Monday, February 27, 2012

Petite Chou - Revisit

I’m back on the fried chicken thing ever since those wings from First Wok the other day.  After having several conversations about the duck fat fried chicken from Petite Chou (in Broad Ripple only) with several people, I finally figured out a Wednesday night, with babysitting to try it (they only do it on Wednesdays).  There were four of us, and we all wanted it—we mentioned it to the server right away, which is advisable because it takes about 30 minutes to cook.  Get your order in, and in the meantime, order a starter and enjoy your drinks.  Also, I am pretty sure they only do so many, so it is a good idea to order before they run out. I am pretty sure the table next to us didn’t get any because they had already run out (us getting 4 orders probably didn’t help.)
To start though, hubby and I shared the wild mushroom duxelles ($6.95).  Friends of mine (including the ones we were with) had had a version of this before and really liked it.  The version they offered on this night though was different from what other people had told me about. This was more like a dip/spread of mushrooms and cream with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top (it also said that it included shallots and wine).  Unfortunately, it suffered fairly significantly from under seasoning.  We all grabbed for the salt and pepper.  It definitely needed salt and I had an overwhelming desire to squeeze lemon over it to brighten it up.  It was just too one-dimensional of richness.  And I love mushrooms.  We also shared an order of the duck fat frites ($4.95) between the four of us, and these had a great flavor (who doesn’t love duck fat flavor) and they were good and salty.  Putting some of the mushroom stuff on top helped the flavor of the mushrooms a lot by amping up the salt. Pretty sure the duck fat didn’t hurt there either.  The fries on their own were unfortunately a little soft and wimpy.  The flavor was good, the crispiness was not.  I really like their aioli though—nice and garlicky.  There was also a Dijon/mayo blend that was good.  When you’re giving me fancy fries, I like a fancy sauce. I appreciate they weren’t giving us ketchup.  I also really enjoy the bread service at Petite Chou.  Crusty bread slices with nice soft, salty butter. My favorite.
Ok, on to the main reason for our dinner, the duck fat fried chicken ($17.00).  So with this dinner, you get two pieces of chicken (a breast and a leg), mashed potatoes, and a side of green beans.  Hubby was a little sad right away because he’s a thigh man (and he really likes wings as well). We were sort of wondering what happens to all the wings and thighs, but guessed they must just order these particular parts for this meal.  Anyway, as for the chicken, it was really quite good.  And really very HOT! You had to give it a good few minutes to cool down before you could safely take a bite.  But the first thing I noticed when I finally did bite into it was that it had FLAVOR! So many well known fried chicken places in this town know how to fry a tender bird, but seem perplexed by the idea of actually seasoning it before they fry it.  There was some good seasoning in the coating here, as well as the richness that just inherently comes from something being fried in duck fat.  And the outside was super crispy and delicious.  My one complaint is that the breast meat was just a bit dry. The potatoes were served under the chicken and were good with it—nice and buttery.  The green beans were fresh green beans (not those grey-ish canned things) served with diced tomatoes.  They were pretty tasty too (although I’ll admit I didn’t eat much of them, too focused on the bird).
So I enjoyed the fried chicken and would go back for it easily.  I think I would try a different starter next time (I know I would), unless it was more the way it had been described to me before (whole sautéed mushrooms with seasoning).  But there are several lovely sounding salads, and I know Patachou can do a good salad, so that might be a good start next time.  All in all, it was a very successful fried chicken excursion, and worth a trip if you have a strange fried chicken fetish like I do.
Petite Chou
823 Westfield Blvd
Indy 46220

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