A good fried chicken truly hits the spot, especially when it comes in the form of a sandwich. The one served at Salumeria on 20th St is a must-eat.
Here, chicken breasts are seasoned overnight and fried twice daily: once in the morning, and again around 2 p.m, and kept in a warmer. That the bird isn't served blazing hot out of the fryer is actually a good thing -- letting the chicken rest allows the flavors and juices to settle within itself while maintaining the crispy fried coating. You're not burning your mouth on a grease-bomb.
The chicken is served on a potato-rosemary roll from the Brisbane-based Bakers of Paris. It's the perfect vehicle for this sandwich, with a shatteringly crisp edge and a fluffy soft interior just right for soaking up the chili aioli (itself made by salting and fermenting last season's Fresno chilies). The aioli really brings the whole thing together, combining the necessary elements of heat and creaminess in one sauce.
Salumeria's sandwich also comes with a slaw of carrots and red cabbage--adding a cool, colorful crunch. And because mere romaine and iceberg simply would not do justice to Central Kitchen's sister sandwich shop, mizuna and arugula are the greens.
Cumin- and tumeric-laced bread and butter pickles come on the side, allowing you to cut through the richness of the sandwich on your own terms (two bites sandwich, one bite pickle was the perfect ratio for me).
Get this one while it lasts: like most dishes in San Francisco, it changes with the seasons. The fried chicken sandwich is available for two more months as a spring/summer item -- and only at the 20th Street Salumeria location.
Salumeria, 3000 20th St., (415) 471-2998