Zubair Mohajir made his name at Wazwan with the THC Sando, a tasty tandoori honey fried chicken sandwich. But after the chef reconcepted his Southeast Asian restaurant into Lilac Tiger last fall, it’s a nugget version of the old favorite that is the new menu’s top-selling dish: the Ferrani Special, named for Mohajir’s 5-year-old son. “The THC Sando is too big for him. So I cut up some chicken and marinated it and gave it to him. He loved it,” Mohajir explains. “Every morning when he wakes up, he asks, ‘How many people ordered the Ferrani Special last night?’ ”

To make the nuggets, Mohajir marinates chicken thighs in yogurt tandoori masala seasoned with garlic, ginger, two types of chile powder, and cinnamon. He cuts the meat into bite-size pieces, then fries them and tosses them with spicy honey, scallions, and toasted black and white sesame seeds. You can dip them into the gochujang aïoli for extra heat. “It’s nothing complicated,” Mohajir says. “It’s the necessity of feeding your child while working at the restaurant.” But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And in this case, it’s led to a dish that resonates with diners, no matter their age. $12. 1742 W. Division St., Wicker Park


Three More to Try

Once relegated to the kids’ menu, chicken nuggets are suddenly turning up at grown-up spots around town.

at the Pearl Club

Pick the Caesar dry rub, one of three versions at this sleek new bar. The well-seasoned karaage nugs, made with thigh meat, are fried twice for maximum crunch. Get ’em with a glass of bubbly. $15. 495 N. Milwaukee Ave., West Town

at Parson’s Chicken & Fish

Don’t let the name fool you — these juicy white meat numbers have an approachable spice level. Dunk them into the herby buttermilk ranch or tangy Buffalo. $10. 5721 N. Clark St., Andersonville; 2435 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park; 2952 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square

at Three Dots and a Dash

The perfect accompaniment to the potent tropical drinks here, the crisp white meat chunks are tossed with a tasty Thai chile sauce and finished with chiles. $15. 435 N. Clark St., River North