.
Lessons from this chicken trilogy: there are none.