A recent article in the New York Times by Julia Moskin on a wave of new Korean fried chicken spots in New York City inspired a serious craving to taste the chicken for ourselves. We headed to Unidentified Flying Chickens, the upstart chicken place on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights. It's only been open for about a month, and while they are still working out the kinks, we found that the chicken was top-notch (a self-described "volunteer" and friend of the owner confided that the chicken has come a long way since the place opened).
Moskin describes the cooking process in detail in her article: the chicken is coated lightly with flour and batter before a two-step frying process under low temperature that "renders out the fat in the skin, transforming it into a thin, crackly and almost transparent crust."
Everything is cooked to order, so be prepared to wait at least 15 minutes for your chicken to be fried (or, better yet, place your order by phone in advance). There are chicken salads and sides on the menu, along with two breaded chicken cutlet paninis, but the fried chicken is the main event. Orders come in sizes of large ($15.99) or small ($8.99) with a choice of sauces.
We went with soy-garlic, a slightly sweet and salty glaze lightly and deftly painted on each of the pieces. The chicken is incredibly succulent and moist -- almost puffy -- with a thin, crisp exterior. The birds desperately deserve to be paired with beer. But, none is currently served, so plan on bringing your own.
Unidentified Flying Chickens, 71-22 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens (718.205.6662).