This Is My All-Time Favourite Chicken Recipe

On my past journey to the Bay Place, I landed at SFO and went right to La Guerrera’s Kitchen in Oakland, their famed tamales on my brain. But by the time I arrived, just right after noon on a Sunday, they experienced marketed out. Lucky for me, chef Ofelia Barajas and her daughter Reyna Maldonado ended up the two working guiding the counter of the airy, open up kitchen area, and they recommended I check out the hen mole as an alternative. It was just amazing more than enough on the patio that by the time I settled into a picnic desk with my paper plate of chicken, draped in a velvety pink sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, I was grateful for the accompanying stack of contemporary tortillas, designed with new-ground masa. One particular swipe of the mole sauce, smoky and warming, shook off my jet lag. Later on, Barajas shared that the mole was her grandmother Jovita Vargas’ recipe from her restaurant in Guerrero, Mexico. Vargas, fiercely protecting of her mole, never wrote the recipe down, making it only from style and memory. Barajas used a long time cooking by her grandmother’s facet and mastered the dish the exact way. With Maldonado’s assist translating, Barajas shared the recipe for the very first time, together with some tips: As you fry the personal ingredients, scent and taste them, such as the chiles, to create a connection with each—and to master how to create the layered, complex flavors that make a wonderful mole. —Mary-Frances Heck

AT NARI IN SAN FRANCISCO, most of chef Pim Techamuanvivit’s menu is delicately introduced, inviting a polite tactic. And then there is the gaeng rawaeng, a whole Cornish match hen submerged in a deeply savory golden curry redolent with spices. When the fowl comes, flanked by impossibly flaky roti for sopping, you’ve got to be all in, tearing the juicy meat from the bone and swiping the bread through the abundant and spicy sauce, desk manners be damned. Techamuanvivit instructed me that Thai food stuff need to be fiery but not burn off you, and this dish demonstrates what she signifies: A blend of inexperienced Thai chiles, serranos, and jalapeños yields just the ideal harmony of warmth. It is so tasty that if you make it at house to share, be warned: You will be combating for that last drop of curry sauce. —Andrea Nguyen

Previous JUNE, after paying 3 months quarantining with spouse and children in Chicago, I returned to New York to pack up my condominium. Ahead of undertaking just about anything else, I ditched my suitcase in my studio and walked over to Vic’s, an Italian restaurant in NoHo, to pick up a put up-aircraft lunch. I experienced been craving chef Hillary Sterling’s roast hen due to the fact the final time I experienced eaten it, in February 2020 I ended up acquiring it twice through the two times I was in NYC. Element of what will make Sterling’s rooster so great is that it comes on a mattress of what I affectionately connect with “goop:” a mix of charred broccoli, onions, and fingerling potatoes, fiery from the chiles and clean from the basil, with a bitter kick of pink wine vinegar. The chicken by itself is juicy and spicy, a mixture Sterling achieves by brining the hen and then making use of a marinade of sharp mustard and roasted garlic. As I ate the hen by itself in my boxed-up condominium, I was flooded with reminiscences of evenings spent with friends at my go-to location, exactly where I would celebrated birthdays and lamented over breakups, usually with a roast hen in the middle of the table. —Nina Close friend

MY GO-TO TAKEOUT Food stuff is the kung pao hen from Birds of a Feather in Brooklyn. It really is a properly-rounded dish, with a large dose of spice that’s balanced with a little bit of sweetness. There are tons of peanuts concerned, and they enjoy primarily very well with the vivid Szechuan peppercorns and crunchy bits of garlic. I typically have leftovers due to the fact Birds of a Feather’s portions are quite generous, but that’s solely wonderful by me simply because this hen is a total chameleon it functions just as properly on leading of egg noodles as it does stuffed within a crispy tortilla with a little bit of rice and chile crisp. Nearly anything I have in the fridge, chances are, this rooster operates with it. And lastly, the sauce isn’t far too overpowering and isn’t going to experience sticky or syrupy, which truly just clinches my whole enjoy affair with this dish. Birds of a Feather’s chef, Ziqiang Lu, likes pouring any leftover sauce about steamed white rice and ingesting it just like that. When it will come to creating the sauce at household, Lu endorses browning the dried chile peppers till effectively toasted. This will help tease out their aroma and leaves you with a warming mouthfeel that lingers. —Oset Babür

I Don’t Normally REPEAT RESTAURANTS—it’s a hazard of my position as a cafe editor. I have a limited quantity of time and a limited quantity of tummy area. But Hardena in Philadelphia is a person of my couple of exceptions. I halt in every time I’m in city if I can. It’s a charming household-run location belonging to two sisters, Diana and Maylia Widjojo, and all of their meals feels like a blanket for the soul. It makes you really feel excellent, and it’s generally what you want. I am specifically fond of the soto ayam, a soup created with shredded chicken, turmeric, vermicelli noodles, cabbage, and a hard-boiled egg. It can be the excellent a single-bowl meal. I enjoy Indonesian foodstuff because it really is at the crossroads of so numerous cuisines I appreciate: Indian, Chinese, and Malaysian. I obtain the flavors in this dish to be nostalgic and comforting. Chicken in soups can be dry and in excess of- cooked, but the chicken in this soto ayam is so tender. The difficult-boiled egg is a good touch, too—it often can make me snicker when there’s a hen and an egg jointly in a dish. —Khushbu Shah