The Flying Chicken – Troy, NY

Fourth street in Troy has been getting some interesting new places. There’s The Brown Bag, which provides the burger and fries fix that any one drinking into the late hours would need.

Just about a block up at 122 4th Street, just across the street from I Love NY Pizza, is a place called The Flying Chicken. They’ve been gaining a lot of buzz over their fried chicken and waffles, and some strange press when their chef, a partner in the business, apparently quit over creative differences.

Regardless of all of the buzz and rigmaraole, I definitely love checking out places dedicated to serving up delicious junk food, so I naturally had to check it out.

Most things on the menu are relatively inexpensive, so it’s pretty easy to get a bunch of things and not spend a lot.

That night, I decided that I wanted to try their Buffalo chicken sandwich (how could you not for $5?), their “Fathead Biscuit Sandwich” (boneless breast, bacon, sausage gravy on a humongous biscuit – $8), and some fried pickles (with remoulade – $4.50). I’m honestly not really a fan of fried chicken on the bone (it’s usually too much work) unless it’s really amazing; chicken and waffles isn’t a dish that makes a whole lot of sense to me.

The night we went, there was a long line of young adults in front of us on line. I should have asked if they accepted the RPI RAD card.

Once we ordered, the young man at the counter had us have a seat and told us our food would be out in a few minutes. I took some more time to read their menu a little more closely…

…and I admired the range of different styles of Tabasco sauces they have.

My hope was that they used the Tabasco brand Buffalo sauce on the Buffalo chicken sandwich, because that stuff is awesome!

It took a good amount of time for the food to come out, but nothing ridiculous.

The first thing I tried were the fried pickles.

The plating of these annoyed me a little. I’m not a fan of fried foods being served on top of fresh lettuce. The window for eating fried stuff is small enough; you don’t need to shorten it further by putting the steaming hot food on top of a watery lettuce leaf. Once I ditched the lettuce and tasted a pickle, I was pretty happy. They’re breaded in some unseasoned panko bread crumbs and fried until very crisp; the remoulade was good and tangy, but I’m not much of a dipper, so I used it sparingly.

Next, I had the $5 Buffalo chicken sandwich.

There was a lot of negative space on the plate, and it really made me wonder why they’re not just serving this stuff on paper boats with a sheet of paper; it would be less work for them.

Anyway, the sandwich was alright. The bun seemed like the same rolls that are used by The Brown Bag (from Schuyler Bakery in Watervliet); it was light and airy, and had some poppy seeds on it. The chicken itself was very dry. Boneless breast is tough to nail, and mine wasn’t even close to being on the border of the window of opportunity. The sauce wasn’t terribly hot, which was also a disappointment because I ordered it hot on their “mild-medium-or-hot” scale. That’s what the Tabasco on the table was for, I guess. I liked the blue cheese dressing; it was creamy and delicious but not at all overpowering as blue cheese can be.

I really was most looking forward to the fathead biscuit sandwich.

When I saw it, I didn’t second guess the plating and also realized this was a fork and knife job!

The plate was marred with a couple of issues. The chicken, again, was very dry. The sausage gravy was cold. It was tasty, but it was cold. The biscuit, on the other hand, was hot and impressive. It’s unfathomable to me that biscuits can be made that large and still be perfectly fluffy, flaky, and flavorful (triple F). And I loved the fact that it was sliced lengthwise and browned on a griddle with more butter; that’s gilding the lily! The bacon was pretty darn good, too. Everything is there for this to be amazing, some better coordination in the execution would certainly help.

Even with the issues, I thought it was a decent meal given the price. Honestly, the menu isn’t at all elaborate, so it doesn’t matter to me that their chef left. This type of food is the type of stuff that anyone can execute if they’re taught properly. They definitely have some stuff that works, and I hope they stick to it!


7 thoughts on “The Flying Chicken – Troy, NY

  • the fuj.

    Haven’t been here yet, and while I do want to make it here your experience here isn’t making me rush out the door and get there fast.

    I thought their chef came back like two days later? I could be wrong.

    • derryX

      He very well could have. At the time, there were a bunch of things going on with chefs going to other places, so I don’t really know; I just remember seeing Steve’s post about the “creative differences.”

  • WrigsMac

    I would think that a place that specializes in fried chicken would be more aware of the delicate nature of thinly cut white meat chicken. A buttermilk brine would be a delicious and easy fix. Adding hot sauce the brine makes for really delicious meat. Fried chicken is where I excel in the kitchen so it makes me sad when people charge for poorly executed chicken in the restaurant world….not that any of this sounds terrible or anything, but mediocre stinks when it’s so easy to get right.

    • Masticating Monkey

      I can’t speak to how things are going right now at the Flying Chicken–I last visited in maybe early December?–but in my previous experiences they did a great job of keeping the chicken juicy, including the boneless breasts used for the chicken and waffles. Definitely brined. Our last visit was after the new chef had taken over, so I had hope that the consistently high quality would persist. We’ll see…

  • Rochelle

    Hopefully that was just an off night. I haven’t been there since the split, but I had no complaints.

  • Saratoga Saint

    I tried the Fat Head sandwich a few weeks ago. Mine was actually really good. I really didn’t like the fried pickles, though. They didn’t taste like anything.


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