It’s no secret that I’m a fiend for fried chicken. When I saw on twitter a couple of weeks ago that Model Milk started doing Fried Chicken Mondays, I was very intrigued. To date, I haven’t been crazy about any of the fried chicken that I can get in Calgary, with the exception of Olive Chicken. I was really hoping Model Milk would be serving up a gourmet version of fried chicken similar to the version that I had loved at the now defunct Fuel/Re-fuel in Vancouver. Fuel/Re-fuel’s version was prepared Southern style by first marinating the free-range chicken in buttermilk for a week and then placing the chicken into their sous-vide machine for eight hours to tenderize prior to dredging it in a spiced flour mixture/buttermilk bath and then flash frying it in beef tallow. The crust was incredibly light and crispy while the chicken meat was tender and flavourful. It was a huge hit to the point that when Fuel used to have their Fried Chicken Fridays for lunch, we had to reserve in advance for the fried chicken.
I decided that I wanted to check out Model Milk’s Fried Chicken Mondays before the secret got out as I had seen how popular Fuel/Re-fuel’s Fried Chicken used to be. Hence, I convinced my food blogger friend Anna, of Anna’s Appetite, and my foodie friend L to join me for Fried Chicken Mondays at Model Milk two weeks ago.
On Mondays in addition to the Fried Chicken special, Model Milk has sleeves of Village Blonde ale on special for $5. Village Blonde is actually a local brew from The Village Brewery, which opened late last year by six partners that include two former Big Rock veterans – former VP Jim Button and former CFO Tim Duffin. The beer was crisp, light, and refreshing and was the perfect accompaniment for fried chicken.
We started off sharing Fricassee of Calamari ($14). This was my favourite dish during my previous visit to Model Milk a couple of weeks ago so I had suggested that my dining companions try it out. The fricassee consisted of guanciale, edamame, housemade croutons, and pimenton mixed in with the calamari. It was as delicious as the one that I had on my previous visit. My dining companions were quite impressed with the flavours in this dish.
All three of us decided to try the Fried Chicken ($16). This fried chicken dish is different from the Maple Hill Chicken & Waffles dish that is part of Model Milk’s regular menu. The Maple Hill Chicken & Waffles dish comprises of chicken thigh meat that is stuffed with chicken loaf, pan-fried, and served with a cheddar waffle and collard greens whereas this Fried Chicken Mondays Special consists of two pieces free-range chicken that is deep-fried in a skillet and served with creamy grits, a kale slaw, and corn bread. There is no doubt that this dish was well-composed and nicely presented on the plate. However, I wish that the fried chicken would have been more crispy. I think the chicken may have gotten a bit soggy since it was sitting atop the bed of creamy grits. I know this is how a lot of Southern places serve their fried chicken but personally, I would have preferred if the grits were served on a separate dish to prevent the chicken from getting soggy. The chicken meat itself was very juicy and flavourful. I was actually impressed at how tasty the creamy grits were as normally, I’m not even a fan of grits but I certainly will eat these grits again. On the other hand, I wasn’t a fan of the kale slaw. I thought the slaw was overdressed with the creamy dressing. Personally, I would have preferred a vinegar-based slaw rather than a creamy one to help cut the grease from the chicken. Also, in addition to kale, which I’m normally a huge fan of, the slaw contained julienned carrot and snow peas along with some crunchy peanuts. Personally, I didn’t care for the combination of the ingredients in the slaw as I didn’t think that it paired well with the fried chicken. Overall, I thought this dish was just ok. I wouldn’t exactly say that it is the most memorable fried chicken that I’ve ever had. It tasted decent and certainly good value at $16.
For dessert, we shared the PB&J Chocolate Cake ($8.50). The dessert menu on this visit had not changed from the one during my previous visit to Model Milk a couple of weeks ago. Since I had tried both the Lemon-Thyme Pot au Creme and Chocolate Pecan Pie on my previous visit already, I was really looking forward to try the PB&J Chocolate Cake, which came with a milk sorbet. Personally, since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I actually found the peanut butter layers to be a bit too sweet for my liking. I also found the cake to be quite dense and a bit too dry. My favourite part of the dessert was actually the milk sorbet, which was very creamy but not too sweet. I’m really glad we shared it as it was a substantial slice and definitely not something I would be able to tackle on my own. Personally, if I were to choose a dessert from that menu, I would stick to the Lemon-Thyme Pot au Creme, which was lighter and more refreshing.
308 17th Ave SW