Golden Nugget

Make Pecking Order's addictive garlic-fried rice

The humble chicken is the star of Kristine Subido's new Uptown restaurant, Pecking Order.

There, she bathes birds in a sweet-savory marinade inspired by her Filipino background, and offers them grilled, roasted or fried ($11 for a half-chicken).

We knew Pecking Order's chicken would be a standout, but we weren't expecting to fall for an even more unassuming dish: garlic rice. Served as a side ($2), it's a little bowl of comfort–for toasted-garlic enthusiasts, at least.

According to Subido, garlic-fried rice is a staple of Filipino weekend breakfasts, traditionally served with fried eggs, longaniza sausage and tomato salad tossed with cilantro, kalamansi (a limelike citrus fruit) and fish sauce. The rice's depth comes from a double infusion of flavor: It's fried in garlic-scented oil, then studded with golden nubs of fried garlic (click here to see the recipe).

At home, we'll be serving the aromatic rice with fried eggs in the morning, and grilled or roasted meats at night–always with thick slabs of lime- and herb-dressed tomatoes on the side.

At the restaurant, we suggest pairing it with an order of Mom's Pickles ($2)–slivered fruits and roots in a punchy cane vinegar marinade–and some chicken, of course.

Pecking Order, 4416 N. Clark St.; 773-907-9900 or peckingorderchicago.com