Chef's Pick: The Drunken Chicken

photo cred: david olsen

photo cred: david olsen

Chicken and waffles officially became an option on 4th Avenue a few weeks ago when The Drunken Chicken opened its doors August 14th. Chelsy Blatt, Head Cook and wife of co-owner Micah Blatt, helped design the simple, one-page menu which includes offerings from fried deviled eggs to beer battered waffles.

For some, a craft beer to pair with a chicken and waffle is taste bud delight. For others like myself, having ten different sauce and syrup options is what makes a meal away from home more enjoyable. While I felt like I was playing with my food, the Bourbon Maple syrup - is blended with butter - was my favorite. The Mai Tai Maple syrup consisting of almond extract, lime zest, and rum is Chelsy’s favorite. For fellow coffee lovers, perhaps you may take a liking to their Coffee Maple syrup made with espresso.

Typically when one thinks of chicken and waffles, one imagines southern style cooking. But as I tasted drunken syrups with a drunken waffle and a pair of spicy chicken strips, I found that if it was anything but southern. It was Southwestern.

(And yes, your child can safely taste these drunken menu items as the alcohol is cooked out.)

Though my Mexican tongue is probably abnormally comfortable with spicy foods, the spicy chicken strips had a very little kick making it a seemingly tolerable mild spice. If you’re not up for taking risks, naked and original strips are two other options.

What makes the thick waffles unique is the fact that they feature a different Tucson brewery every month in their waffle batter. This is obviously what makes the waffle drunk, too. 

For a restaurant that can hold up to 40 persons, The Drunken Chicken is a delicious addition to 4th Avenue. The spicy strips are not too spicy, not too greasy. The waffle meets the fine line between original and unique. And the combo is worth the visit.

photo cred: David olsen

photo cred: David olsen

While I was there, I sat down with Chelsy and fed her my five q’s.

Why is the spicy strips with a drunken waffle your favorite combo on the menu?

The spicy strips with a drunken waffle seems to be everyone’s favorite! They’re not “kick you in the face” spicy, just have a nice cayenne pepper to it. The waffles are made with beer. We had to make something drunk! We feature a Tucson brewery with the waffle batter each month. This month we had Dragoon Brewing Company’s “Unihopper.”

What’s your favorite food memory?

I’ve always loved food. I’ve always loved creating things, so even when I was a kid, my friends parents weren’t fond of me coming over because I’d always end up in the kitchen. Learning how to cook with my step mom growing up, she’d always yell at me because I couldn’t see over the stove yet but I’d always want to help her. Just discovering new foods and experimenting as I’ve gotten older has provided me good memories.

What would you say is the hardest ingredient to cook with?

Rice. I have a hard time with rice! It’s tricky. It’s funny because it seems like something that’s so simple but you have to be patient cooking it.

You’re eating at a restaurant other than yours, where is it?

Wildflower. Everytime. It’s my favorite restaurant on the planet. The spinach pappardelle is the first dish I tasted there and I get it every time. The way they cook their chicken in it with the tomatoes and the pine nuts is so good. That’s my favorite meal!

Last weekend on Earth, what city are you eating in?

Tucson. I love this city!

 

The Drunken Chicken is located at 429 N. 4th Avenue, Tucson, AZ, 85705 and is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am-10pm and Friday-Saturday, 10am-2:30am. Visit them online at thedrunkenchickenaz.com