Welcome to Sietsema's Tender Roundup. In this new feature, Robert Sietsema, longtime food writer and culinary adventurer, will cover the exciting world of chicken fingers.
Tenders have come far in this fair city of ours. Back in the heyday of tenders in 1970s New York, you could easily find a solid tender in the parlours that were peppered in Times Square and along West Broadway. The tender parlours vanished in the 90s during Giuliani's administration, and for a while I wondered if great tenders would ever return.
So it was with great interest I biked across the Williamsburg Bridge and up to Fuku+, where I met some friends for tenders. Let's get straight to the point: the tenders were plump, juicy and delicious. The birds had been brined in Sichuan peppercorn and basted in clearish fluids. The meat was incredibly savory and topped with fiery red chiles and scallions.
Afterward my friends and I strolled through Times Square on our way to catch the 7 train to an Ecuadorian purple yucca tour in East Elmurst. After chicken tenders like that, one friend say, I don't even miss the parlours that used to be everywhere. I couldn't agree more.
Fuku+, Chambers Hotel, 56th Street