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Dish of the week: the chicken split

Lynda Moyo can’t resist an over-sized, fried chicken stuffed, Caribbean dumpling

Written by . Published on February 23rd 2011.

Dish of the week: the chicken split

Chicken Run’s chicken split £3

6 Yarburgh Street, Manchester M16 7FJ. 0161 226 6714.

The blame
Myself. Dumplings and fried chicken are a fairly standard snackage in the Caribbean community. However, turn that into a hot dog-inspired creation with lashings of salad cream and it soons becomes more a dirty pleasure than a cultural delicacy.

The circumstances
Monday. 6pm. No food in the house. Can’t be bothered to go shopping or cook. Driving down Princess Parkway, I realise I could fill myself up for the evening for just £3. Chicken Run it is.

The appearanceThose shady patches on the brown bag aren’t a pretty pattern. No, that’s the grease seeping through. Open it up and it looks like a rather large, deformed doughnut. Turn it over and you’ll see the dumpling’s axe wound - deep filled with golden, fried chicken (not your Kentucky crap) and coated in salad cream. It hard to navigate and as soon as you get it in your grasp, bits of fried chicken run free and salad cream gets all over your already grease-ridden hands. It’s an adventure in brown paper.

The experience
Once you’ve got over the hostile atmosphere often experienced in Chicken Run, it can be quite an entertaining experience. Whilst we were waiting for our splits, a man walked into Chicken Run, stood in front of the chicken-filled glass cabinet, took in the chicken aroma and shouted in a bellowing Caribbean accent: “You got any chicken left?”Back to the split: the slight sweetness of the dumpling, the sharp tang of the salad cream, the finger lickin’ chicken – it’s probably a month’s fat and calories in one, but it works. Oh how it works.

The SplitI had it for my tea. No veg, no salad, no chips needed – just a chicken split in a brown wrapper. The sheer density of the dumpling lies in the pit of your stomach in the same way soda bread does, but it’s much easier to eat. Like English dumplings, it has a fluffy texture in the centre, but the Caribbean version has been deep fried and so has a slightly crisp encasing that makes me want to weep. Weep chicken grease.

The consequences
My heart hurt. Indigestion from wolfing it down most likely, but it should still come with a health warning all the same. Definitely not for the faint of heart or fussy eaters.

Guilt factor rating

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Key paragraphFebruary 23rd 2011.

That is possibly the most disgusting thing I've seen since I dreamt of just such a food a while ago and woke happy to feel it could never really exist.

mdFebruary 23rd 2011.

This looks amazing. Even "the dumpling's axe wound" does not put me off! Haha.

O TowerFebruary 23rd 2011.

Is this Part Two of the Vajazzle article?

Flourescent AdolescentFebruary 24th 2011.


NortherngeezerFebruary 24th 2011.

This looks dire, but oh so tempting.

J E SibberingFebruary 24th 2011.

Is it Heinz salad cream? That could be the clincher for me.

AnonymousFebruary 28th 2011.

i've been eating chicken splits for 10 years, i don't live in Manchester anymore but always make sure i stop in at chicken run when i'm in the area for a split

Grammar SmithFebruary 28th 2011.

Chicken splits? That's two normal words made offensive when put together

HEAVYMarch 10th 2011.

I have literally just eaten one of these and I feel physically heavier! I would go so far as to say it is THE unhealthiest thing I've eaten!. I thought a pizza sandwich was bad...

AnonymousMarch 25th 2011.

It is a guilty pleasure!!! I love them but can only have them once in a while. Thankfully I don't live close enough otherwise it would become a regular thing. I highly recommend the fish split too!

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