Jerk chicken at Barry's Jerk Delight The key to good jerk seasoning is cranking up the spice without blasting away all of the other flavors. The benchmark bird served at Barry's accomplishes the heat using Scotch-bonnet pepper, but tames its fire with a sultry blend of allspice, nutmeg and garlic that coats the succulent meat. 769 Burke Ave at Wallace Ave, Bronx (718-994-1618, myspace.com/barryjerkdelight). Half chicken $6, rice and beans dinner $8, whole chicken $12.
Duck rice at Nuela Adam Schop's duck rice, a large-format feast, is as festive as the restaurant it's served in. A wide shallow pan of beautifully crusted rice comes topped with five variations of the broken-down bird. Its pink breast, confited leg, seared liver, tender chopped gizzards and fried runny egg add up to our duck dish of the year. 43 W 24th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-929-1200, nuelany.com). $60.