We’re going to tell you a few facts about Pecking House, a pandemic-born spot serving some of the best fried chicken in NYC.
1) There’s an eight-week wait to get their fried chicken delivered.
2) Pecking House also serves said chicken (and a slew of other unforgettable poultry dishes) in their dining room in Fresh Meadows on weekends from 5-8pm.
3) To get there via public transportation, you need to take the F train to Kew Gardens then get on the Q46 bus — a process that can take around an hour and a half from downtown Manhattan.
Now, when presented with these three statements, what would you rather do: wait eight weeks, or possibly take two forms of transportation to eat numbingly spicy and transcendent poultry? For us, it’s a no-brainer, but let us explain why Pecking House is worth planning your weekend around.
As discussed, Pecking House’s fried chicken is a non-optional order, and their huge, crunchy chicken sandwich is a masterpiece as well. It comes with a swipe of pineapple jam and some cabbage marinated in dark soy sauce, all on a brioche bun. This combination of flavors — along with the juicy chicken and shatteringly crispy skin — makes us skeptical of the nonstop fast food propaganda out there. No chicken sandwich could realistically save America, but if everybody tried the one from Pecking House, they’d likely form friendships over its multiple textural components.
Beyond that, the orange wet wings drowning in citrus butter sauce are probably making WingStop nervous, and the chunky butter beans in sesame oil and other seasonal sides that come with the fried chicken will help round out the rest of your meal (which should include most, if not all of, the menu). Enjoy all of this in Pecking House’s diner-like space, which used to house the chef’s dad’s restaurant, but, during the pandemic, became the most popular chicken operation in the city.
If you don’t live in the neighborhood, convince a friend to ride the Q46 with you to Pecking House, or at least talk them into letting you use their car. Although, if your friend has a car, there are probably destinations higher on your list than Pecking House, like the Catskills or a car wash (just for the hell of it). But, honestly, there shouldn’t be. This is a must-try dining experience in NYC. So bring a group, order the whole menu, and never wait to get this chicken delivered again.
For $35, Pecking House offers three large pieces of their spicy fried chicken with sides like smashed cucumbers, dirty fried rice, and beans in sesame oil. Hands down, this is some of the best fried chicken in the city. You’ll get a tingly component from the Tianjin chilies, but the fried chicken meal also comes with homemade hot sauce if you want to ratchet up the heat. The crust is crackly, and the chicken is always juicy.
A sandwich that puts the one from Popeye’s in its place. The thin cabbage gets cooked down in a ton of dark soy sauce, making each strand the perfect complement to the crunchy, juicy chicken. Add some charred pineapple jam, and this’ll be a sandwich you won’t stop thinking about.
Citrus butter, hot paprika, and that same excellent chicken. We’d like these at our next sports-watching party or on any lazy Sunday afternoon. Order them.
We’ve found these drumettes to be a bit inconsistent — some are super crispy, while others are a bit tough and chewy. But the toppings combination of crispy garlic, shredded cilantro, and pickled jalapeños makes these worth ordering. Also, you took the Q46 out here for a reason, and that reason was to eat everything.