Order Up: Kennett's Wood-Fired Chicken

September 02, 2011 | by —ADAM ERACE
PHOTOGRAPH BY JASON VARNEY
| Food & Drink News

There is not a bad seat in the house at Kennett, but when the temperature plummets and the wind rattles the Queen Village saloon’s old casement windows, the best is the table way in the back. The perch overlooks the heat-belching pizza oven, a domed inferno that spews forth some of the tastiest pies in town. Chef Brian Ricci also uses it to bake sourdough, roast asparagus and cook various meats—among them, these boneless Bell & Evans chicken thighs marinated overnight in local Pequea Valley yogurt, mint, cilantro, green chili, curry leaf, ginger and garlic. His green curry paste is as balanced and evocative as any Bangkok or Bombay granny’s; in the oven, it forms a crusty shell that locks in the chicken’s juices. When the dish debuted in the spring, a salad of farmer Tom Culton’s zippy watercress sat atop it, with cucumber relish and lime cashews. For the fall, seasonally sensitive Ricci has traded the greens for ribbons of raw Tuscan kale and candy-stripe beets. It makes for a plate that feels exotic, but is firmly rooted in Philadelphian soil. 848 S. Second St.

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