Double-fried chicken has quickly captured the hearts of Filipinos. Tracing its beginnings to the humble food stalls lining the streets of Korea, double fried chicken appeals to us because of the crispy skin and the intense flavors each bite brings. It’s not surprising that numerous brands have sprung up to compete for the title of best. And now joining the fray is a very Pinoy version called Manang’s Chicken.
I’ve heard about Manang’s Chicken mostly online, from people who’ve tried and fallen in love with it. Upon spotting the stall at Legazpi Sunday Market, I immediately zeroed in and decided to try it. I purchased a small order of chicken wings coated with the original sauce.
I’ve tried both Bon Chon Chicken and Chicken Charlie, two brands that are on the forefront of the chicken wars, so it’s natural that I set my expectations based on them. Surprisingly, Manang’s Chicken manages to set itself apart from the two aforementioned stalwarts. While it has a similar soy-garlic glaze, the flavor has been modified to suit Pinoy palates more. Chicken cuts are also more generous, making for a more filling meal. A generous sprinkling of sesame seeds add a nutty flavor. It’s sweeter, stickier, bigger and saucier.
Because it has more sauce, it’s not as crispy as its competitors. This doesn’t automatically translate to a bad thing, however, as it simply alters the dining experience. Manang’s Chicken is sauced more generously, making rice a necessary addition. After all, part of the deliciousness in eating saucy dishes is sopping up the sauce with rice for a doubly tasty treat. The rice also cuts the sweetness of the sauce, lessening taste fatigue. Aside from original, Manang’s Chicken also comes in mild spicy and extra spicy variants.
Despite the subtle differences, Manang’s Chicken will forever be compared to other double-fried chicken wing shops. While we may all have our own favorites, it’s still a good idea to try Manang’s. Who knows, you may end up liking it more. Just be ready to bring out the rice.