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31: Japanese Fried Chicken (JFC) at Moto-i

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As we suffer through the paint-drying exercise of waiting for the opening of Revival , chef Thomas Boemer's (Corner Table) take on a Southern fried chicken joint that we hope will once and for all moisten the severe and excruciating drought of good yardbird, we must take what we can get in drips and drabs.

We stalk menus for appetizers, snacks, even salads, where a chef may have tinkered with the deceptively difficult maneuver of proper fried chicken. Most don't want the pressure.

The Moto-i JFC is just such a stealthy small plate.

See also: 32: Coney Island Dog at Heartland

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Otherwise known as Karaage, Japanese fried chicken succeeds thanks to small cuts that create lots of surface area for crunch, and then get a coat of potato starch prior to frying for preeminent, parchment-like crisp.

Augmented with a hill of crisp, tangy slaw, it rests on a slick lake of sweet soy that acts as foil for all this textural muscle. Pops of garlic and star anise in the sauce as well as under the skin might get us thinking twice about cravings for the comparative one-dimension of AFC (American Fried Chicken).

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