I have been a fried chicken man most of my life. There is something about the crunch outside, soft moistness inside, concentration of chicken flavor. I can saute a mean chicken, but most times I'd rather go get fried chicken - even just a crappy high-turnover place like Popeyes. But fine fried chicken - this has been my love, my quest, my pursuit. There was that place in Virginia I can't remember, and that place in Memphis, and...
Anyway - this has all changed now. At Ambala Dhaba. Ludhiana chicken. I have liked Ambala Dhaba - not quite the glories of, say, Woodlands in Artesia - but serviceable to quite good, and by far the only non-horribly-crappy Indian restaurant I've been to outside of Artesia.
Nothing I've eaten there comes close to the Ludhiana chicken. I gather that it is long-marinated in an herby yoghurt and then tandoor roasted, with a thick yoghurt coating. The texture experience is crusty yoghurt layer THEN creamy, soft yoghurt layer THEN dense, flavorful chicken. The flavor of the marinade...
But I should just stop trying to describe this. It's sort of impossible. I was transfixed. I believe my lady love and I forgot about each other for a while.
Anyway, yeah, I'm completely failing to describe this chicken. Suffice it to say, it leaves everything else I've had at Ambala Dhaba behind (including all goat and fish curries) and it is certainly the best chicken of my life. Leaves any fried chicken I've had behind. Leaves Zankou far, fluttering, fading in the distance.
Amy and I walked around Veteran's park afterwards, with culfi on the stick. I kept sticking my fingers in my nose and inhaling and HOOTING...
Thanks to every Chowhound who recommended the Ludhiana chicken. Thanks to the cooks at Ambala Dhaba. Thanks to their forefathers in India. Thanks to Hollywood for creating Los Angeles. Thanks to the Indian gods, Shiva and Krishna and all, for blessing their people so that they could create Ludhiana chicken. Thanks to my mother for making me to eat this chicken.
Sorry, this post boring and incoherent. I am not up to the task of describing this chicken.