Chicken a popular favorite at Bakersfield

August 3, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Most of the produce, meat and fish at the Westmont location come directly from its sister property across the street, at the Standard Market. But of all the dishes on the menu, it seems chicken shows up on more plates than anything else.

"And you put a Cajun seasoning on it but you blend it, or balance that Cajun with fresh avocado or a mustard honey dressing and cool components like roasted red pepper and bibb lettuce for example," said Craig Bernstein, the Executive Chef at Bakersfield.

Cobb salads are a dime a dozen, but here, they dredge the chicken in Japanese panko breadcrumbs, plating it with blue cheese and cornbread croutons.

"And then we separate the components, so it doesn't eat like a composed traditional cobb salad. It eats like an entree, which is what we want all our salads to present like," Bernstein said.

The rotisserie gets a workout, and the finished bird is served with a Minnesota-inspired wild rice salad including dried fruits. There is, of course, fried chicken - brined so it stays moist - then dredged and fried, it's served with a habanero butter sauce, cornbread croutons and silky mashed potatoes. Bernstein says it's unlike most other places.

"But they do fried chicken where you have to get messy and eat with your hands, you know, gnaw the bone to get all the goodies off. But for us, we said let's do a knife and fork fried chicken because it's much more approachable for a Friday night dinner," he said.

"Well there's actually five chicken items on the menu here at Bakersfield, the fifth being a barbecued chicken. But those folks who think fried chicken should be eaten with your hands, well this knife and fork version will make you think otherwise.

Portions are pretty big, so be prepared to share, or take some home.

Also, be prepared to see future locations in Naperville and Chicago.

330 E. Ogden Ave. Westmont
(630) 568-3615

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