NYCReview

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Cauldron Chicken image
8.4

Cauldron Chicken

Chinese

Greenwich Village

$$$$Perfect For:Dining SoloCheap Eats
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The first thing your server will hand you at Cauldron Chicken is a pair of plastic gloves. You eat the Dao Kou roast chicken at this tiny Greenwich Village spot with your hands, because, after being braised for several hours, the bird and its skin, saturated with five-spice flavor, are too tender to pick up with a fork. This meat doesn’t just fall off the bone—a mere air kiss in its direction and it starts singing Alicia Keys songs. 

There are only five tiny tables, so take one other person, and order a whole chicken to share. It comes on a tray with two drinks and two picks from a long list of sides, with everything from fried rice and french fries, to fat pork dumplings and chicken fingers—just in case you can’t get enough of the bird. Whatever you order, don’t be shy about dipping it into your savory-sweet chicken drippings. 

There’s often a wait in the evenings, so if you can’t hang around outside for half an hour, just grab an order of the crispy fried chicken wings to go. They’re dusted with dry chili powder, and are so satisfyingly crunchy that Cauldron could easily open another successful spot for the fried chicken alone.

Food Rundown

Cauldron Chicken image

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Whole Chicken Combo

Cauldron’s Dao Kou chicken is served at room temperature, in a shallow pool of fatty broth, with a small portion of cold broccoli and housemade chili powder. It comes in a few different combos, and if you’re a solo diner, there are white meat or dark meat options with one piece each. But for pairs, we recommend sharing a whole chicken combo. In addition to the bird, it includes two drinks, and two sides for $28.85.

Cauldron Chicken image

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Sides

Cauldron Chicken has 14 sides to choose from, and their french fries are the least interesting of the bunch. Get the scallion pancakes, pan-fried dumplings, or fried rice. If you still need more chicken, get the chicken wonton soup or chicken fingers.

Cauldron Chicken image

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

Crispy Fried Chicken Wings

The fried chicken here is just as good as the roasted, and we have a mini meltdown every time we’re forced to choose between them. These crispy chicken wings are coated in the same orange dry-spice that’s on your tray, with a crunch that completely drowns out the surrounding chaos on Bleecker. Our usual compromise: eat the house chicken on site, and take a box of wings to go.

FOOD RUNDOWN

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