I’m laying back on the couch right now after downing some Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings from a little ramen place in town, and doing a little chicken daydreaming back to my last trip to Chicago. It’s rare that I spend a few days in a city and don’t hit up a fried chicken spot right when the slip ons hit the ground, but it’s also rare that the Cubs and Indians are playing the World Series in Chicago*. Really rare. I spent a few days cruising around the city by bike with my old roommate Joe, watching the games at local bars, enjoying local brews, and Chicago friends. We hit the Boiler Room, The Publican, Glazed & Infused, Fatso’s Last Stand, and a few other favorites. On our last day during a bit of day drinking at Archie’s Tavern (thanks for the Fun Sponge, Bradley!) and J&M Tap there was a tipsy revelation:
WE LEAVE IN THE GODDAMN MORNING AND NO FRIED CHICKEN**
This is a serious problem that needed to be fixed immediately. I busted out my cell modular phone and pointed it towards the internet. We pulled up a number of great sounding chicken spots, from cheap and fast to more Modern American and fancy. Of course we were right in the middle of every place we wanted to go, then after some zooming a new choice was revealed (wow, this is getting long). Leghorn Chicken was right around the corner from where we were drinking, and even though they do sandwiches instead of bone-in chicken, it was now or never, both to get the my chicken fix, and to soak up some of the Don Julio that Joe had on speed dial all day.
So, really long story short: We Came, We Drank, We Found Leghorn Chicken.
As we entered Leghorn, which has a “parental advisory” on the door, one of Kanye’s songs where Kanye talks about Kanye talking about Kanye being Kanye (aka EVERY Kanye song), our intoxicated gaze was drawn to the menu. Leghorn has a 4 step process for ordering sandwiches (unless you count the steps of walking in the door, approaching the counter, and reading the menu):
- Breast or Thigh. (+10 for offering thigh, I prefer this cut)
- Hot Or Not, “Nashville Hot” or their Pickle Brined Chicken
- Bun or Biscuit, both house made and delicious
- Choose a House Sauce, they have a bunch.
I opted for Thigh, Hot, Bun, and (I think) Red Jalapeño Aioli. Joe got Thigh, Biscuit, Hot, and who fucking knows what sauce. He doesn’t remember. I got an order of crinkle fries to share and a soda. Our tequila infused hunger was satiated by the hot, fresh, spicy chicken. My Brioche bun was tender, but held together through the entire sandwich. Their version of Nashville Hot had a great balance of sweet and hot, while not being crazy hot like the traditional Prince’s extra hot. As we downed our meals I noticed a few things: lots of goddamn Kanye talking about Kanye, quite a few people came through and picked up take out chicken sandwiches, and I had forgotten to take a picture of my sandwich before I took a bite. You know, like normal people would do, I just started eating. Balls.
One more thing that slipped by me: the entire menu past the sandwich ordering part. They SERVE CREOLE SEASONED FRIED CHICKEN SKINS, among other things. I will be back to 959 N Western Ave as soon as I can. Thank you for kicking my mouth’s ass with your sandwich, Leghorn. I’m stoked to add you to my Ukraine Village regular stops.
*Chicago Cubs, 2016 World Series Champions.
** If you are familiar of the Fremont District, you know that one of Chicago’s stalwart fried chicken joints is right next to The Publican a block from the donut shop. Whoops.