44. Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken at Chicken Maison
Photo by Kristine Hoang
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I'm not a fan of chicken. But the Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken at the beloved Chicken Maison in Santa Ana is a different story.
For those of us who aren't experienced chefs, chicken is a risky venture. Hen can sometimes end up bland. Other times, it's prone to being as dry as a Southern Californian heat wave. However, this chicken is a far cry from bland and dry.
In standard definition, the dish is rotisserie chicken with sauce all over it. Sounds simple, no? But it's much more than that. Its true beauty lies in its combination of tender meat, crunchy skin, and zesty seasoning. Nothing is overdone: the meat is perfectly cooked and the seasoning - a combination of lemon juice, red chili, and black pepper - is just the right amount of flavorful. To give you a visual, the sauciness of the seasoning often drips to the bottom of the plate, leaving a red-orange shadow under the bird. For color, the whole thing is garnished with green onions.
And if that wasn't enough flavor for you, you'll be glad to know the chicken comes with a side of white garlic sauce. A little dab will give the meat a nice kick, but feel free to slather it all over your chicken. Most people end up doing just that - myself included.
And it's cheap! For $8.25, you get a quarter Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken with two sides (you can choose among options like potato salad and hummus). For an extra $2, you get half a chicken, which is good enough for two people. $10 for some of the best chicken you can get for two? Man. What a deal.
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