Every chef knows the power of a good roasted chicken. And Thomas Harkins, executive chef at Bank & Bourbon, has created one so good he can’t take it off the menu. “We change up the menu quite often,” said Harkins. “But the chicken has been on there since Day One.”
Harkins said he designed his menu at the restaurant in the Loew’s Hotel to be approachable and comforting, not pretentious, thinking it would appeal not only to out-of-town hotel guests, but also locals.
“I’m just trying to make the things people like to eat,” he said. But he’s making them better than they would be made at home.
One such dish: the Lancaster chicken, served with fingerling potatoes, salsa verde and a garnish of greens. To prepare it, Harkins injects a 21/2-pound organic Bell & Evans chicken with saltwater, air-dries it, then slow cooks it, and finally finishes it in a hot oven for a final crisping. The fingerlings are slow-cooked, then smashed and fried, and the whole thing is topped with the salsa verde made with parsley, capers, and anchovies.
The dish is the definition of comfort, the crispy-skinned chicken full of flavor and juiciness, complemented by the softness of the potatoes and the zest of the sauce. But the dish is a terrific value as well, both for the half, which the waitress recommended for one, and the whole, which is more than enough to share. Both will produce leftovers for all but the heartiest eaters.
Lancaster chicken, whole $32, half $22, at Bank & Bourbon at the Loew’s, 1200 Market St.; 215-231-7300.