One thing’s for sure. Chicken seems to be the next big thing in food in Portland. Whether you like yours fried, smoked, roasted or jerked, Portland has a place for it. Here are the places where I’ve found the best chicken.
1. Jerk Chicken At Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine
Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine serves the best jerk chicken in Portland. The owner serves her family recipes from Jamaica, and this is the real thing. They grill the chicken right outside the door, and you will smell it, and your stomach will be growling before you even walk in. You can get curry chicken and brown stew chicken which are also great. The staff is friendly and will make you feel like you are in the islands.
2. Oak Fired Latin Chicken At Chicken And Guns
The oak fired Latin chicken at Chicken and Guns is tender and flavorful with the perfect amount of spice. The potatoes are over the top, perfectly crispy and spicy, and the Peruvian ahi sauce brings this chicken to a whole new level.
3. The Rotisserie Chicken At Arrosto
Arrosto serves perfectly cooked rosemary and olive oil rotisserie chicken with potatoes to die for, incredible dipping sauce, and a great salad with a Caesar-style dressing. There was also focaccia bread which I forgot to take a picture of. I loved the roasted lemon that I squeezed all over everything. So good!
4. The Alabama Smoked Chicken At Big’s Chicken
The Alabama smoked chicken at Big’s Chicken was my very favorite of all the chicken dishes. It’s juicy and flavorful, and oh so perfectly smoked. The southern style coleslaw was slaw perfection, and the sauces for the chicken are delicious, too. You can also get a chicken sandwich, wings, or the house salad covered in that chicken goodness.
5. Cardamom Chai Drumsticks At Desi PDX
I absolutely adored the cardamom Chai drumsticks served at the food cart, Desi PDX. The coconut sugar Chai glaze gives them a sugary stickiness and a depth of flavor that you don’t find in most chicken. Deepak, the chef, doesn’t skimp on the cardamom here, and this is some of the most unusual and flavorful chicken I’ve ever had. Astounding!
6. Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings At Pok Pok
Pok Pok’s wings are one of my favorite foods ever. Caramelized fish sauce, garlic, and a hint of sugar make these wings downright addictive. I prefer the spicy, as the chilies give them a nice kick. Definitely best when paired with a tamarind whiskey sour.
7. The Fried Chicken And Malayu Curry At Hat Yai
The fried chicken at Hat Yai is perfectly crispy, incredibly tender, and dipping it in the curry, you will want the moment to last forever. I didn’t even have curry this good in Thailand. The curry is buttery, earthy, with all the flavor depth that a good curry should have. There is also a tamarind chili dipping sauce that they get exactly right, and the hardest part of the meal will be deciding if you want to dip the chicken in that or the curry.