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Recipes of China: Roasted Chicken from Flock and Fowl

By Clarissa Wei

Sept. 28, 2017
A plate with roasted spring chicken from Flock and Fowl in Las Vegas
Roasted spring chicken from Flock and Fowl in Las Vegas

Foodie Clarissa Wei shares Sin City’s most guilt-free roasted chicken.

When it comes to lovely Chinese restaurants in Las Vegas, Flock and Fowl is the darling that keeps people coming back. They do Hainan chicken and roasted Cantonese-inspired poultry, served over savory rice.

Opened in 2015, they’ve already acquired quite a cult following. The tables are consistently packed with diners. Seated with the husband-and-wife owners Jenny Wong and Sheridan Su over lunch, they share a story of a customer rolling in on neutral right before his car ran out of gas, just so he could order chicken before the restaurant closed.

“Our chef had to drive him to the gas station!” Wong exclaims in delight.

“I have my priorities straight,” the customer, who happens to be there that day, says sheepishly.

Wong and Su are both originally from Los Angeles and grew up immersed in a diverse Chinese food scene. Su is the chef of the operation; he was classically trained the Culinary Institute of America before eventually moving to Las Vegas to open for Joel Robuchon.

“After that, I think I really wanted to do Asian food. I grew up in Monterey Park but never really cooked [Asian food],” he says.

To learn, he stepped out of the fine-dining scene and started working at Asian restaurants around the Sunset Strip.

Jenny Wong and Sheridan Su, owners of Flock and Fowl
Jenny Wong and Sheridan Su, owners of Flock and Fowl

Today, he and his wife are a tour de force in the Chinese restaurant scene in Sin City. Besides Flock and Fowl, they’re also behind Fat Choy—a Chinese diner inside the Eureka Casino. They opened Flock and Fowl two years ago, in part inspired by the Hainan chicken from their childhood. Su and Wong grew up eating at Savoy, a popular Chinese poultry diner in the Greater Los Angeles area and credit the mom-and-pop shop as their inspiration.

“Savoy is the same age as Sheridan,” Wong says, noting that Flock and Fowl probably would not have as great of a following if Savoy had not first carved out the market segment for them in Los Angeles.

What sets them apart from the countless other Chinese restaurants in Vegas is their dedication to sourcing the birds. The chickens come from Pitman Family Farms in California, where they are free-range and organic. Their hope with Flock and Fowl is to do away with the stereotype that Chinese food is cheap.

“In most people’s mind, Chinese food has to be cheap. It sucks. We make our own sauces completely from scratch, and we still have people telling us that we’re expensive,” Wong says. “The dish is 10 bucks!”

And worth every penny.

Wong and Su’s roasted chicken is perfectly crisp on the outside and wonderfully tender on the inside. It’s a must if you’re in Vegas and, if not, they’ve kindly have provided us with a recipe:

The chef of Flock and Fowl
The chef of Flock and Fowl

Flock and Fowl Roasted Chicken

Cooking time: 2 days

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 small whole chicken (2 lbs) or Cornish Game Hen
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
Directions:

  1. Roast chicken 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.
  2. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, so it can be handled.
  3. Combine honey and soy sauce. Rub onto the skin of the chickens.
  4. Toast peppercorns and grind in a mortar/pestle with salt. Sprinkle half onto the chicken.
  5. Place on rack and allow to air dry in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  6. Turn fryer to 335 degrees Fahrenheit and gently drop chicken into the fryer until lacquered.
  7. Season with remaining salt/pepper mix, and enjoy.

Flock & Fowl: 380 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89102

Hungry for more? Follow Clarissa’s journey through China as she uncovers authentic dishes and cultural insight.

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