-Grubbing in Chicago
Where the locals eat.
When I first began this food blog it was my goal to expose the lesser known spots. Granted I didn't have all that many people who I was going to expose the little mom and pop shops to but it was what I wanted to do. It's also how I found LTHforum one day. While looking for the places putting out fantastic food that so few people know about and those that do, share them with those interested. I found D'Candela when it got a few thumbs up rec's from people who's taste buds (posts) I trusted. The man behind the mask at 'Fuckerberg on Food' praised D'Candela for it it's Peruvian style rotisserie chicken (as others had already done) and I finally listened.
A Local Peruvians favorite located on Kedzie in Albany Park (Pic from LTHforum)
Normally rotisserie chicken is what it is. A bird lightly seasoned and cooked until well done on a rotating spit. Nowadays damn near every supermarket in America has them on offer, f*uck even some gas stations got them too. I have nothing against supermarket rotisserie chicken and in fact I use it when I'm too lazy to cook a chicken for noodle soup or enchiladas and other stuff like that. It's not bad when the dry meat is shredded apart and inserted into a variety of other flavors where it becomes a compliment and not the main player. Not the case at D'Candela where they roast their chickens over live charcoal and heavily season each with garlic, oregano and other special seasonings. I take back some of the stuff I said about rotating birds. This is rotisserie chicken and it's anything but bland.
The skin doesn't stay crisp but you wont care after you try this top notch South American style rotisserie chicken. When I was waiting for my order I could smell the charcoal burning in the waiting area, I also got the free cup of soup they give, very nice people that run this place and bring a taste of whats home to them to others in Chicago. The chicken is the main draw of the house but when you go in and see a bunch of Peruvian families dining in, you'll see a bunch of other tasty looking menu options. One example being their Peruvian fried rice. You gotta try the maduros too. Both are so good. I'm a sucker for Chinese fusion cuisine and the dishes created when Chinese people emigrate elsewhere. Lots of Latin and Caribbean variations can be found including in Peru where Chinese immigrants settled in the 19th century and had to embrace the ingredients they could get while still recreating a taste from back home.
Arroz Chaufa aka Peruvian fried rice is a great example and D'Candela does a good one. I hear their chupe de camerones aka shrimp soup is even better. It's a shame to say this but I haven't been here in at least a year and that's not right. The menu in fact has much more to offer and you can see some of the tips and what to get and some bonus photos of some of these foods too on THIS thread over at LTHforum. Don't go there and not try their luscious homemade salsas! So D'Candela my sincere apologies, I'll be getting back real soon. If you've never been, you should check it out too. Maybe I'll see you there.
D'Candela Rotisserie Charcoal Chicken & Peruvian Fried Rice
4053 North Kedzie Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618