All You Want for Hanukkah Is a Chicken-Finger-Latke Hybrid? Done!
Perhaps with that partly in mind, the creative forces behind Sticky’s Finger Joint, New York City’s gourmet chicken-strip mecca, have come up with the perfect way to celebrate the Jewish festival of lights: a hybrid of a latke and a chicken finger that they’re calling simply The Latka.
Sticky’s is no stranger to whimsical regionally or ethnically inspired recipes. (Nor is it unfamiliar to Food Network fans, who will remember the eatery from 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay.) The “handcrafted fingers” listed on its menu include a Wasabi finger, a Classic General Tso, the Tex-Mex-style Fiesta finger and the marinara-inflected Bada Bing. But the Latka, which features Sticky’s antibiotic-, hormone- and cruelty-free chicken marinated in buttermilk, onion and apple sauce, coated with grated onions, shredded potato and matzoh meal, and fried until golden and crispy – is especially close to co-founder Paul Abrahamian’s heart.
That’s because it was inspired by his very own grandma, a Holocaust survivor with a remarkable and deeply moving story, for whom the latke-finger mash-up was the culmination of a long-held dream.
Paul told FN Dish his grandmother had been “kvetching at me since day one to sell latkes.” But at first, he wasn’t nibbling.
“I would tell her, ‘Grandma, we only do fingers and fries,’ and she would say, ‘Pinky, you gotta do it. Just trust me.’ She calls me Pinky because my Hebrew name is Pincus,” he explains.
Cut to … just before Thanksgiving: Paul’s home with his family, and his grandma brings up a latke-finger hybrid yet again. This time, though, she offers to help him come up with the recipe. “Feeling a bit heart-soft for my grandma and also intrigued by the finger-latke combo,” he says, he “immediately agreed.” The resulting recipe was a result of their intergenerational collaboration.
The Latka fingers, which will run you $4.95 per finger and come with sour cream, “Cinnamon Glitter-banged Applesauce” and Hanukkah Gelt (mmm … chocolate) on the side, will be available at both Sticky’s NYC locations December 5 through 24, 2014.
Plus, if you indulge, you’ll also be doing a mitzvah: Sticky’s will donate 10 percent of all Latka finger sales to the national nonprofit Mazon, which works to address hunger among all people – regardless of faith or background – in the United States and Israel.
Sounds like Sticky’s is doing Paul’s grandma proud.