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Fried Chicken

OK-I've been to Charles' in Harlem, Dirty Bird when it first opened, Jacque'Imo's, but still prefer Popeye's and (God help me) KFC original when they're fresh. Please tell me what I'm missing.

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  1. Taste buds? (joke). I dont know how you can prefer Popeye's (which is my quick fix fried chicken as well) to Charles'??!

    At any rate, go back to Charles' for lunch, take a deep breath, wait for the chicken to come out of the kitchen and get a piece. Eat slowly. Go to Popeye's. Do the same. Now think: how much chicken (not breading) did I just eat and how meaty/tasty was it? How much real taste was in the whole piece. How much grease? Charles' is better. Feel better now?

    1. Some wonderful hound mentioned a while back Korean-style fried chicken at a place called Baden Baden in K-town. Then this past week, it was reviewed by the $25 and under section of the NYT. It's rotisserie chicken that is then deepfried. Sounds like a winner.

      And if you haven't tried the chicken at M&G Diner up near the Apollo, it definitely should be tried. I don't consider it among the best, but many do.

      1. I've been looking for the best fried chicken too and seem to come up short everytime. I like Popeyes for cheap and fast, but it's just not as good as good can be.

        A friend suggested Cornerstone Grill in tribeca. I haven't been there yet because I'm suspicious that they use skinless chicks. And then, I'm also looking to try Pollo Campero, a Guatemalan fried chicken place out in Queens.

        I would also like to have amazing fried chicken with nice cold beer, but can't find the superlative place for both.


        1. My boyfriend (who LOVES fried chicken!) turned me on to some of the best
          friend chicken I've ever had. I have been to Dirty Bird, KFC and every other place
          below 96th street, and none comes close to this place.

          I don't know the name....or if it even has one, but it's on the South East corner of
          8th Avenue and 39th street. The chicken is fresh, hot, crispy on the outside and
          moist and juicy on the inside. I wish I lived closer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Buttercream

            the place is called something along the lines of NYC BBQ or NYC Chicken and maybe it was good once, I tried it 2 weeks ago and it was a greasy nasty mess

          2. Last year I got some friends together and did a NYC chicken blind taste test with:

            1) KFC
            2) Popeyes
            3) Miss Mamies Spoonbread
            4) Amy Ruth's
            5) Sylvias

            ...there was some dissent - I picked Miss Mamie's - but the winner hands down was KFC. I don't think anything's wrong with gutterGourmet's taste buds - they know a thing or two about flavorizing chicken.

            Check the pictures we did it up proper with anonymous labeled trays and score cards.


            1. That tears it. I've got to hit Londell's for some fried chicken and waffles. Check this out:

              1. Extra spicy Popeyes...it is like crack...but then again I am originally from New Orleans. When I order all spicy the girl behind the counter usually says...Are you sure???? well why else would you eat fried chicken...it is a vehicle for hot! lol

                1 Reply
                1. re: lynny_lynny

                  You can order Popeye's as Xtra spicy? Is that a special request? I love their spicy chicken, it's my absolute favorite but I know extra spicy is not on the menu where I live.

                2. I keep hearing Amy Ruth's. I personally like home fried chicken best. Something about restuarant fried chicken doesn't taste right. Whatever you do DO NOT order it from Baton Rouge.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Uptownflavor

                    I wouldn't anything from Baton Rouge--terrible food and service.

                    Love Amy Ruth's. Also, Rack and Soul's fried chicken is basically the same as Charles' as Charles is the soul food chef there. I just dont get why people on this board over look this fact. Rack and Soul has such a better ambiance.

                    1. re: Ora

                      Since I love Charles' & heard about Rack and Soul, I went a couple of months ago with a group (at least 4 CH regulars included) and we basically tried almost everything on R&S's menu. The sides were uniformly disappointing and most of the entrees werent above average either. Most disappointing, however, was the fried chicken. Since I am very familiar with Charles', I was especially surprised that the chicken was mediocre. Of course, this was a single night and none of us are sure that it wasnt an abnormality, but I wont be going back until others I trust assure me that the food is better than what we got & that the chicken is even close to that at Charles'.

                      So... are you familiar with both and saying it's as good (or close)? Anyone else?

                  2. not sure how it compares, never been to charles', but I would give Maroon's a try 16th st, near 8th ave

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jth

                      I agree with jth about trying Maroons. They have great fried chicken served with mac and cheese on the side. Get the cod fritters too while you're there--they're delicious!

                      1. re: chowgal3

                        Definitely....Maroons is one of our favorite 'under the radar'-ish spots....Their fried chicken and mac and cheese never disappoint..

                    2. It's hard to believe that no one has mentioned the consistently excellent fried chicken at the M&G Diner on West 125th Street in Harlem. The chicken skin is crispy, the meat is moist and the sides are very tasty (I'm a collared greens and candied yams man). Amy Ruth's quality varies and even Charles' Southern Kitchen can be hit or miss. M&G is the reliable fried chicken standby.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Hungry Esteban

                        See reply #2.

                        Gotta add in the fried chicken at PiesnThighs in Williamsburg. For 8 bucks I got 4 freshly fried pieces (2 wings, a thigh and leg) plus one side and a damn good buttermilk biscuit. A bit out of my way, but that was among the better fried chickens I've had this year.

                        1. re: Pupster

                          Pies'n Thighs in a landslide. But seriously, they turn out some unbelievable chicken and the biscuits and gravy are the best you're likely to find in this part of the country.

                      2. Big Daddy's (I believe, it's retro) is worth a try. Good crispy, chicken, decent sides, large portions.

                        1. anybody ever tried Kennedy Fried Chicken???is it good??how does it compare to KFC? Thanks

                          1. Was just at Jacques-Imo's in Nola and it was wonderful. Can't speak to nyc. But give Rack and Soul a try. They do a wonderful and large piece of fried chicken. I used to be a Blue Ribbon guy, but I have moved uptown and will take Rack and Soul anytime.