There’s a deep fat fried cockfight about to explode in this town like an atomic fryolator, and it looks like Jose Garces is latest to jump into the tussle. The Iron Chef’s prized bird, Distrito’s hulking District Chicken, is a crunchy, spicy and gooey hot mess of a contender. “Working with Jose can sometimes be challenge,” Distrito’s Chef de Cuisine Maria Schmidt told Grub Street. “His recipes, like the one for District Chicken, are intricate and involve so many steps.”
Schmidt says the dish starts with organic chickens brined in pineapple juice and chiles for 12 hours. From there, they’re cooked sous vide for 2 to 3 hours, soaked in buttermilk, breaded and then deep fried. After fried crisp, the chicken is tossed in a sticky goo of orange juice, chipotle and guajillo chilis and served over sour-orange yucca fries, poblanos, nopales, confit cherry tomato and pickled jalapeno.
“It’s a big bird and could easily feed a lot of people,” Schmidt added. “With it, some guacamole and chips and a Margarita, you can get in and out of here for about $40.”