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residences from the high $300s

Flock & Fowl celebrates simple goodness of chicken

June 2, 2018

Yes, the chicken really is that good. Chef Sheridan Su’s Hainanese chicken has attracted a cult following at his Flock &Fowl spots on West Sahara Avenue and at The Ogden downtown.

It’s all about skilled cookery: Throw a chicken into some plain water and boil it mercilessly and you’ll end up with a bland meal. But taking a page from Hainanese-inspired chefs in Taipei, Su massages the bird into the ultimate comfort food, and it’s brought food-lovers flocking to his doors.

He starts with plump, free-range, air-chilled birds, inherently more flavorful than the supermarket variety, and poaches them gently with a touch of ginger just until they’re cooked through, then serves the sliced breast with skin and its layer of fat. The meat has a fresh-from-the-farm wholesome-grainy flavor, velvety firmness and impressive juiciness. Little pools of three house-made sauces — ginger-scallion, chile and soy — are on the same platter, the chile adding flair and fire thanks to a pronounced note of ginger. The accompanying rice is goosed with chicken schmaltz for silkiness, ginger and scallions for flavor.

At Flock &Fowl the signature dish is served in the traditional poached manner, or fried or roasted if you prefer ($14.99). The plate also includes the customary sliced cucumber plus two sides; juicy Chinese sausage and a fried egg balanced the flavors, adding richness. Other side choices are a vegetable, a one-hour egg or bone broth, in another nod to tradition.

Flock &Fowl’s menu is limited by design; the chicken is the main act. Beef lovers can get a fix with The Butcher’s Steak ($25.99), a 9-ounce hanger with a soy glaze that accentuates the meaty flavor while adding a touch of sweetness. On the side was a mountain of curly fries and a streak of Flock sauce, which tastes a lot like fry sauce (which contians mayo and ketchup) with some garlic crunchies on top.

If you’re just stopping by for a drink, snacks and starters also are served. Downtown Farmer’s Ricotta Toast ($8.99) was a hefty slice of lightly toasted egg bread smeared with ricotta and topped with the day’s vegetable (in this case tender, earthy wedges of roasted beets), a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of microgreens.

Miso black garlic hummus ($8.99) had deep, mellow flavor, but the best part was crispy wedges of scallion pancake, much more appealing for dipping than the carrot and celery sticks.

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