Pies and Thighs is special to me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t know it was a DDD spot when I lived in Williamsburg. Maybe it was because I thought I was easily going to be banned for life after throwing a bunch of menus at the table next to me. EVEN MORE, when I placed a to-go order inebriated, walked around the corner to have a few that turned into a half dozen at the now closed Passenger Bar, and grabbed my order 2 hours later. Whatever, they’re good people in a hectic area. They get it.
Pies and Thighs is great, let’s preface with that. Besides a high tolerance for antics, they have a high level of competence when it comes to making qualities fried chicken and baked goods.
For a quick glance at Guy chilling at the location eating a few showcased dishes, go ahead and use this link. You can check out the Southern-Style pulled pork, but I’d leave that for some other places to elevate and go with the brined fried chicken and waffles.
Ya, pretty legit. That looks like a dollop of some pecan butter on top, and you can’t go wrong with that. So why mention that it’s even brined? Shouldn’t all poultry be brined anyway? It’s probably worth mentioning that most fried chicken starts with a soak in buttermilk, which because of its brief fermentation, does have the ability to do some wonders to poultry before frying, such as making the chicken arguably more tender because of the subtle introduction of lactic acid into its flesh.
I prefer the same brine for nearly all brines that I do, and yeah I mostly brine chicken because it just comes out better in general (along with Sous Vide but don’t let me get started). Skip ahead of you don’t give a shit about actually cooking! Just eating, but here’s a brine I’ve had a lot of success with:
- Water to fill a gallon size zip log bag
- Enough Kosher Salt to the point where you think “damn this is a lot” but likely won’t be. Maybe around 2/3 cup
- Somewhat less amount of brown sugar compared to the salt
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 4 drops of liquid smoke
- 3 tablespoons of garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons on onion powder
- 20 black whole peppercorns
Brine for 12 hours. You’ll be happy you did.
Wow how’d we go onto my brining secret recipe tangent? Because brining chicken is essential for tenderness and flavor all the way through. If you bake chicken, I don’t get it.
I’m not one for sweets – after the fantastic biscuit, I don’t do room for sweet, though I can tell that decadence has no ends with pecan encrusted donuts and other sweet treats.
The place is relatively small, especially for being so popular in Brooklyn, so expect to duck around the corner like I did for several drinks before you’re hauled in for some bird bone dining an hour later. Also if you aren’t accustomed to experiencing DDD Jabooty Dubs style, I recommend that you try now:
Miraculously, this entire episode takes place at Pies and Thighs. I didn’t even realize this the first time around because the video is inflected to likely avoid copyright issues and of course, overdubbed by some very talented and funny dudes.
New York tends to really dominate the cuisines the purveyors set out to provide. I had the fortune of living down the street from this location among other outstanding locations that more or less get the respect they deserve locally. I also like this place for the fact I have vegetarian friends I’ve been able to dine with, “because the side dishes are so bad ass”.
I’ve been sober here once, but I intend to hit it up sober again in the near future because it is long overdue, and the neighborhood always holds a special place in my history.