Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to get our grub on, we listen up.
These days, it seems like it’s illegal to open up a restaurant and not put fried chicken on the menu. (Perhaps it’s a new stipulation in leases for dining establishments.) Some chefs take that mandate and serve straight-ahead, crispy fried chicken. But it’s the other cooks - the ones who decide they want to get a little bit wacky with their chicken - that we’ll focus on now.
Pine State Biscuits: Portland, OR
For some people, a piece of fried chicken is indulgent enough. Those people should not go to Pine State Biscuits and order the Wedgie: a biscuit filled with buttermilk fried chicken, a fried green tomato, iceberg lettuce and blue cheese dressing. And they definitely shouldn’t order the Reggie Deluxe, because that’s a biscuit topped with fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, gravy and an over-easy fried egg.
Hot Sauce and Panko: San Francisco
Is it a fried chicken spot? A Belgian waffle place? A hot sauce shop? Actually, it’s all three. At Hot Sauce and Panko, you can get 10-plus kinds of chicken wings, 92 types of hot sauces and five options for your waffles. The KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) is its best seller; you can try it with Big Papi en Fuego Grand Slam XXXtra Hot Sauce. If you want waffles on the side, you can have them naked or with “veggi” bacon.
Supper: Philadelphia, PA
Personally, I think pickles should be a required side for fried chicken. Chef Mitch Prensky of Supper agrees with me. His new Jewish Fried Chicken has a spear or two of garlic pickle alongside the chicken, which is cured with a pastrami-spiced brine, then coated with a mixture that includes more pastrami seasoning, then fried. (Guess what else Prensky serves on the side? Fried matzo balls.)
Blue Ribbon at Brooklyn Bowl: New York City
Don’t get me started on all the amazing places to eat fried chicken in New York City. But there is just one place where you can bowl, see Biz Markie perform (or Kanye West, if you have super-good connections), drink hyper-local beer and eat amazing Blue Ribbon fried chicken. Chefs Eric and Bruce Bromberg give you the option of fried chicken dinners with white meat, dark meat or a mix of both.
American Cupcake: San Francisco, CA
Take two of the biggest food trends in recent years—fried chicken and the unstoppable cupcake wave—and you come up at the same place as the Bay Area’s American Cupcake. They soak chicken in red velvet cake batter and then, for good measure, coat it in red velvet cupcake bits before frying. It’s served with cream cheese-infused mashed potatoes that just might conjure up a vision of frosting.
Husk: Charleston, SC
Forget the focus on super-secret batter recipes. Star chef Sean Brock is hard at work trying to answer the question, “Just how many fats can chicken be fried in?” Brock’s chicken, which is available by reservation only and requires 48 hours notice, is fried in butter, chicken fat, bacon fat and country ham fat. Wow.
More from Food & Wine
Best Fried Chicken and More Chicken Recipes
Best Burgers in America
More Fried Chicken Recipes
Phenomenal Burger Recipes
Great Pickle recipes
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When i saw that there was a local restaurant listed I got so excited and googled the place to find out where it was, thinking that perhaps on my next trip into the city I would stop and check this place out. What did I find? On the online menu for the restaurant Supper in Philly there is no mention anywhere of either the fried chicken or the friend matzo balls. I did find "duck and waffles" and "grilled Amish chicken", but no sign of this fabulous sounding fried chicken. So disappointed. It makes me wonder when it was the writer was there that they found this.
Having the same issue....
All this talk of mixing chicken with other weird items and no one mentions Roscoes House of Chicken & Waffles, which has been around since the mid 70's.....And is one of the few places I will eat chicken..as I don't care for pultry.
Some of those fried chicken dishes sound NASTY.
i am from the south. Don't mess with a good thing. Buttermilk for the soak, flour, salt, pepper. I do use a light olive oil instead of lard.
Its all good as long as I don't see a recipe for fried chicken with grasshoppers....
Somewhere a vegan is twitching.
Pass another breast....
Martin's in Montgomery, AL, is the best, by far. You can get a plate of just "pulley-bones," the most premium piece of all white meat.
Mel, did you just say white meat??? You can't be serious?
the pulley bone piece is the best. my grannie taught me that.
I'm actually hungry upon reading this. I had 4 oranges for breakfast. I'll stop by at KFC for lunch.
red velvet chicken sounds......"interesting" albeit not super enticing.
Coating chicken in interesting crumbs can be better executed.
Corn chip crumbs? or Potato Chip Crumbs? those both sound better to me, even cool ranch doritos.
I made a blue corn chip crusted tofu that was great, likely even better on fried chicken. Recipe is here, substitute chicken for the tofu. strangerthankitchen.com
Red velvet cake batter sounds a little too busy for me. I do not think I could eat that. I do not think I would want to either. It sounds disgustingly sweet.
Red velvet cake is GROSS... Please don't ruin a good potential piece of southern friend chicken with that nonsense....
Seriously – this 'ol southern gal says: wash chicken and pat dry. Salt and pepper generously. Dedge in flour (forget that egg and milk stuff). Preheat fying pan with crisco – to a medium – medium high heat. Cook those puppies, turning every so often to avoid burning. Careful not to burn the skin. Stick a fork in it – when th juices run clear – take it out and eat it! Where was your grandmother? If you can master this, I'll teach you how to make perfect, lumpless chicken gravy!!!
I like your style, Nancy. Simple, easy and delishous.
Nancy, I know just what you mean as I was raised in South Georgia. Best fried chicken I ever had. I can also make that infamous fried chicken gravy. Yum, Yum
Well I guess there is always one IDIOT in the crowd. You win!
"hyper-local beer"? What, is it brewed *on* the bar?
Big lol. That also stood out to me. When I go to my neighborhood brewery I'm pretty sure I would only describe it as the "local" joint.
No, find the chicken foot in the bucket.
Nice! I'm an expert at that one :)
I'll stick to my moms fried chicken, thanks. As inneresting as all that sounds, I prefer the simplicity of what my mom makes.
I can feel my arteries hardening just reading the article, never mind actually eating at any of these places.....
You forgot to mention one of the best things about korean fried chicken: It's double fried yet so freaking light and airy afterward- it's fried first in oil, covered in a sauce, then fried again.
" They soak chicken in red velvet cake batter and then, for good measure, coat it in red velvet cupcake bits before frying. It’s served with cream cheese-infused mashed potatoes " WTH?
Sounds interesting. I'd try it. Wouldn't mind giving Hot Sauce and Panko a shot either.
Let the games begin!
Pin the tail on the chicken?
HA! You're so witty! ;) I was thinking of games like "Posting Screaming Purist Recipes" or "How 'Bout Some Grilled Tofu That's Shaped Like Chicken" games.
Still waiting for a rousing game of "This Is Why All American Kids are Fat and Stupid".
I do love the militant vegans...
How about we play a nice game of "STFU"...it's your turn.
I just peed on you. Now go home- the porch light just came on.
They roast well over an open fire. ;)
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