Eating Out

Chili Fried Chicken Perfection, Eric Huang’s Pecking House – Turntable at Lord Stanley, San Francisco

If I could pick my last meal on earth, it would be fried chicken. And this fried chicken fiend is happy to share that I recently had some best fried chicken ever at the Pecking House SF pop-up! The chili fried chicken was not only delicious, but also a distinctive new style that I didn’t know I was missing from my life. Chef Eric Huang describes it as a mix of Taiwanese popcorn chicken and Nashville hot chicken. While I see the inspiration from both, this chili fried chicken needs to be a thing in and of itself.

The Tianjin chili topping is reminiscent of chili crisp, but with a more substantial, satisfying chew. The heat is not overpowering, and the Sichuan peppercorn provides that pleasant numbing feel. I especially loved the thicker breading, which was very crunchy, yet stayed on nicely. The meat was juicy, and the five-spice seasoning added that nice umami kick.

And the sides! The buttery mashed sweet yams with plenty of bacon were decadent in the best way – balanced by the cilantro pesto and texture from the crushed almonds. The dirty fried rice looked deceptively simple but had wonderful depth from the wok-fried chicken liver. 

If you have a sweet tooth, save some space for the peanut butter pudding with chocolate ganache! This was a lovely ending with the crunchy, salty-sweet cocoa nib topping.

I can’t recommend this meal enough. The intersection of fine dining applied to Chinese-American cuisine and familiar comfort food especially speaks to me, and I’m very glad to see more Taiwanese chefs in the spotlight!

The Pecking House SF pop-up is still happening now at Turntable by Lord Stanley through the end of March 2022.

Pecking House - Chili fried chicken
Chili fried chicken!
Pecking House - 3 pc. chili fried chicken. Dirty fried rice. Mashed yams with bacon & almonds. Peanut butter pudding with chocolate ganache.
3 pc. chili fried chicken. Dirty fried rice. Mashed yams with bacon & almonds. Peanut butter pudding with chocolate ganache.
Pecking House - 3 pc. chili fried chicken
Pecking House - Peanut butter pudding, chocolate ganache, cocoa nibs
Peanut butter pudding, chocolate ganache, cocoa nibs

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