Piece of Chicken Redux: Finally Trying Their Waffle and Fried Livers
Last week I got an email from Lunch’er Kyle asking me if I had tried the new chocolate corn bread muffins from Piece of Chicken, the just out of bounds soul food take out place on 45th btw. 8+9th Ave. where almost everything on the menu is $1 to $3. Why no. I haven’t tried the new choclate corn bread muffins, was my reply. Clearly I needed to revisit Piece of Chicken, and see what was going on.
To be completely honest though, I had ulterior motives. Chocolate corn bread muffins sounded pretty good, but what I really wanted to try was the fried chicken and waffle and fried chicken livers, two items on the Piece of Chicken menu which always seemed to be sold out every single time I stopped by for like two weeks straight last year. Well, it’s been awhile- but I returned to Piece of Chicken a few days ago, and both items were available.
Before I moved to NYC, I spent a few years in L.A. and quickly discovered the joys of putting a piece of fried chicken on top of a waffle (at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles of course.) I know there are some who “don’t understand” the concept… but truthfully, I “don’t understand” people who “don’t understand” why fried chicken on a waffle is amazing. (You may say the secret ingredient is the syrup.) I’ve been to Amy Ruth’s up in Harlem, and for awhile the now closed Ressie May’s Soul to Go served up fried chicken and waffles in Midtown (R.I.P.) But now, our only option for Midtown Lunch’ing is Piece of Chicken.
I was actually really surprised at how big a waffle you get for $3. It’s really thin, and not crunchy at all (which I kind of liked.) Not sure if it’s because it got steamed in the container, but I only walked a few blocks before sitting down to eat it- something that is unavoidable, because Piece of Chicken is take out only. You get your choice of chicken (I chose thigh), and it may not be much to look at- but damn was that piece of chicken good. It was so good, I’m curious if they’ve changed their recipe. The seasoning was stand out good, and I don’t remember thinking that the first time I visited. Of course, tearing a piece off, wrapping it in waffle and dunking it in syrup took the whole thing to another level. (Yes, they do provide syrup… and little packets of hot sauce.) So good… I could eat this for breakfast or lunch every singe day. And for $3, it really can’t be beat.
Rounding out my lunch, I finally got to try the fried chicken livers- which are now $1.50 (up from $1.) In fact they raised the prices of a few things (a breast is now $2 instead of $1, and 2 wings are $1.50 instead of $1), but considering how much liver you get, it’s still a bargain. Fried to a crisp, the chicken livers from Piece of Chicken are funnnnnky (and I mean that in that best way possible.) This ain’t no foie gras or some “gateway liver” pate. These are chunks of chicken liver, deep fried, and served in a stryrofoam container in all their plain glory. Plain, they were just ok, and a tad bit soggy- either from not being freshly fried or the 3 minute walk in the styrofoam container.
Of course once they were soaked in hot sauce, none of that mattered. (And I will admit to dunking a few of them in syrup… also recommended.) If you love liver, you’ll probably be into this. But if you are even on the fence regarding the joys of offal, I’d stay away. In other words, if I had to take Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods to eat one thing in Midtown- this might be the dish.
All in all it was a pretty awesome lunch- aided by the fact that I was totally full for just $4.50. And even with all the great fried chicken options in Midtown West, it was well worth traveling that extra avenue out of bounds. Oh, and as for the chocolate corn bread muffins? They made those “by accident”, so it was just a one time thing. Kyle, consider yourself lucky if you got to try them… because I don’t think they’re coming back.
Piece of Chicken, 362 W. 45th St. (just East of 9th Ave.), 212-582-5973