I realise that 'chicken' and 'creativity' aren't two words you usually read in the same sentence. Chicken has a tendency to dry out when preparing it and so is hardly a vehicle of creativity, although there are sublime dishes such as the chicken with king prawns from Empordà, where it's natural to eat food from the sea and the land together. So we applaud the efforts made at El Pagès, Creative Chicken, with its variety of different types of chicken.
Located in the Ninot market, the Albet family’s business sells a thousand types of chicken, served at the bar where customers can try their many experimental tapas. My elbows perched on the bar, I left myself at the mercy of Josep, who served his choice of dishes.
What I enjoyed most were the cannelloni. Some were stuffed with foie gras, others spinach, others still were unaccompanied and a bit greasy, but that's the secret of their success. Less successful were the fritters – that’s right, chicken fritters – which were a bit dry compared to the customary cod ones. I suppose few foods nourish one’s soul like cod.
Another deceptive dish was the croquettes, which, though well-formed, were lacking depth. Perhaps a bit of caramelised onion would solve the problem.
Josep wanted to serve me rabbit with snails; but despite the magnificent smell, I declined. It's just a personal, almost childish, rejection of my body toward this slimy gastropod.
The skewers and hamburgers are two fantastic options to keep hungry children happy. In regards to the burgers, the most popular is the one with 'escalivada' (marinated and grilled aubergine and pepper). The problem is the same as ever. The meat was dry, although this was helped with a glass of Vilarnau cava. The secret of the chicken is in the skin, and the best chefs know this. Next time I’ll try the chicken with 'morcilla' sausage and apple.