Chef Hakim Chajar's new fried chicken joint Rubie's is golden, crispy and gluten-free

Chef Hakim Chajar's new joint Rubie's is doing gluten-free fried chicken, foie gras mac 'n' cheese and poutine, and more out of his Pointe-Saint-Charles restaurant Miel.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
Editor, Time Out Montreal
Rubie's x Miel, Hakim Chajar
Photograph: © Le Cuisinomane

It wasn't the Moroccan-Montrealer chef Hakim Chajar's first instinct to throw his hat into Montreal's fried chicken ring, but as the pandemic shows no sign of slowing down, every chef worth their salt is looking to meet the demands of their customers.

Enter Rubie's, a new gluten-free fried chicken joint doing takeout and delivery out of Chajar's Pointe-Saint-Charles restaurant Miel.

Unless you've been living under a rock (or ordering from the same places over and over again), Montreal's experiencing a major flood of fried chicken right now. What started with the Taiwanese chain location of Hot Star Chicken opening in Shaughnessy Village in 2018, to Le Coq Frit opening in the late summer of 2019, and now the arrival of more casual spots from chef-driven restaurants? The bird is big right now in Montreal.

This summer's new projects included, most notably, Mon Lapin opening up the now-closed Mon Lapin pop-up Casgrain BBQ and Arthurs Nosh Bar running the hypebeast of a fried chicken restaurant Bucky Rooster's out of a space previously slated for a fine dining restaurant named Evelina's.

But what's Rubie's bringing to the table?

"It all started during the first lockdown, when I had just launched a take-out service for my restaurant. Then, overnight, people started asking me for fried chicken!" Chajar explained to Time Out Montreal.

Like any good chef, he started doing his homework: Shopping for chicken here, performing tests there, all with the goal of finding the perfect blend of gluten-free flour for a tasty and crunchy breading. "If you're going to fry chicken," Chajar says, "you need to do it well, and above all, the way you want it."

Rubie's x Miel, Hakim Chajar
Photograph: © Le Cuisinomane

The chef, as it turns out, is able to tolerate gluten less and less personally, so he wanted to create a gluten-free recipe. The crust is based on a trio of rice flour, chickpea flour and potato flour. The chicken comes from Ferme des Voltigeurs—a Drummondville-based farmer raising chickens since 1958—and the result is a crispy product that benefits from how it's cooked. 

"I didn't want my chicken to drag on in the fryer,” says the chef. 

The poultry therefore takes a small detour in a steam bath before it's dried, dredged in flour and dunked in hot oil for a few minutes.

In addition to the fried chicken pieces, Rubie's is also doing three gourmet subs— the Rubie's classic, the Island with a jalapeno and cheese sour cream, and the Kuma, with Korean inspirations drawing on shabu-shabu, ponzu and kimchi mayonnaise. There's also poutine with foie gras sauce, fried cauliflower bites  and foie gras mac'n'cheese to round out the offerings.

Rubie's is available for take out and delivery through the UberEats, Doordash and Skip the Dishes. In the coming weeks, a menu reflecting the Miel restaurant will be unveiled and will also available for take-out and delivery.

Follow the activities of the Miel restaurant here, and those of chef Hakim Chajar here.

This story was translated from the original French version on Time Out Montreal by Tommy Dion.

If you like that story, follow @TimeOutMontreal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more news and good vibes from Montreal. 

Most popular on Time Out

- This pop-up van in Montreal delivers botany and gastronomy to your door

- Montreal unveils its design for an urban forest in the middle its downtown core

- The US-Canada border will remain closed to non-essential travel until November 21

- The Plateau's New Lebanese Café Chez Téta is Firing Up Manakish in an Imported 1.5-Ton Oven

- This map tracks which areas of Quebec are hitting a fall foliage peak

You may also like
You may also like