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Unique Dish: Chicken and Hotcakes

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Unique Dish: Chicken and Hotcakes
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Chicken & Waffles have had their days in the sun. The Pennsylvania Dutch do it with stewed chicken and gravy. The soul food tradition calls for fried chicken, butter and syrup. It’s time for some new variation. Bring on the Kitchen Little’s Chicken and Pancakes ($9).

It’s not authentic? So? The combination is still an excellent way to deliver fat and sugar. In fact, it’s arguably an improvement over the “authentic”, original versions of Chicken & Waffles. After all, one of the “authentic” combos means bone-in chicken, and picking your way through a sticky, syrupy, boney mess isn’t for everyone. Kitchen Little opts for boneless breast instead, and the kitchen uses real, honest, chickeny-chicken: not the tasteless factory bird stuff. The meat is flattened, crumb-coated and fresh-fried for a crackling, savory finish.

And it’s a lot of chicken too -a masterpiece bigger than an outstretched hand.

Of course, it’s the pancake that makes Kitchen Little the real rebel. In terms of functionality as a perfectly uniform syrup sponge, pancakes reign supreme as well. Kitchen Little serves two sturdy flapjacks with the fried chicken, and they deliver bite after bite of consistent, syrup-oozing goodness. Perfect.

In addition to the requisite maple syrup (and it is the real stuff, from a tree), an order also comes with a little Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on the side, and a strong recommendation to get all four components (chicken, pancake, syrup and hot sauce) on the fork for a sublime bite. In practice, the recommendation is a good combo for those who need some edge in this world.

But, candidly, I’m happier with the simple joys of fat, sugar, and the crackling, fried coating that come from the striaight combo.

Chicken and Pancakes can be found at the Kitchen Little on weekends for brunch at the North Market, 59 Spruce Street.

Photo by Walker Evans.

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