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Best Fried Chicken

I saw this on yahoo:


While I love BBQ Inn in Houston, a local chain Frenchy's is just as good, plus greens and red beans and rice with andouille that blows away the empty Popeye's down the street. Whad'ya think? What is the best chicken in the USA?

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  1. Gus's fried chicken in Memphis is the best I've ever eaten. Period.

    1. I've been to a few supposed Fried Chicken Temples and have found them uniformly disappointing to one degree or another. And that is why I believe chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Popeye's, along with my local grocery store, make the best commercial fried chicken.

      Now that said, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Popeye's couldn't hold a candle to the fried chicken made by my now deceased grandma. I'm convinced I'll never eat fried chicken that delicious again.

          1. re: bbqboy

            I have gotten the fried chicken there but what really makes my tummy hum is the fried livers, swiped through the thick gravy and green beans. Forget the cinnamon rolls and potatoes, livers and beans fill my plate. Yum.

            I have also had Gus's in Memphis and that was also great, almost worth another trip to that depressing town. Not quite, but almost.

            1. re: bbqboy

              Stroud's is good, but I like Go Chicken Go in KCK. Especially for the gizzards.

              1. re: chileheadmike

                you are right, of course.
                At times I yearn for that Psychedelic Yellow Gravy. :)

            2. The best fried chicken I ever had was at Ad Hoc. We took had too much to eat so we took it back to our hotel in a doggy bag. It was perfect the next day. Not greasy, still crisp. I still dream about that fried chicken...

              1. Here in upstate NY it's a little place in Saratoga called Hattie's.

                Hattie made genuine home style Southern fried chicken there for many years, her perfect recipe unchanged since she first opened in the 1930s. And though she has sadly passed away, the recipe lives on and the restaurant thrives, still serving up the best chicken I've had- other than family homemade, of course.

                1. In Seattle, it's Ezell's. My personal favorite is their spicy fried chicken at the South Seattle and Central District locations. I understand they've opened other locations in the 'burbs, but it wouldn't be Ezell's without the feeling that I was risking my safety for some good fried chicken. I believe they were also featured on Oprah years ago?


                  1. Momofuko Noodle Bar in NYC had the best fried chicken I have ever eaten in my life. I still crave it but it requires reservations which must be made 1 month in advance.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: roro1831

                      Why does it require reservations? Do they get the chickens shipped in from a limited supplier? I walked into Momofuku Noodle Bar one day last summer, the place was pretty much deserted, so I'm guessing it has something to do with the limited availability of the chicken....

                      1. re: Steve

                        The chicken dinner is the only thing you have to make reservations for. As soon as you sit you can order some apps and when you are ready you tell them to drop the chickens. You get two chickens, one southern style and one Korean style. I much prefer the southern style, but that's me. You get some veggies and other things so if you don't want to eat it off the bone you can make wraps with and use any one of the 4 (I think) sauces. Total cost, excluding apps , drinks and anything else is $100. When I first saw that I thought it was crazy to pay that much for two fried chickens, but worth every penny, especially when splitting it up between all the people in your party. We had 6 people and had chicken left over. I would imagine if they had to do chicken on command all night it would be rather painful for the kitchen. I don't recall how many fried chicken spots are open for lunch and dinner, maybe 3 each.

                        1. re: roro1831

                          the fried chicken deal in my opinion is a very good deal. It is 100 not a person, but for the chicken. Also they throw you a couple extra wings and such for the korean verison. The reason for their crazy reservation system is a space issue and also secretly it is to create hype and make people want to do it. Getting a reservation for the fried chicken, ko and bo ssam is like registering for classes in college.

                          I was lucky enough to score another fried chicken res in 2 weeks. horray for me.

                          Best fried chicken chain wise hands down in Popeyes.

                          1. re: jester99

                            If anyone drops out of your party I'll take their spot. lol
                            Agreed on the Popeye's, recently had Bojangles when I was in North Carolina and it was very good as well, the sides were not as good as Popeye's but the chicken was up there.

                    2. In my totally non-humble estimation the best fried chicken in the USA, my cranky grandma's even included, WAS the KFC Hot'n'Spicy Extra Crispy. Why they stopped making that I can attribute only to the overall taste level of the American public, which will never stop disappointing me. I will say that the HnS-EC option persisted for maybe another year at a couple of KFCs in Nashville, both in predominately black neighborhoods.

                      That stuff was so good that if I got it to go I absolutely had to put the bag where I couldn't reach it while driving... and then when I'd get stuck at a red light I'd try anyway.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Will Owen

                        Will, I too loved the KFCH&C but I thought it was just a reaction to Popeyes spicy. Both are good but I thought the Popeyes was just a tad better. Did you like KFC better than popeyes?

                        1. re: bookhound

                          Popeyes did not exist in Nashville at that time. There was one built on West End several years after KFC dropped their spicy version, and last I looked they were doing okay.

                          But thanks for pointing that out; I keep forgetting that Popeye's original is spicy (and, I'm guessing, good & greasy!), and there's a Popeye's just around the corner from here...

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            I had the Popeye's spicy for the first time a few weeks back. I thought it was dry, and way too crunchy. But the boyfriend *loved* it. Maybe we just got a bad box.

                        2. re: Will Owen

                          Will, is that a piece of that chicken in your hand in your photo by your name(not sure of the technical term?) I've always wondered what it was.

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            The word you want is avatar. Sanskrit term for an image projected into the phenomenal (illusory) universe as a stand-in for a being in the spirit (real) world.

                            It's a kitten. I was at our biennial Pasadena Humane Society art auction/garden party, and the crew from the shelter were all carrying puppies and kittens around for people to play with. This darling
                            was attacking my bow tie...

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              I hate to be pedantic but phenomenal refers to the concrete or the material rather than the illusory. Numinous is the antonym of phenomenal.

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                In Hindu (and Buddhist) cosmology, what we perceive as the "real" universe is Maya, or Illusion, whereas the "astral plane" or whatever you call it is the true Reality. (You weren't being pedantic, you were just being Western!) So a Deity may truly exist in the true Reality, but his projected image is what we in the world of Illusion see with our poor limited mortal vision. And that projected image is the Avatar.

                                Avatars exist in Western theology, too - that's what directing prayers to saints or icons is all about.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  Ah. Gotcha.

                                  Apologies from the phenomenal (illusory) plane.

                          2. re: Will Owen

                            I'm personally a fan of the KFC original...nothing beats that soggy mess IMO.

                          3. Willie May's Scotch House in New Orleans, Stroud's, and Well's or Sylvia's in Harlem.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mamachef

                              I was not impressed with Willie Mae's the few times I tried it. I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't to my liking.