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Fried Chicken in Raleigh

So I'm watching Alton Brown wolf down some fried chicken on "Feasting on Asphalt", and now I've got a serious hankering for some excellent fried chicken. And I mean awesome chicken, like the kind that makes you want to cry it's so good.

Any suggestions on where to go in the Triangle? (And don't even bother suggesting Mama Dip's. That place is shamefully bad.)

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  1. Joyce and Family in Fuquay does a pretty good job.

    1 Reply
    1. re: blewgo

      2 places I like are Time Out in Chapel Hill and Hursey's in Graham.

    2. Holden's BBQ in Youngsville has excellent fried chicken. And, you are correct about Dip's. Living solely on reputation of days gone by.

      1. We have had good luck with the fried chicken at Cooper's BBQ downtown. However, sometimes it is better than others, depending on how freshly fried it is. When my parents were still here, I used to stop there for BBQ lunch and then ask for a whole fried chicken to go to take to them. The waitress would wait to put the order in so they could "drop it" right before I left and it would still be burning hot when she brought it to me. That was good chicken.

        3 Replies
        1. re: VaNC

          coopers rocks & I never understand why it is so overlooked.

          I had a similar alton brown induced craving awhile back & had fried chicken from this place on South Saunders. It is called Golden Chicken & Seafood, though I didn't see any seafood on the menu. It is a converted fast food drive-thru, maybe a long john silvers. Anyway, the chicken I had was awesome!

          Skip the mac & cheese.

          1. re: RaleighRocker

            Oh my goodness, we sure had different experiences! I tried Golden Seafood & Chicken today for lunch. The chicken breast I had was mediocre meat at best. Stringy and flavorless. It was enrobed in a thick, chewy batter with no lightness or crispiness.

            I know this was a thread purely about fried chicken quality, so I'll let the above comment stand on its own. But just to round out the dining experience for them what cares...

            The counter attendant was very sweet and friendly as she explained that they were out of unsweet tea and all soft drinks except Diet Coke. I got a lemonade on her recommendation, which turned out to be a sickly sweet syrupy mix concoction.

            Coleslaw was just some chopped cabbage in mayonnaise. No flavor to it. French fries were lightly seasoned with salt and a mild paprika kind of spice and were nicely cooked. Probably the best part of the meal.

            Although we were the first people in after they opened the doors for lunch, there were dirty tabletops, indicating improper cleanup from the previous day. I will not be going back.

            1. re: klmonline

              oh man! I am so sorry you had a bad experience. I went through the drive-thru so I had no idea of the dirtiness!

        2. I have very much enjoyed the fried chicken at Hog Heaven BBQ in Durham.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bbqme

            bbqme, you are correct about the fried chicken at Hog Heaven. Many folks seem to think that Bullock's has the best fc in Durham, but personally I find Hog Heaven to be better. Also, the chicken at Shrimp Boats isn't too bad either. And to the person that mentioned the fc at Clyde Coopers: +1, how could I have forgotten that?

          2. The fried chicken I think of when I read your post Suzy Q is like this:

            a fresh tender young hen, which has been brined overnight, then dipped in buttermilk, sprinkled in pepper, and rolled through flour, then fried in a pan until tender, drained and served. When you eat it, you have to be careful, bits of the breading fall off.

            it is not some tough giant roaster hen past its prime or raised purely for size, dunked in a liquid batter, deep-fried and put on a metal rack with 50 other pieces of similarly treated chicken where it doesn't matter because the batter is so thick it is like armor. It is not pre-battered frozen chicken, it isn't. .well it isn't a lot of things.

            Alas I don't know where to get the former around here much anymore. I certainly know places where the fried chicken isn't *bad*, I just don't know anywhere it is sublime. In my search for chicken that isn't *bad* I sometimes get the chicken at Coopers, as mentioned, at the Farmer's Market Restaurant in Raleigh, at the Chicken Barn in Smithfield, and other similar places but it is all imitation pre-1980 Colonel Sanders chicken, not the fried chicken I used to eat in these parts when I was a child. It is chicken processed for size, for convenience, for quickness of cooking, but it isn't real fried chicken.

            2 Replies
            1. re: fussycouple

              I think you will be hard pressed to find any restaurant anywhere that brines its chicken before frying. Some soak it in butter milk for its tenderization properties but that's about it.

              1. re: bbqme

                Shrimp Boats is on Durham-Chapel Blvd. not far from Fosters and Q-Shack. Only open M-F 11-8.