100 Favorite Dishes: # 9 -- Caramel Spiced Chicken from Dada
|Photo by Misha Grosvenor|
Let's face it: away from the beach, most of South Florida is an eyesore: shopping plazas, highways, McMansions. So going to Dada in Delray for the first time could be likened to falling into a rabbit hole. Giant trees festooned with colored lanterns crisscross the outdoor patio, highlighting the faces of patrons as they delightedly scrawl pictures on chalkboard tables. The intimate interior of the renovated 1920s house-turned-restaurant are covered with whimsical paintings from local artists. A tromphe l'oeil mural of giant ants marches its way down one of the walls. The only thing missing from this adult wonderland is a "drink me" tag on the famous mojitos.
Many of the dishes at Dada are comfort foods that your mother probably fixed, but here they are made in ways that you wish your mother had made them, like chicken pot pie made with cornbread or Shake & Bake Pork Chops with butterscotch onions.
The restaurant's popular Caramel Spiced Chicken has the same nostalgic sentiment. It's a familiar chicken dish that has been elevated with a simple tweak--heat. The sweet and mildly spicy Serrano chili glaze is caramelized on the skin-on chicken, creating a satisfying, crispy texture. The remaining glaze is drizzled over the chicken creating a pool that is perfect for dunking nearby vegetables or for licking from a woefully empty plate.
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