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Fried chicken in Woodside area

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I love fried chicken. By love, I mean I could eat it every day, 3 times a day. Once I start eating it, I crave it constantly and have to exert great self control not to go nuts with it. It becomes more of an obesssion.

There seems to be a lack of places to get it around here. I have a great chicken place in the Bronx, but that's not exactly convient unless I am up there. The only acutal chicken place I have seen in UFC on Roosevelt. Is that any good? Is there somewhere I can go when I NEED to get some chicken?

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  1. UFC is pretty good. It's Korean style fried chicken and can be a bit pricey. I like the soy garlic flavor.

    Otherwise, as I'm sure you've noticed, this is more of a rotisserie broiled chicken ("pollos a la brasa") kind of neighborhood.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Woodside Al

      Yeah, I noticed that. How are those places? I'm always temped to go in, but then I just never do. Have you tried that new (?) cafe on 58th St, just past St Sebastians, walking towards Queens Blvd? I walk past it all the time. I grabbed a menu and it looks like it could be goo, but I never see anyone in there.

      1. re: Woodside Al

        I love UFC and don't consider it pricey at all! My husband and I usually order the small combo which consists of drumsticks and wings. You get 9 pieces of chicken total. The drumsticks are huge! You also get a choice of cole slaw, macaroni or garden salad with your order...all for $8.99

      2. I will probably be banned from Chowhound for mentioning this, but there is a KFC on Queens Blvd in the 50s - maybe 53rd or 54th? There's also a Popeye's in Astoria on Steinway, near Broadway, but that's a little outside of your desired neighborhood. Other than that, pollos a la brasa really dominate here. I'm not really wild about rotisserie chicken (and it is NO substitute for fried chicken), but the best rotisserie chickens I know of are Pio Pio Riko in Sunnyside (46th and Greenpoint) and oddly enough, Costco (in Astoria).

        1 Reply
        1. re: biondanonima

          Not a fan of KFC, but I do love Popeyes. The KFC is at 58th and Queens Blvd. I hit up popeyes whan I'm at work, but I was looking for something that wasn't a chain... :)

        2. It might not be what you're looking for, but many of the Thai places around Woodside (and Elmhurst) serve fried chicken wings. The ones at Sripraphai are pretty good, but it is meant to be an appetizer. Otherwise, I would have thought that one of the Filipino places would serve fried chicken since they are some of the most expert deep fryers, especially with all that fried pork. After checking my menus from the Filipino places, I saw that Engelines does serve a fried chicken (pretong manok) which looks like a fried half chicken (at a reasonable $5.50). One of my favorite fried chicken dishes in LA is from Max's, a Filipino place in Glendale, so I'll have to give this a try. The last places to try are the takeout Chinese places around the neighborhood, served with fried rice or french fries. I have to admit I have kind of a weak spot for some of these fried chickens, but it usually depends on the oil they fry it in that determines the grease factor. I haven't had one of these chickens in a few years, but they were kind of a staple item when I was in graduate school.

          And to respond to another poster, the best roast chicken around Woodside is from Peking Chicken, the Peruvian roast chicken place that looks like a Chinese takeout place on Woodside/58th right on that square.

          13 Replies
          1. re: E Eto

            I second Peking Chicken. That place has been around FOREVER.
            UFC is also excellent. And I do not beleive it's expensive at all, given its quality.

            1. re: E Eto

              I'm a big fan of Peking, I live just down the street and get it on the way back from the train, but like Pio Pio in Jackson Heights better. Pio Pio Riko in Sunnyside is good as well.

              1. re: Widmark

                Funny enough I live around JH, but I've never tried Pio Pio and my family's main chicken place is definitely Peking Chicken. How is Pio Pio different from Peking? Do they also have the green sauce? Also, where exactly is it located? Thanks!

                1. re: sharonj

                  THey have the green sauce and it's a bit better. The chicken is just tastier. The way it's marinated, I don't know, it just tastes better to me. There are also tons of great sides, and it's a nice sit-down place, something Peking surely isn't! It's on Northern Blvd around 84th st. There are two, the main rest. and the takeout place on the corner.

                  1. re: Widmark

                    wow, i have lived in Woodside for almost 7 years now, and i ALWAYS assumed that Peking Chicken was Chinese takeout (and gave it no notice) and had NO IDEA that it was Peruvian. i was going to ask if they had aji (the green sauce), but sharonj's post asking if PioPio has the green sauce too, i can see that it does -- maybe not as good as PioPio's though.

                    i like PioPio's aji, but it's a bit too creamy for me, and often doesn't have enough heat (although sometimes the heat is awesome).

                    i'll have to peek into Peking soon!

                    alekz

                    1. re: charlie_b

                      Peking is run by Chinese-Peruvians.

                      1. re: Woodside Al

                        One of the main ingredients in Peruvian Chicken is soy sauce.

                        1. re: designerboy01

                          The roast Chicken at Peking is pretty tasty. You have to wait long as there is one guy putting together all the orders while a bunch of other guys taking care of the woks. Its not bad for $6.5 for 1/2 a chicken salad and roast pork fried rice. Not fine dining but good if you feel like chicken and in the hood. There are lines during dinner time from all people from the neighborhood.

                      2. re: charlie_b

                        I don't know if it's the same, but the green sauce that's similar that they're using at Arepas Cafe over in Astoria is the most addictive thing. Peking chicken is actually a bit more expensive than Pio Pio, but it's close by and still good. It normally comes on a bed of pork fried rice, but you can substitue rice and beans, which are decent enough. Nothing to write home about, but probably healthier and to my taste, more suited to rotiserie chicken!

                        1. re: charlie_b

                          Wow nice to know there's a name for that green sauce, what is it a mix of? Do you know of any good recipe for it?

                          Peking Chicken's aji has gotten more watery over the years, and even though it still tastes good it definitely is not spicy (imho).

                          1. re: sharonj

                            RE: recipes...i have done a fair amount of research (chowhound homecooking and google) and have not found many recipes for aji, and none that seem like the magic at Pio-Pio. i do make a version at home (i have 5 attempts and am getting closer) but the flavor is never "right" although it's always good. i worked with a Peruvian woman for a while and she thought mine tasted good, although not right, and she thinks that it requires specific Peruvian chiles which may not be commonly available here? and, sadly, she did not have a recipe of her own to share with me, said she had never made it.

                            i'll add to a post or create a post in homecooking in a bit. i'll say in general the best taste so far has come from combining poblano and jalapeno with a TON of cilantro and olive oil and salt. if you wanted the paler, creamier kind you'd probably need to mix with mayo, homemade mayo, or at least add more oil and raw egg yolks.

                            alekz

                            1. re: charlie_b

                              There's an ecuadorian version of Aji, alot spicier than the Pio Pio sauce. I asked there and it's celery based which explains why it can be anywhere between green and orange depending on the day you go.

                              I'm kicking myself for not remembering what's in the Pio Pio aji, I know I've asked.

                              1. re: charlie_b

                                The peruvian chiles in the aji sauce you are talking about are called "aji amarillo." You can find frozen aji amarillo in the freezer section of many groceries in Sunnyside, Woodside, and Jackson Heights (as well as other neighborhoods in Queens that have a high South American population). My mom makes her version of the sauce by putting aji amarillo in a blender and mixing it with red vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and a little bit of cumin. Her's isn't creamy, though, but it is a lot spicier. Of course, you can make it creamier by adding mayo.

                  2. My own research reveals that UFC is the best fried chicken in the Woodside/Sunnyside/JH zone. Is there even another contender aside from the chains? I assume the diners might have something decent, and pub wings are no doubt widely available, but UFC seems to be the one solid go-to. Their chicken is awesome - get the whole bird. Certainly costs a good but more than KFC and a bit more than Charles' (in Harlem), but I would not call it pricey - the service time is the one serious issue.

                    As for rotisserie/a la brasa, Peking is the best in my opinion. Pio Pio is also great, but a bit further if yr not driving. The various Mario chains are horrible - avoid them. Also for roasted (not fried) chicken, Sripraphai has an excellent version, that comes in a combo with rice, papaya salad and one other thing.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: elbev

                      Important addition: chicarron de pollo at El Sitio. Again, not quite the same as soul food fried chicken (smaller pieces), but top notch stuff. Probably also available at any Dominican or Puerto Rican places around the area (certainly would be some in Corona or E. Elmhurst, though maybe not in Woodside).

                    2. Hmmm -- I suppose I am lacking on the trendy side of things, but when I think of fried chicken, I definitely think of a good, southern-style place where mac & cheese is considered a "vegetable". I guess I am new to queens, so I don't know much about it, but from this board, it seems like I will be making the trek into manhattan to get my fix:

                      http://www.mamasfoodshop.com/index.html

                      Now THAT is a fried chicken spot. And I guarantee that they won't scrimp on your portions.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: dakinedave

                        I don't think anybody's trying to be trendy...we'd love some of that style fried chicken, but since it's hard to find in these parts this thread took a detour to other chicken options. I like Mamas and Soul Spot, but would love some american soul food/bbq type place to open in western queens.

                        1. re: dakinedave

                          Like Widmark said, there just isn't a significant population of people from the southern U.S. around here, so southern fried chicken is nowhere to be found. The best that can be had are ethnic chicken alternatives - some of them quite delicious. It's not about being trendy, it's just that western and northern Queens is a patchwork of ethnic neighborhoods with their own culinary traditions. Believe me, there is nothing trendy at all about a place like Peking or the Philipino restaurants or the various pollos a la brasa places. This is where the area's regular working people eat.

                          However, if your Queens travels take you out to the Jamaica area you might find something quite a bit more like what you're talking about. Or you can just go to the even closer soul food regions of Brooklyn.

                        2. This is exactly what I was wondering the other night. I'm originally from Maryland (and spent most of my summers in NC) and I need some good fried chicken now and then. I live in astoria, and all I've ever seen is rotisserie chicken. That's not as good! You don't get the crispy skin!

                          So, it looks like I'll have to go to Popeyes to get my fix. Where exactly is UFC? I live off the Broadway stop on the N train (no car). Is it too far?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: middyboo

                            take the N to the 7 to 74th/Roosevelt stop.

                          2. The NYTimes ran an article on Koren style friend chicken including UFC:
                            http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/07/din...?

                            1. UFC is amazing...especially their garlic-soy and hot flavors of wings and drumsticks. Yum.

                              Also, believe or not, No. 1 Chinese take-out has decent fried chicken, especially when they make it for you made to order and it's sizzling hot. $3.50 for a half fried chicken, not bad.

                              1. Well, I finally got a chance to try out Korean Fried chicken.

                                Actually I went to UFC twice this week Wednesday around 3pm and Today, Saturday 6:30pm.

                                Wednesday’s trip: This was my first time there and I ate it at UFC. The fried chicken was nice, I got the garlic and soy sauce small ( 6 drumsticks). I think for my taste that sauce was a bit too sweet. If I could get that sauce on the side it would have been better. Overall the fried chicken was freshly fried and tasty. Now the bad part, I was there at 3pm on Wednesday, which means no dining room. (dining room opens after 5pm). No air conditioner on the walk-in level on this hot and humid day. So you need to keep the door open which meant that being under the subway train tracks it was very noisy. I doubt I will go back during the lunch hour to eat in; way too warm and humid there but I do like the chicken  (Take out is the way to go.)

                                Saturday: Armed with my experiences on Wednesday, I went back today. I phoned in my order so I didn’t have to wait for them to freshly fry my order. Last time I waited for about 15mins for my order in the non-a/c place. (Can’t live without a/c!!) I ordered the large (12 drumstick) plain no sauce with the macaroni salad side dishes included. (Take out) I got there; my order was ready; paid ($17.33). I got home and realized that they bagged the macaroni salad on top of the hot fried chicken which made the salad warm. (Warm mayo is nasty to eat)(Note to self: next time tell them to bag the macaroni salad separately.) The chicken this time was plain being I didn’t want the sauce on the chicken. I asked if I could have the sauce on the side but they don’t offer the garlic /soy sauce on the side.  The chicken was a bit bland without any sauce but a little salt fixed it. I’m happy and full right now. ( 12 drumsticks, wow!!) Large is the way to go. Wednesday, I had to share a small with a buddy. This time, it was all mine.
                                Next time I go back, I’m going to try the whole chicken and the sweet potato fries. Just need to remember how to order and to expect the spend some of time finding a parking space. And of course it will be take out. 

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: unknownone

                                  unknownone - Wow, we posted like two minutes apart on a five-day old thread. haha

                                  anyways, try the hot flavor at UFC, there's a tang to it that's not like buffalo hot wings and it's very different than the soy-garlic one. You just feel a slight, pleasant burn. Yeah, that place is too hot. I ordered take-out at 9:30pm once from there and I was still burning. They need to do something about that.

                                  1. re: unknownone

                                    I tried for the first time this chicken last week and I LOVED it!
                                    My favorite was the soy-garlic sauce. All the flavor comes from the thin sauce coating at cooking time so I can see how the chicken would be plain if you request the sauce on the side. I had the sweet potatoe fries and they were pretty good. We were fortunate enough to happen to visit in late afternoon so we ate on the a/c room downstairs. Only one other couple was there at the time. It's a good thing I'm too far for delivery service because that chicken is highly addictive.