Chef Lee Desrosiers told The New York Times that he named his Achilles Heel restaurant’s cult classic dish “Hell Chicken’ as a joke. But upon reviewing his cooking instructions, it could be assumed it was named that due to the hell a chicken is put through.
To begin, a chicken is spatchcocked — split then flattened — then hung from strings above a grill. Chef Desrosiers then browns the chicken “on a grate over a low bed of embers that radiate a consistent and intense heat, braises it in chicken jus in a Dutch oven until juicy and cooked through, and then crisps it up over the embers again.”
The result, apparently, is the chickeny-est chicken ever and on Sat. June 10 Charlestonians won’t have to fly to New York to get a taste. Leon’s owner Brooks Reitz says that Hell Chicken is coming to his King Street restaurant.
“I had it last night. It’s phenomenal,” Reitz told us a few weeks ago while he was up in Brooklyn.
For $60 ($70.80 with gratuity) guests can stop by Leon’s between 6:30-9:30 p.m. to get some Hell Chicken along with sides, plus beer and wine. In addition, Achilles Heel restaurateur Andrew Tarlow’s book, Dinner at the Long Table, will also be available to purchase.
The Hell Chicken event is all part of a larger project Reitz and his team have been working on to share the restaurant’s Oyster Shed space with visiting chefs.
“We are on the cusp of announcing a lot of these dates,” says Reitz. “We decided we really want to do more of that, bring people to Charleston that Charlestonians have read about for an opportunity to experience these people.” So far, Joshua McFadden of Portland’s Ava Gene’s and Vicky Freeman who owns Rosie’s and Hundred Acres in New York is also on the docket.
He adds that Achilles Heel was an easy choice after trying the decadent bird. “I assumed it was some kind of Argentinian preparation, but Lee [Desrosiers] said ‘I just came up with it when I was messing with chicken and how to get it super juicy and crispy.'” On the menu, Achilles Heel describes its Hell Chicken as “grunge as fuck.”
Tickets go on sale tomorrow. To purchase tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.