HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

Chicken Delight Still The Best Fried Chicken In The Tri State [moved from Tristate board]

I have been eating Fried Chicken for many years ,but still nothing can compare to Chicken Delight and they still exist.

When I go to Long Island to visit family members .

I always make a pit stop at Chicken Delight in Old Westbury,Long Island.

They have been around since the 1960's.

There no grease in the Chicken and the favor is excellent.

There are not many Chicken Delights around as there were in the 1960's.

If you travel out to Long Island make a stop at Chicken Delight they are located on Maple Ave in Old Westbury Long Island.

I still remember the saying "Don't Cook Tonight Call Chicken Delight".

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. We have one in Northern NJ- in Dumont. Definitely good stuff, insanely crispy and surpisingly grease-free. In fact I'd call that its defining characteristic over the flavor, which is not really a bad thing. Same thing about the fries- frozen crinkle cuts- light and crunchy with no real greasiness to speak of.

    1. Zorns on Hemstead Tpke in Bethpage is also excellent- by the Seaford Oyster Bay expressway- give it a try- excellent sides,ribs roasted chicken and to die for pies.

      1. I remember CD from when I was a kid in NJ. Don't they pressure fry it? May that has something to do with why it's not greasy?

        1. Zorn's chicken is tasty, but it tends to be little on the greasy side. I agree that Chicken Delight was a good thing, but now gone like so many other memories.

          1. There's a chain in New Jersey called "Chicken Holiday" (no website that I can find, but a search turns up lots of towns with an outlet on the various commercial restaurant search sites and pages for "individually owned and operated" stores. Corporate headquarters seems to be in Trenton).

            The chicken is cooked and tastes similar to what I recall of Chicken Delight. (The one near me includes Martin's Potato Dinner Rolls right out of a 8-pack. At first I thought, "Kinda cheesy" but, you know what, they get eaten and the rolls most chicken places included don't).

            1. (This new page design is FUNK-KEY...)

              I've been to their website www.chickendelight.ca , that jingle is enough to give you nightmares...

              Still I'd /love/ to get back to Jersey City just to visit their locations in Bergen Square or Central Avenue...

              Do they do fish here in the metropolitan, or is that strictly a Canadian thing?

              BF

              1. We had Chicken Delight, Chicken Holiday AND Chicken Galore where I grew up, and they were all greasy and horrible and I miss them terribly.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Remember Pioneer Chicken? God that stuff was a heart-attack waiting to happen. When you would bite into a piece the juice/grease would squirt you in the eye.... but it was SOOoooo good. Is there a fried chicken like that any longer?

                2. I read the above posts and I had to go to a Chicken Delight. I went to the one on Montgomery St. in Jersey City NJ. The chicken is great. They cook it fresh when you order. Not like KFC, they have a whole batch waiting for who knows how long. Give it a try, if you have one in your area.

                  Jimmy

                  1. I loved CD growing up. I don't think there are any near me tho - Union County NJ? Anybody know of one?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sivyaleah

                      Answered my own question - looked up their website and there is one in Rahway, less than 5 miles from my house! I'm going to have to take a ride and see if it's as good as I remember.

                    2. I remember chicken delight but I thought they only delivered roasted chicken-I had no idea they still exist-they used to deliver in a small car with a bucket of chicken on top of the hood-memories

                      1. Chicken Delight was indeed deep fat fried under pressure in (Deacon) friers - which "cooked the flavor inside". The process worked great for steaks, too, though it gave them an unpalatable appearance not suitable for commercialization. Shrimp and Fish were also offered, along with BBQ beef ribs.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: pollito

                          There was a Chicken Delight here in Oceanside Long Island NY until the mid-1990's.
                          I was friendly with the owners who told me about a big increase in the franchise costs.
                          They couldn't afford to renew. They became "Chicken Tonight" for awhile then closed.
                          IIRC many CD locations closed around the same time, probably for the same reason.
                          AFAIK the Westbury location is the only Chicken Delight left on Long Island.

                          Pudgie's once had quite a few Long Island locations, but no more.
                          Chicken Holiday is another chain that seems to be disappearing, too.

                          Zorn's has been in business for over 50 years; they started as a poultry farm.
                          Besides fried and rotisserie chicken they offer a variety of homestyle dishes,
                          to take out or eat in at three Long Island locations.

                          Chris

                          1. re: ChrisPlatt

                            I think the same thing happened here in Fair Lawn, NJ. There was a Chicken Delight for a zillion years, and then one day they became Chicken Galore. (Maybe about 7 or 8 years ago.) They're still around, and they're still great. Great good ol' American eats, big portions, and dirt cheap prices. I loved 'em as a kid, and I still love 'em today.

                        2. As a former franchisee of Chicken Delight, I can only chuckle at the misconceptions of the company. We were not pressure fried, but it did take 24 hours to marinate our chicken. Overnight in salted water and ice and then the CD batter in the morning and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours prior to cooking at 275 degrees for 14 min and 30 seconds. The temp always had to be at least 350 for a 24 piece frying (the max our fryers could handle) or 300 for a 12 piece. You then set the temp back to 275 after the set down into the fryer. Chicken Galore and Chicken Holiday were both off takes Chicken Delight. A small company in Canada bought the CD name around 1972 from Consolidated Foods Corp (Sara Lee) after a protracted battle over franchise fees (long story involving the US Supreme Court). The small company from Canada was controlled by Marriott, which in my opinion wanted to close CD as they owned Roy Rogers, which was # 3 in chicken sales. KFC was # 1 and we were # 2. in the nation with over 1000 locations. There demands were abusive and in order to keep the CD name would have put most of us out of business just on royaly demands. One quote was, "sign this contract, do you desire to be a big fish in a small ocean or a little fish in a large ocean". Many of us decided to take the name down and hence Chicken Galore, Chicken Gal and Chicken Holiday were all born. A few CDs continued on, alas I made the mistake of closing rather than going on as I was drained of all cash due to the protracted legal battles and all of the signage changes. The year was 1974 and I wish I could redo it now! I do miss it.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: insightray

                            By far the best fried chicken ever... I have yet to find somewhere that compares now that I've moved out of NJ. Hey insightray... care to share what is in the batter??? I"d love you forever!

                            1. re: insightray

                              Do you happen to know the recipe or how they made their spare ribs. They were absolutely the best we ever tasted. We had a Chicken Delight in Collingswood, NJ (South Jersey) and ordered their ribs all the time, even though they were a little pricey. It was worth it! I'd be willing to make them myself no matter how much trouble, but I don't know how they did it. Unfortunately, no more Chicken Delights in South Jersey that we know of, or in the area where we live now, in northcentral PA.

                              1. re: grammylynne

                                Chicken Delight is by far, makes the BEST fried chicken I have ever had. Please do NOT put them in the same sentence with Chicken Holiday. As a kid, I remember Chicken Holiday sold 12 pieces, a basket of breaded shrimp (smallest shrimpI have ever seen), and instant potatoes for $10? I'll tell you how, the chicken was poor quality. Small pieces, and, the best part,,,,they considered a BACK a piece! All it was, was a backbone with skin and a butt.
                                I remember Chicken Delight in those big colorful buckets, and I couldn't wait to get at some. Thank you to one of the above posters for letting me know there is one in Rahway, NJ. It's 21 miles from me, but it's going to cut my travel time down, since I used to go all the way up Route 46.

                                1. re: xpnsivwino

                                  I just moved to River Vale, NJ (Bergen County) & I see a Chicken Delight nearby in Hillsdale - anyone know if this is the real deal & how this location rates?

                                2. re: grammylynne

                                  I can't tell you the recipe, but can tell you where to get the ribs. Chicken Supreme in West Reading., PA. Family owned for 40 years. Former Chicken Delight store. Everything is made the same as ever. We still use all original Chicken Delight equipment including chicken fryers and rib oven. Your comments made me laugh as we still hear, " Best we ever tasted" and " a little pricey".

                                  1. re: chickensupreme

                                    hi as a former employee of the fair lawn nj store here is the info- The franchise chicken delight became so old and useless but still charged expensive monthly fees to use the name and the owners needed to buy paper products withthe logo directly from CD which were more expensive than thier local counterparts. The store owners broke away about 10 years ago to stop paying fees to the franchise and buy cheaper products elsewhere and simply calle dthemselves chicken galore. . The food is made the exact same way even with the same ingredients and procedure and it is the best. Other stores like chicked holiday are not former chicken delights because they still have ta corprate name. Batteres left to marinate overnight for 24-48 hours in the fridge and then deep fried (i worked there 10 years no pressure cooking happened) for 15 minutes and served fresh.
                                    go to the sotre and try it out i think ot could be the last actual "chicken delight artound"

                                  2. re: grammylynne

                                    While Sara Lee (then Consolidated Foods) controlled us, the CD batter came to us in large bags with very little information on them listing the ingredients. We had to mix it with water to a pancake type consistency and then proceed to marinate the chicken for a minimum of 8 hours with a 24 hours preferred. After the demise of control by Sara Lee, we bought a general mix from Modern Maid Corp and added pepper and a chicken salt to enhance the flavor. It was almost the same taste. Several mixes are available today in the grocery stores that tell you to bread the chicken in the dry mix, but if you make a pancake type batter out of it you just might duplicate the CD taste.

                                  3. re: insightray

                                    I grew up in the "don't cook tonight call chicken delight" .I loved the cranberry sauce that they packed with their dinners. I would love to know what is in the batter, I have a small cafe in Florida and I would love to make that chicken for a lunch special any ideas?

                                    1. re: geop110

                                      We live in Canada (Province of Manitoba) where Chicken Delight is still going strong...as a matter of fact just picked some up for dinner last night!
                                      Their gravy is also very tasty.
                                      The chicken is always fresh and delicious.

                                      1. re: easily amused

                                        Macks chicken shack in Belmar on the boardwalk has great firied chicken reminds me the hayday of Chicken Holiday in Freehold

                                        1. re: beentheredonethat

                                          Oh, man, Chicken Holiday in Freehold. I grew up in Colts Neck and that was always a big treat when Mom came home with that.

                                      2. re: geop110

                                        I gave a rundown of how we prepared the chicken in a previous post. Modern Maid and Golden Dipt both have products on grocery store shelves that are similar to the Chicken Delight batter. Big difference is they instruct you to bread it dry, but if you add water to bring it to a pancake consistency, add pepper and chicken salt and refrigerate overnight prior to cooking you will have a wonderful Chicken Delight experience.

                                    2. so far, cluck you chicken is my favorite chicken place in new jersey. RED ROMAN, WITH EXTRA GARLIC MMMMMMMM

                                      btw this is a really stupid question, but is the term tri state used to describe any three adjacent states or just ny/nj/py

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

                                        It is also used for the region around Cincinnati-Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, so it's not just NY/NJ/PA. Cincinnati news stations like to use it a lot so they can talk about Kentucky.

                                        I personally, have not heard it describing other areas, but I have not lived everywhere.

                                        1. re: Fibber McGee

                                          so it's not just NY/NJ/PA.......

                                          it's actually......NY/NJ/CT

                                          1. re: fourunder

                                            Tell that to RCTRIPLEFRESH5, I was quoting him.

                                            1. re: fourunder

                                              If you live in the NYC metro area, then tri-state is indeed NY/NJ/CT.

                                              If you live in or near Philly, then it's PA/NJ/DE.

                                              I don't know if the term is common in any other area where it might fit. (Although you do hear the term "Bi-State" in the St. Louis area....

                                              1. re: brandywiner

                                                makes complete sense to me......but never NY/NJ/PA

                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                  Maybe if you lived in the teeming Port Jervis/Montague/Milford metroplex....?

                                          2. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

                                            "btw this is a really stupid question, but is the term tri state used to describe any three adjacent states or just ny/nj/py"

                                            Delaware, Maryland and Virginia are also known as DelMarVa, but I don't know if they refer to themselves as "tri state" down there. Anyone?

                                          3. Chicken Delight on Long Island is in WESTBURY not Old Westbury, it's two seperate places. Everything else is right. I still love goin' there for there chicken and macaroni salad, they could do better or have more sides... sometimes I go to CD for the chicken and then go to KFC and get just the sides. lol

                                             
                                            1. Proud to say that I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, where Chicken Delight was founded. We have 11 locations in the city and 8 more in Rural Manitoba.

                                              But since when is fried chicken not greasy? All fried foods are. Duh.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: GEM1008

                                                Contrary to popular opinion, Chicken can be fried and NOT be greasy. The Chicken Delight way when I had my store was to have the fryers set to 350 to 375 degrees when chicken was put down into the grease to seal the outer skin. That would allow the chicken to cook without absorbing the oil. You turn temp down to 275 immediately after dropping chicken and cook the batch for 14 minutes. Correct temps would cook perfect batches every time without greasy taste. My goodness, how I wish I could get a CD dinner right now

                                                1. re: insightray

                                                  There's a difference between greasy and greasy taste. I bought a 14 piece meal today with fries and gravy. And everytime I buy CD chicken including today, by the time I get home the box is falling apart from the grease an soaked through the bag as well. Was sure good though. Come to Winnipeg, Canada, 11 locations here in the city.How I wish I knew how to make their gravy.Best anywhere.

                                              2. I wish I knew how to make Chicken Delight Gravy. Best gravy I've ever had.

                                                1. "Don't cook tonight; call Chicken Delight"
                                                  I remember that jingle when CD was in the L.A. area back in the 60's. Their babyback ribs were really terrific and are still missed..

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                                    Yes, CD ribs are good, so is there pizza. But still like their Chicken best, pizza is a close second.

                                                  2. My husband and his brother owned one in Toms River in NJ. They sure did have good chicken, and the guys worked hard to make a go of it. The area just didn't support it well enough to support 2 families, and it was sold. The kids & I could have eaten it 7 nights a week. Sigh, none here in DE either.

                                                    1. Is the one in Fair Lawn New Jersey still there ? I use to love that place and my sister use to work there

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: sinintrigue

                                                        It may have switched over to be a Chicken Galore, like other past CD locations.

                                                      2. According to the most current company directory, the locations listed below are still Chicken Delights

                                                        New York
                                                        Long Island - Westbury 476 Maple Ave. (516) 334-2220

                                                        New Jersey
                                                        Dumont - 404 East Madison Ave. (201) 385-2400
                                                        Hillsdale - 100 Broadway (201) 666-8828
                                                        North Bergen - 7718 Bergen Line Avenue (201) 869-4900
                                                        Rahway - 1685 Street George Avenue (201) 388-3513
                                                        West Paterson - McBride Avenue & Rt. 46 (201) 256-8863

                                                        1 Reply