For the Love of Chicken

March 27, 2010

I like chicken quite a bit, and in SE Asia I particularly love street vendors or restaurants that specialize and cook nothing but chicken.  In Bangkok a good friend took me to one such vendor, pictured below.  The main course is shredded boiled chicken–delicately moist and flavorful–served over rice steamed in chicken broth.  The bones are the base of a light squash soup.  Most of the dark meat is fried with an extra crispy skin, and then cut up into bite-size slivers, second picture below.

Late night in Hanoi, some friends and I ventured out into the cool, empty streets for a specific type of chicken pho–pho cooked only from chickens’ backbones.  When you first come in, they fish out the backbone and chop it up.  The pieces are then dipped into a salt, pepper, and lime sauce and then gnawed of all their goodness.  Bonelessness be damned.  Tea glasses full of Vietnamese vodka are then brought out as a compliment.  The pho is served at the end of the meal, the final dish for the night.

KFC and now Popeyes have set up shop all over Vietnam’s cities.  Not surprisingly, no comparison.

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