Almost everyone has had some variation of a fried pork rind or skin. But what about the skins that you discard from a chicken? Use them! Restaurants all over have been serving fried chicken skin, either by itself, or as a topping for entrées. And, it is super simple to make at home. You can fry the skin in oil, in its own fat, or oven-fry it, and like potato chips, you can season it with just about anything. Some restaurants using this technique are Aviary in Portland, Ore., and The Smith in New York City.
Of all things to make its way onto gourmet menus, we never thought it would be beef jerky. However, it’s there on the menu in front of you. At Allium in Chicago, the chef serves Wagyu beef jerky with pickled peppers, and at Khe-Yo in New York City a Laotian version is on the menu. And Ducks Eatery in New York City is also serving jerky, but brisket jerky — yum! How to make it at home? Follow a recipe from Marc Forgione below.
Chicken and waffles has been a classic combination for years — and it’s making a comeback on menus all around the country. But it’s not just chicken that’s being served with waffles. At Distilled in New York City, they serve a waffle with crispy duck and whipped honey butter. And we’re even seeing a combination of donuts and chicken at Astro Donut, in Washington, D.C.
Tea has long been used in drinks such as the Arnold Palmer, but using it to flavor mixed drinks is something new. PX, the speakeasy in Alexandria, VA has its own variation on a tea cocktail-The Grog- concocted by super-mixologist Todd Thrasher, made with 3 bags of brewed lemon tea. At New York City’s TAO Downtown, beverage director Keith Nelson says of the inspiration behind his drink, "The Japanese Tea Garden is one of our new specialty cocktails, made using jasmine tea concentrate, and we've used some floral liqueurs to add sweetness to the cocktail."
Biscuits are the new pretzel, the new panko crust, and the new bun. At Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain in New York City, the chef uses sweet potato biscuits to crust his smoked chicken pot pie. And at CO-OP Food and Drink in Manhattan’s Lower East side, they offer fried chicken sliders made using biscuits instead of a potato bun.