Chef Eric Huang’s Pecking House went from a pandemic pop-up to one of New York’s premiere destinations for fried chicken. By blending flavors from his Taiwanese upbringing with American southern traditions, he and his team serve some of the city’s most sought-after dishes.
Among the most popular dishes on the menu is Huang’s twist on a fried chicken sandwich. To start, the chefs use a deboned chicken thigh with the skin on: “Everybody has a chicken sandwich, so we were trying to do something a little different,” says Huang.
The kitchen glazes the chicken in dark soy caramel, seasoned with aromatics including garlic, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, and chicken powder for a savoriness. To top off the sandwich, Huang blends up pineapples and, adding cinnamon and star anise, makes a thick jam. “Once I settled on really liking the dark soy caramel, that kind of led me to the pineapple part,” says Huang. “[The jam is] translucent, it’s brown, and it’s caramelized.”
The chicken sandwich is finished with a cabbage slaw, which gets charred on a grill, then marinated in Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, and Tabasco. The glazed chicken is set on a brioche bun along with the pineapple jam and cabbage.
“There are a lot of ways to introduce Asian flavors and Asian cooking into what is generally a menu centered around southern tradition and country cooking,” says Huang. “But this is something that still seemed authentic to the way we like to cook and where my background was coming from.”