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The Chicken House in Newark, DE -- what a surprise!

CindyJ Sep 29, 2010 07:48 AM

Yesterday I had a conversation about Peruvian food with a couple of people whose opinions about food and (especially) wine I trust. We began talking about Juliana's Kitchen, (they had more suggestions about which menu items to avoid than which to order) but they both told me that if I wanted to try really good Peruvian food locally, and if didn't mind a nondescript storefront with formica tables, hidden back in a strip mall, to try the Chicken House on Capitol Trail (Rt. 2) in Newark. It was getting toward dinner time, so I decided to take a detour on my way home from Wilmington and do takeout from there for dinner. I ordered what had been recommended, and I couldn't have been more pleased -- or more surprised at how good it was. What I had was the "Pollo a la brasa con arroz amarillo y ensalata" which is charcoal grilled chicken that came with yellow rice and a house salad. I also got an order of yuca fries -- an interesting accompaniment. But it's the chicken -- and their wonderful yellow "Aji" sauce that I'm raving about. The chicken was tender and juicy and very flavorful. And the aji sauce -- I don't know what goes into it (besides aji peppers), but it was mild and spicy all at once, and, at least to my palate, quite unique. The rice was good, too, but not extraordinary, but the addition of some aji sauce on the rice worked well.

This place is definitely off my "beaten path," but worth a trip back if I happen to be anywhere nearby. And I'll probably forgo the salad and rice next time, and stick with the main dishes.

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The Chicken House
1224 Capitol Trl, Newark, DE 19711

  1. t
    travelmad478 Oct 1, 2010 12:21 AM

    Peruvian roast chicken is a great thing. I had no idea we had one of these locally--I used to get it in Wheaton, MD, where for some reason there is a high concentration of these places. Thanks for the find! I'll have to go down there!

    I have some aji sauce in a jar that I bought at one of the big Latino markets somewhere--possibly the Gigante supermarket or maybe the Newark Farmers Market on Rte. 2 across from the Y. I first had this stuff in Ecuador and had the same reaction as you. In Ecuador it was on the table at every restaurant, like ketchup. They put it on everything. Yum!

    4 Replies
    1. re: travelmad478
      CindyJ Oct 1, 2010 05:41 AM

      I'll be waiting to hear what you think of their food. I was wondering where I might find that sauce ... or, better yet, where I might find some aji peppers so I could make my own. I did notice that big produce market on Kirkwood Hwy. on my way to Chicken House. I wonder, given the propensity of Indian and Asian restaurants in that area, whether that market might have a good selection of otherwise hard-to-find peppers. By the way, where is the Gigante market?

      1. re: CindyJ
        t
        travelmad478 Oct 2, 2010 12:51 AM

        Newark Farmers Market has the best "global" produce selection of any place in the area, IMO. They cater to South Asian, North Asian, Southeast Asian, Hispanic populations (as well as the rest of us with more boring European backgrounds) so the spread of peppers, fruit, veggies etc. is very impressive.

        Gigante is on Kirkwood Highway right where it intersects with Rte. 41, if I have that right (I am always a little fuzzy on where things are along Kirkwood Highway). I think it is in the same shopping center as Palace of Asia. You can just barely see the Gigante store from the road since it is kind of downhill and not directly facing the highway.

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        Palace of Asia
        3421 Kirkwood Hwy Ste D, Wilmington, DE 19808

        1. re: travelmad478
          bluehensfan Jun 30, 2012 04:13 PM

          Sorry to resurrect a "dead thread" but this is my first offense... Sad to say that we tried the Chicken House recently and it was pretty darned bad IMO. The chicken was on par with what you'd get at Boston Market and the "Best of Delaware" (not that Delaware Today is a good judge anyway) ceviche was rubbery and devoid of flavor. Granted the potato and the sweet potato served with it were ok as was the yummy corn. They did have to-die-for maduros but that did not make up for the so-so tostones, the salty, rubbery calamari, or the tres leches cake, seemingly deviod of any milk component, served gracefully by pushing just about all of our dinner and appetizer dishes aside to make room for the cake, because they only ceremoniously removed a dish or two from our entire meal, leaving salad bowl, appetizer dishes, entree dishes, and the like to make room for the cake (who wants to see what's left of your salad when you eat cake). The next table over suffered from the same salad bowl being left there and they, too, hardly touched their cake. Even our check was presented by reshuffling more dishes aside.

          1. re: bluehensfan
            CindyJ Jul 1, 2012 06:54 AM

            Interesting. That post was about my first, and only, visit to the Chicken House. It's off my radar and I rarely find myself in that part of Delaware. Maybe it's changed in the nearly two years since I was there, or (and I admit this does happen from time to time) maybe I was so hungry when I ate the chicken that ANYTHING would have tasted delicious to me. Also my memory tells me that the setting was one I wouldn't have enjoyed under any circumstances. Anyway, I'm glad to see your post; I don't feel any need to reroute myself for another meal there.

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