Helpful ReplyHot!Chicken of the Month

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ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/01/01 12:48:05 (permalink)
December, 2015
 
With a name like That BBQ Joint one might think I was there for a different reason, but not necessarily:

 

 

 

 
Fried chicken is a Saturday-only item and definitely ranks as one of the better versions I've found around here so far.  The crust had a slight peppery kick and the meat was either seasoned separately or picked up enough from the breading to have some nice flavor.

 
But since I was in a barbecue joint I figured I should give some a try, so test-drove a couple of ribs, a wing "drummie", and some brisket.



 
My sides were the brisket chili and ranch beans.

 
Overall the food was pretty good (nice rub on the drummie) and well-prepared (the ribs were right on for texture) but I would've liked to have had more smoke flavor (nothing new there) and maybe a little more salt in the beans.  Also, while the brisket was sliced instead of pulled/shredded like usual, it was quite thin and I would've preferred it to be a little thicker.  But again, that's just me.
 
I also got a pulled pork sandwich to go for my wife.  She liked the potato salad (the cranberries are an interesting touch) and the creamy slaw, but thought the pork was a bit dry.  Nothing a little sauce couldn't fix.

 
I'd easily return for the chicken and would like to give the barbecue another try, too.  Plus Underground Butcher is just down the street...
mar52
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/01/01 14:12:21 (permalink)
Brad, that all looks so good!
 
I love Adam's Gift!
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/02/21 15:44:27 (permalink)
January, 2016
 
In a couple of other posts I've mentioned that I was in the Fox Valley region of WI at the end of January for an annual visit, and after being specifically recommended by MilwFoodLovers I made plans to visit Suster's Arcade in Denmark, about 30 minutes or so east of Appleton.

 
The view down the bar.

 
This is the main dining area, and through the door at the rear is a larger room that can handle overflow crowds or be used to private parties.  It was originally a bowling alley until it was converted a few years ago.

I ordered my 2 favorite pieces: a drumstick and a thigh.

 
This was some excellent broasted chicken!  The meat was juicy and flavorful and the crisp crust was nicely seasoned and crunchy; Suster's reputation is IMO well-deserved.

 
The day I visited just happened to be a Friday, and even though I'd eaten at Dick and Joan's in Appleton only an hour earlier I wasn't going to pass up Suster's fish fry.  I forget what the other options were because as soon as I heard "beer-battered perch" I was sold.

 
The perch plate and chicken actually came out of the kitchen at the same time so I alternated between them, and to be honest I can't tell you which one I liked more because they were both great.  The perch had a fresh, non-fishy taste and the batter was light, with just a hint of oil, and the broasted potato wedges were a nice alternative to french fries.  I didn't ask about the rye bread but I have to think it was locally sourced, as it was soft and fresh with a nice crust.
 
Suster's was a great start to 2016...hopefully February will keep the ball rolling!
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/13 15:15:07 (permalink)
February, 2016
 
I have to say that I didn't have high hopes for February's choice: Mama Rita's Pizzeria, on the eastern edge of Evansville, WI.  It's located in a mini-mall along with a Radio Shack dealer, a hair salon, and a gunsmith.

 
The interior is fairly spartan, with 3 round tables and 3 booths.

 
So really...how good could the chicken be?
 
Pretty gol-darn good!  In fact, the owner would be perfectly justified in changing the name to "Mama Rita's Chicken & Pizza".

 
According to the menu the chicken is marinated overnight and then hand-breaded the next day, and it's a combination that works.  The meat was nicely seasoned and had good chicken flavor, and the thin crust tasted equally good and offered a nice crunch.  The mashed potatoes certainly seemed homemade (I can never tell for sure but there did seem to be a few lumps) and the soft breadsticks had a healthy blast of oregano and spices.  The gravy wasn't the chicken gravy I was expecting as it had a flavor I just couldn't put my finger on, and while it kind of surprised me I didn't find it unpleasant...just different.

 
So yes, a relatively small, nondescript pizza place in a small, nondescript strip mall in a small Wisconsin town really can deliver some really good fried chicken!
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2016/03/13 15:17:52
lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/13 19:21:18 (permalink)
Did you really think you could go wrong with a place that is surrounded by a Radio Shack, hair salon and gunsmith??    The chicken looks good.  I'd pass on the gravy.
rumaki
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 16:42:36 (permalink)
Here in the Twin Cities, good fried chicken can be found at some of the old-style Italian restaurants, like DeGidio's
http://www.degidios.com/
 
So I'm not surprised you found some good fried chicken at Mama Rita's.
lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 17:15:55 (permalink)
My Italian grandmother made some of the best fried chicken I have ever had.  Go figure. 
leethebard
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 17:25:58 (permalink)
lleechef
My Italian grandmother made some of the best fried chicken I have ever had.  Go figure. 


Why a surprise. Both my Italian grandmas were great cooks. See it's in your blood!!!
lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 17:36:34 (permalink)
leethebard
lleechef
My Italian grandmother made some of the best fried chicken I have ever had.  Go figure. 


Why a surprise. Both my Italian grandmas were great cooks. See it's in your blood!!!


Oh, I always knew that.  My great-grandmother was an EXCELLENT cook as was my grandmother and my mother was both an EXCELLENT cook and baker! 
 
My great-grandmother used to make a side dish she laughingly called "Chicken From the Garden".  She thought she was being cute and funny........she was both!  It was potato wedges (from the garden) that she pre-cooked then breaded.......flour, egg, bread crumbs........and fried in oil.  Just like fried chicken.  Marvelous!  I have never made them.  Don't ask me why.  I may have to work them in this week. 
leethebard
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 18:22:31 (permalink)
lleechef
leethebard
lleechef
My Italian grandmother made some of the best fried chicken I have ever had.  Go figure. 


Why a surprise. Both my Italian grandmas were great cooks. See it's in your blood!!!


Oh, I always knew that.  My great-grandmother was an EXCELLENT cook as was my grandmother and my mother was both an EXCELLENT cook and baker! 
 
My great-grandmother used to make a side dish she laughingly called "Chicken From the Garden".  She thought she was being cute and funny........she was both!  It was potato wedges (from the garden) that she pre-cooked then breaded.......flour, egg, bread crumbs........and fried in oil.  Just like fried chicken.  Marvelous!  I have never made them.  Don't ask me why.  I may have to work them in this week. 


Now that's a great idea. I've made cutlets like that out of a lot of stuff, but never potato wedges. Great idea!!!
lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 18:38:38 (permalink)
Yes, I have done that with veal, chicken, pork tenderloin (NOT loin which is too tough, not enough fat).  But I will have to make those crazy potatoes one day.  Chicken from the Garden. 
TJ Jackson
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 19:07:58 (permalink)
Note the potato wedges - Lee's Famous Recipe (several located in Cincinnati)
 

lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/03/14 20:36:51 (permalink)
Yep.  Potatoes From the Garden!!!!
leethebard
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/04 15:32:01 (permalink)
Look great...made that way,you can even forgo any topping on them!!
joerogo
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/07 11:05:36 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ThanksfortheCrepes 2016/08/19 06:58:25
Thought you would appreciate some chicken history
lleechef
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/07 12:03:04 (permalink)
joerogo
Thought you would appreciate some chicken history


Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............
leethebard
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/07 12:09:08 (permalink)
.....so they're not from dinosaurs???
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/08 20:06:17 (permalink)
joerogo
Thought you would appreciate some chicken history

"Jubilee Orpington" sounds like a character created by William Faulkner.  Or Harper Lee.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2016/04/08 20:08:16
ann peeples
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/16 14:44:56 (permalink)
Some great finds, SC! Always enjoy reading about them.
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/24 20:55:43 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ThanksfortheCrepes 2016/08/19 07:02:55
April, 2016.
Subtitled, "Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover"
 
I often rely on Google Maps to turn up random places to visit, and such was the case a couple of weeks ago with River Front Family Restaurant in nearby Fort Atkinson.  I hopped on Highway 106 for the scenic route and went through the hamlet of Busseyville, which was founded in 1978 as a tax shelter by former Detroit Lion Dexter Bussey.*

 
I'd noted the directions carefully and when I arrived at my destination I was greeted with this.  I'm not totally sure but that might've been a Piggly Wiggly on the left and there was nothing but empty storefronts to the right, and all are served by a crumbling parking lot.  I knew from my online research that I'd be going to a dead strip mall but still couldn't help but feel a sense of impending disappointment.

 
Except for River Front.

 
The restaurant has been there since 1993 and I'm sure times were much better then, but even amidst the dismal surroundings the interior was clean and comfortable.

 
I started with a cup of cream of potato soup.  Instead of smaller pieces of potato it contained only a few larger pieces, but they could easily be cut with the spoon and the broth was rich and creamy.

 
Chicken time, and my earlier feelings of impending disappointment (go to the top of this post and search for "extreme disappointment" if you've already lost continuity) were dispelled.  And rather forcefully, I might add.  The seasoning was well-executed and the crust was crisp and crumbled nicely, which made for some nice eating.

 

 
The vegetables were nothing special but the mashed potatoes were up to the task.  While that might look like ordinary brown gravy it had a nice flavor that took me awhile to identify, but I'm pretty sure it was oregano and it worked.

 
It's a shame that a worthwhile place like River Front is stuck in Retail Purgatory but from what I could tell it's not stopping the owners from offering good food and good service.  I was there at 10:30 on a Saturday morning and while the restaurant wasn't full there was still a decent crowd, so hopefully it'll survive until the day the shopping center is either rehabilitated or an Anonymous Benefactor pays for its relocation to better digs.
 
After lunch I continued into Ft. Atkinson and came across Poyer's Farm Market.  I picked up a couple of pieces of pie for Mrs. Chicken but the fact that they offer homemade pies (apparently often made with their own fruit) means nothing to me.

 
* This might not be entirely true.
leethebard
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/24 21:06:25 (permalink)
That chicken looked very good!!
mar52
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/24 21:53:36 (permalink)
You're making me hungry and I already had a fabulous, filling dinner.
ann peeples
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/25 07:58:50 (permalink)
Another good find!
chickenplucker
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/04/25 09:00:11 (permalink)
Now I am craving chicken for lunch. That looks really good.
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/06/04 23:49:22 (permalink)
May, 2016
 
2 weeks ago I headed into Milwaukee to conclude a Craigslist transaction so as any good RFer would do I lined up a couple of dining possibilities.  However, I reached my destination earlier than anticipated and my schedule was totally oujt of whack, and since it was a nice day I spontaneously decided to head for home via I-43 (sorry MilwFoodLovers - McBob's will be another time).  As I was rockin' down the highway it occurred to me that I could exit at Elkhorn and check out Elk Restaurant.

 
I'm pretty sure she was saying to him, "Dude, you, like, need to get a real camera and be, like, totally hot like that guy.  'Cause that guy's hot."

 
The soda fountain's still in use, too.

 
Turkey rice soup to start and it was really good.  Almost "I wish it was winter again because this soup would be pretty g*dd*mn awesome" good, but not quite.

 
I'm OK with chicken at 10:30am and fortunately for me the Elk is, too.  The mashed potatoes weren't ready yet so I had to settle for hash browns, but they were just fine and nicely complemented the crispy, juicy chicken.  Maybe just a touch more pregame seasoning would've been nice, but this was definitely some above-average chicken and more than worthy of another visit.

leethebard
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Re:Chicken of the Month 2016/06/05 10:05:57 (permalink)
That soup looks like the winner!
Michael Hoffman
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/07/27 15:28:25 (permalink)
Ashur
I LOVE chicken my favorite is Fried Chicken (of course), Bufflo Chicken Wings, and Barbeque Chicken. Sonetimes I like to switch it up and try Pepperoni Stuff Chicken. Sounds good right?? Well, you can get this receipe and more in my NEW book "21-Fun, Fast, Out of the Box, Budget Friendly Meals" 


If you want to sell your book buy an advertisement.
joerogo
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/07/27 15:32:27 (permalink)
Ashur
I LOVE chicken my favorite is Fried Chicken (of course), Bufflo Chicken Wings, and Barbeque Chicken. Sonetimes I like to switch it up and try Pepperoni Stuff Chicken. Sounds good right?? Well, you can get this receipe and more in my NEW book "21-Fun, Fast, Out of the Box, Budget Friendly Meals" 


We don't take kindly to folks who Spam the Chicken of the Month thread!!!  Now, when I go into a book store, I will hide your books on the magazine rack!
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Chicken of the Month 2016/08/18 21:58:45 (permalink)
June, 2016
 
For about a year or so I'd been aware that Flynnie's Diner of Dixon, IL serves a pan-fried chicken special on Wednesdays so at the end of June I convinced Mrs. Chicken to join me and take a day off to drive 106 miles and check it out.
 
Flynnie's is located on Depot Avenue, which is in an older part of Dixon and has seen better days.

 
The interior is nicely arranged.

 
I started with a cup of decent chicken noodle soup.

 
Mrs. C chose the pork sandwich and it was a nice plate, especially with the pretzel roll.

 
So...that brings us to the chicken.

 
It's been over 6 weeks and I'm still not sure what was going on here.  The chicken - which arrived in a surprisingly short amount of time for pan-fried chicken - looked OK on the plate but the first thing I noticed was that the crust and skin had no crispness whatsoever, which isn't what I would've expected from chicken fried in an open skillet.  And when I took a bite I found the meat to be extremely soft, without any kind of bite.
 
A guess on my part, which could very well be totally off: the chicken was precooked and then reheated in a pan, possibly with the lid on which trapped moisture and kept the coating and skin soft while overcooking the meat.
Ironically, the unexpectedly mushy crust had great flavor and if allowed to vent its moisture and become crisp would've been really good.
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