Unless it comes battered and coated in grease, chicken tends to be the least exciting dish at most restaurants: flavorless, dry, and, in many cases, served for the sole purpose of appeasing the weight-watching set. Dirty French (180 Ludlow Street; 212-254-3000), on the other hand, serves chicken and crepes that are the opposite of boring; they’re dramatic.
This chicken mixes flavors and techniques from across the globe: French confit and mustard, Southeast Asian citrus, Tunisian chile paste, Indian chutney — it’s by far one of the boldest preparations of the farmyard fowl to be found in the city.
Intended pour deux, the bird is served in two parts. The breast is presented first, sliced in a small skillet over a creamy mustard sauce scented with herbs and caramelized shallots. It’s set on a wooden board with a handful of folded crepes on the side. The dark meat comes next, two legs with feet still attached. The legs are marinated in a vibrant inspired blend of soy, kaffir lime, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger before being confited in chicken fat then grilled to order. Alongside, four sauces are offered for your sampling pleasure: spicy house-made harissa, sweet apricot chutney, hot dijon mustard, and crème fraîche. For added freshness and texture, a glass rooster filled with pickled chiles, sliced radishes, and fresh herbs comes on the side.