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Hot Dogs vs. Fried Chicken

I don't to refight the Civil War, but let us pit two American favs against one another here: crisp, juicy fried chicken versus a savory dawg with all the right toppings and condiments.

I'm going to plump for dawgs simply because I find that they are more consistently good than fried chicken. One can go almost anywhere and butt up against a pretty mean hot dawg, but you really never know what you're going to get when buying (or even making) fried yardbird unless you go to a Popeye's or a Colonel Sanders'.

How do I like 'em? Broiled beef dawgs on a steamed bun with spicy mustard, minced hot yellow peppers and a sprinkle of celery salt. For fried chicken, I like the breast with a crispy, spicy crust. Honestly, Popeye's is a pretty good prototype.

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  1. I have never heard of a broiled hot dog.....I like all types of Quality dogs, but I prefer them in a casing. When ordering out, First choice is a Beef & Pork deep fried, second is an all Beef griddled....then an all Beef boiled......

    The best dogs though are @ a backyard barbecue over an open flame with family and friends......type of dogs are not important.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Oh yes. Grew up with them, just put slits on before cooking so they don't curl. It's almost like grilling, but in the broiler. Can't stand boiled ones.

      1. re: paprkutr

        OMG- they used to cut slits in the hot dogs at the cafeteria at work and then griddled them for a few more minutes. We called 'em gill slits. I didn't know it was done anywhere else.

      2. re: fourunder

        There's a social aspect to these foods that I hadn't considered until you brought it up. To be sure, roasting dogs over an open flame is a communal experience that can't be repeated over a bubbling cauldron of lard and chicken; but I find it hard to beat the crunch and crackle of that first bite of fried chicken as your teeth break through the skin and sink into a meaty thigh. I like my hot dogs accompanied by chili, sport peppers and/or friends, but fried chicken is a pleasure all by itself.

        1. re: JungMann

          I agree with Jungman - his description of the first bite of fried chicken is enough to make me thaw a bird and fry it tonight!! And he picked my favorite piece, followed by wings. I used to eat hotdogs when the kids were home and it was a mandatory staple in the refrigerator, but that's been many a year ago. And much ado over what all is included in them. Scary stuff. But bring on KFC & Popeyes, & Bojangles!!!! Don't tell me all the stuff you know about chicken processing, I'm trying very hard not to assimilate that info and ruin one of my top food choices. Thanks.

      3. I love a good chili dog but am super picky about the quality of the dog and the kind of chili. I agree that good fried chicken is really tough to find.

        If I had to pick the best of one over the best of the other - I'd probably come down fried chicken.

        1. I'm not a big fan of either hot dogs or fried chicken.

          As far as hot dogs go, I'm not too particular except when it comes to these tubers: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738429

          As for fried chicken, I have no real preference except that I really like drumsticks.

          1. OH JFrickenC, PK, are you really going to make me walk into my neighborhood Popeye's???

            5 Replies
            1. re: mariacarmen

              Do yourself a favor, sweetheart. You'll thank me later. ;)

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  depending on the franchise owner, Popeye's generally does get the breading right. but as a caveat at KFC the mashed potatoes are a must for the side, but at Popeye's it's the red beans and rice.

                  1. re: hill food

                    Yep. Loved Colonel Sanders' taters and gravy as long as I can remember. And you know darned well that they're instant. So what! Totally delish.

                    Popeye's greezy as hell biscuits are also great.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      See I always found their taters to taste watery, but it does depend on which franchise locale, i'm sure. man, it's been years.

                      Greasy biscuits sound good. Ok, PK, i'm going in! (well, not today, but soon!)

            2. Love both- and I think it can be hard to find a good dog, and good chicken outside of your own kitchen. For hot dogs, I like Pearl hot dogs, grilled- on a New England style hot dog roll, with mustard and Howards Piccalilli. So good.
              For chicken, I prefer the fried chicken thighs. Now you have me thinking of lunch!

              1. I'll take real meat over a quesion mark any day of the week.
                That said, the main fault I find in fried chicken is the over usage of salt. KFC / Popeye's are rarely are on my table - the wife likes kfc when she is sick only. As rare as good fried chicken is, I'd take good fried yardbird over a good hot dog 24 / 7.

                1. Love both, but hot dogs win for me.

                  1. I love a good fried chicken, but I can't\haven't mastered making it and its not that easy to find up here. Therefore, almost by default, I say a good natural casing hotdog either on the grill or fried with a little butter in a pan with diced raw onions and ketchup (yes, I said ketchup)

                    1. I love them both. While there are a couple of places in my town to get a decent dog, the only one that is not a schlep across town will serve you a dog with a heavy side of knee-jerk reactionary right-wing tea-bag style politics. I dont expect that the rest of the world agrees with my own politics, but it's really in-your-face at this place, and bad for the digestion.

                      But I do know exactly where to go to get the best fried chicken I've ever had. So in Milwaukee, my vote goes for chicken.

                      1. Fried chicken. Memories of Mom and Granny.

                        Another food board on which I am a member waxes rhapsodic over hot dogs. Really, I like hot dogs -- especially in Chicago -- but I don't at all understand the folks who go crazy over them. There's a good hot dog place in the Outer Banks, where we vacation, and I bet some of these folks would go there before getting the outstanding local seafood.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: jmckee

                          OOH_ whick place on the outer banks? i vacation there every year- we stay in Corolla (Whalehead beach)

                          1. re: macca

                            Top Dog Cafe, in the SOUTHERN end, in Rodanthe / Waves / Salvo.

                            1. re: jmckee

                              Thanks- we dont usually venture that far from Corolla, but maybe a road trip is in order next July!

                              1. re: macca

                                The thought of driving from Corolla to Rodanthe in July for a hot dog almost makes me cry. I guess that shows how far to the fried chicken side of this discussion I fall :)

                        2. An easy one for me....There is no comparison....Fried Chicken wins everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                            Fried Chicken here too. Twice on Sundays sounds like a great idea!

                          2. An all beef Kosher dog, either broiled or cooked on the bbq grill served on a toasted roll with heated sauerkraut (Silver Floss is my first choice) from a can, not bag.

                            I find most fried chicken to be made with too small a bird so as to be dried out and have very small wings. Also, somehow, nobody fries and serves the neck, a favorite part of mine.

                            I also prefer fried chicken room temperature to right out of the oil.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bagelman01

                              Agreed on the temperature. In fact, I even like leftover fried chicken straight outta the ice box.

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                works for me.
                                Growing up, fried chicken and hot dogs were two of the few foods that were petrmissible to eat with my fingers.

                            2. I adore fried chicken; my family is from the south so fried chicken is as standard as you can get. I've not found any place that can make it as good as my aunt. I like hot dogs also but unfortunately, not many places make them like the good ole dirt water dogs in NY; go ahead, laugh but I still love those things with red sauced onions & mustard.

                              1. hamburgers vs. fried chicken would be a more valid comparison, as we in the PNW have neither wonderful fried chicken or hot dogs.
                                You have to distinguish between deep fried or broasted chicken and true fried in iron skillet fried chicken. just sayin'. Popeye's is good chain chicken, but it ain't no Stroud's.

                                1. Hot dogs aren't really a part of my world. Sure, they exist and occasionally I eat them (Mr. Mojo much more often). But I never crave them nor buy them and they are usually just ok.

                                  Fried chicken is complicated. One of my loves is boneless fried chicken sandwiches with mayo and iceburg lettuce. It's one of my guilty every-other-month-or-so fast food pleasures. When we're talking fried chicken on the bone, I can go years without it. But then a particular tailgate or tubing trip comes up and I think: "We just have to get fried chicken for that!" I will never deep fry anything in my kitchen.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    Hot dogs. Though sometimes I'm in the mood for fried chicken and there is a Popeye's one mile from my home. In N.J. I have access to many fine quality dogs. I love both styles of hot dogs; spicy all beef as well as German style beef/pork. I have several European butcher shop/pork stores in my town that produce delicious franks. I prefer natural casing dogs. Most of the time grilled, but sometimes I'm in the mood for a deep fried dog or a good dirty water dog. There is so much variety when it comes to hot dogs. Good mustard (brown for a beef dog, yellow for beef/pork). is all I usually have on my dog as I prefer to taste the meat. Occasionally I'll have a chili dog or one from Rutt's Hut in N.J. with their unique tasty relish.

                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                      Unlike hot dogs, quality yardbird is tough to find in Jersey. But in the two years I lived there I did find some pretty good stuff at the Acme supermarket on the south side of Trenton. I had to steel my nerves and gird my loins to go in that place, but sometimes my chicken jones got so bad I just had to.

                                  2. It would be a good natural casing grilled hot dog for me every time.

                                    1. I find both undesirable when made poorly.

                                      I am picky with my hot dogs - they have to be cooked very throughly - ideally it has not been boiled in water but has been sauteed (Yes, being rolled around in the pan!) with butter until the skin is bubbling, or grilled until the skin is bUbBling (ideally charcoal). I'll eat a boiled one if it is cooked well though. I HATE underheated hot dogs (Yes, I know they come cooked already :D)

                                      Which is why I'll usually choose to get a burger at a BBQ if I'm "ordering" sight unseen.

                                      With fried chicken I am less picky but I don't eat it that often. Ideally it isn't old, is seasoned nicely, and has nice breading (and isn't drip drip dripping with oil..) I like E. Lagasse's recipe with the essence in the flour, turns out really nicely. Haven't made it in years though.

                                      If both are made the way I like...I think I might give the slight edge to the fried chicken - but only if biscuits and gravy aren't far away, else it would be a good hot dog. As far as supermarket brands go, I like "Nathan's".

                                      1. Either one as long as it's done to my liking. We all have our preferences there.

                                        1. When Joanne Woodward tried to seduce Paul Newman at the picnic in "The Long Hot Summer", she did NOT bring hot dogs.

                                          She brought fried chicken.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: FoodFuser

                                            That would have been an entirely different movie. I think the Hayes Code was still in effect.

                                            1. I would have to go w/ chicken. Chicken is the ultimate comfort food. I do appreciate a good dog, but who doesn't like chicken wings? Dogs are the perfect summer food, whether catching a game, or out at a summer event. Chicken is the year round food that never goes out of style...

                                              1. I'd have to go with hot dogs.

                                                When I worked downtown, I could always tell spring was in the air when the hot dog carts came out. There is very little in this world better for lunch than a grilled white hot on a fresh roll with hot sauce, mustard and onions - for a buck.

                                                And while Popeye's chicken is decent, it's not worth the -lack of- service I've experienced every time I've ever been in.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Krislady

                                                  Sadly, service at virtually all fast-food joints has deteriorated dramatically over the past 10-15 years. In the olde days there was never any doubt that my order would be correct. Nowadays, I check my order thoroughly before leaving and about 25% of the time it is wrong.

                                                2. This is actually funny, because I'm giving this way too much thought. A good hot dog dog needs condiments, no matter how good. The perfect onions or kraut and a little mustard is necessary to make a hot dog worth going crazy over. Fried chicken however needs only two hands and a mouth. Hands down - Fried chicken!

                                                  1. I curious why you compare the two.

                                                    1. Alright PK, i did it. i walked right into a Popeye's today and ordered a two-piece dinner with the biscuit and slaw. I got a breast and a thigh. I ate the thigh first, thinking it was the breast (hey, it was big!) and i said, ok, wow, it's really juicy, the outside is very crispy, and not greasy, except when i got a piece of just the crust, which had a little more oiliness to it. i liked it! Then i realized i had not yet eaten the breast, and so started in on that. not as juicy, but still a crunchy outside, and you know, it was good. But i was full to the brim (didn't finish the biscuit or the slaw) until late evening. I probably don't need to do this again, but I certainly can see why you say it's a prototype.

                                                      Thanks for once again expanding my culinary horizons, PK!

                                                      16 Replies
                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        ahh but maria, you may very well be ooozing Popeye smell from your pores tomorrow. I still eat it on occasion, but it is kinda pernicious. (and good biscuits I gotta say even the next day)

                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                          it's true. and to top it off, i had mediocre chinese food for dinner. so add that to the mix!

                                                        2. re: mariacarmen

                                                          Well, I'm relieved you enjoyed it, Maria Carmen. Nothing could be more humiliating than leading such a noteworthy Hound astray. ;)

                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                            This is a very regional idea. PK, the Popeyes in Newport, Me. went out of biz.
                                                            I won't go to KFC and am at a loss.
                                                            I watched a cooking channel show on fried chicken the other night and am craving fried chicken. I don't think I have eaten fried chicken since I left the states in '79. I may have to make some this weekend, but I rarely deep fry food.

                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                              I'm convinced there is some sort of alchemical or magical touch involved in making truly great fried chicken at home. I have known more than a few fine home cooks who simply could not get it done. Let me know if you succeed; I might just have to swing by your slope of Mt. Taylor for a coupla breasts and a wang.

                                                              I'll bring the Lone Star Light. ;)

                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                I'm a breast and thigh man. I fry 'em Jersey style w/ quartered onion as the onions brown and blacken they add great flavor to the chickie.

                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                  Duh! We used to eat a ton of pollo a la broasted in Bolivia and Brazil!
                                                                  Floured and deep fried in pressure cooker. Yum.

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    wait, how does that work? was the pressure cooker closed? with hot oil bubbling in it? i don't know enough about the science of it, but that sounds dangerous!

                                                                    although, i have to say, on a visit to La Paz, we stayed in a home that had an electric shower and the sparks were aflying as the water rained down. truly frightening. they're not afraid of living dangerously.

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      Broasted chicken. Deep fried in a pressure cooker.
                                                                      Lid closed.

                                                                      Just like the Colonel makes it.


                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                        Broasting or Broasted is a trademark.....not a method for cooking chicken.


                                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                                          Ya, I know.


                                                                          Now I need a Kleenex to wipe my nose.


                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                        Yup. They do make special chicken broasting pressure cookers, but I am lucky to be here anyway, and have lived a charmed life, so I use my own.
                                                                        Not for thos w/ pressurecookerphobia.

                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                  My mom used ot make a hell of a good fried chicken she didn't deep fry it, it was shallow fried (for lack of a better term). Some bacon grease in the frying oil, and whatever voodoo she did, not much, but I don't remember everything and she had it down technique-wise.
                                                                  But I started out to say, she shallow-fried it in an electric skillet.

                                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                                    My grandma, who was from Bokchetah, Oklahoma of all places, shallow fried chicken which was stupor mundi. Not only the best fried chicken by a parsec that I've ever eaten, it was one of the very best things I've tasted, period. She died in 1987, but I can still taste that fried chicken.

                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                      I really like the electric skillet for this and little else, you get so much control over the temperature.

                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                        Pan- fried. The classic way for home cooks to fry chicken. Oil or whatever fat about deep enough to come half-way up the chicken which is flipped midway through.
                                                                        Some cover it for part of the process, some don't.

                                                                3. Okay, this is just silly. Might as well say, "What do you like best, hash browns or grits?" My answer in both cases would be "Yes." Whatever is in front of my is what I like best, as long as it's not something boring like angel-food cake or pretzels. Now, if we're going to hang with the OP here and specify fried chicken BREAST, then I gotta go with the tube steak, since IMO the breast is what you eat only if that's all there is. But between a fried thigh and a juicy natural-casing frank, I'll just have one of each, thanks, and report back to you later.

                                                                  1. I can see why you'd compare the two. They both scratch the same kind of itch for me

                                                                    It's hard, but I'd have to say fried chicken. You can go anywhere in the US and get decent fried chicken courtesy of the national chains, but homegrown hot dog culture cannot be found just anywhere. My hometown of Indianapolis is notably hot dog-poor (with the exception of King David Dogs). Also, I can make good fried chicken from scratch with ingredients available anywhere, but how does one take home a cut of beef and end up with a kosher frank?

                                                                    I'll take breast meat with a thick, crunchy crust, and a full Chicago char-dog with pickle on the side.

                                                                    1. I like my dawg (beef, natural casing) either Chicago style or with kraut and chili. Can't really choose between the two though; variables are too different. On the other hand, a breast of my MIL's hot fried chicken with some mashed and gravy and stringbeans and sliced tomatoes and biscuits is hard to beat, and can't nobody do it like her.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                          I wish I still could - and my chicken will never, never be as good as hers.

                                                                      1. One of greatest dilemmas
                                                                        that life does present us
                                                                        is the choice between
                                                                        Church's and Popeye's.

                                                                        The chicken from each seems similar, and consistent,

                                                                        Both are nearby
                                                                        just about equidistant
                                                                        I make my decision
                                                                        based on their biscuit.

                                                                        And thus I became
                                                                        A Popeye's guy.

                                                                        Also their inferred legacy
                                                                        of spinach consumption
                                                                        makes it feel like a place
                                                                        that's healthier to be.

                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                          I've only had Church's once and I will never go back. Greasy and slimy, the whole sheath of fried skin slid off when I took my first bite. In my view Popeye's vs Church's is comparing the best of the best to the worst of the worst.

                                                                          1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                            The conundrum between
                                                                            The three fine purveyors
                                                                            The Popeye's, The Church's, and that other Fella-
                                                                            Is the crust, my friend Fuser
                                                                            Please don't say it's the biscuits!
                                                                            Because what they give you there
                                                                            To put betwixt...
                                                                            It isn't real honey, it isn't real butter
                                                                            What's in them lil packets frankly scare me, big fella
                                                                            So I base my decision on crispy brown crust
                                                                            and greaselessness, which makes at least one a bust
                                                                            and what's served up with birdy,
                                                                            hey, that matters too
                                                                            I wish mashers and good gravy and coleselaw to you.

                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                              As kid raised in Louisville
                                                                              we had to do Colonel.

                                                                              While his taters were instant,
                                                                              and thereby were lacking,
                                                                              he had pretty good gravy
                                                                              and really put out
                                                                              some great coleslaw.

                                                                              It's been years since I've been there,
                                                                              so cannot remember
                                                                              and fairly bespeak
                                                                              of the crust nor the flavor
                                                                              of his biscuits.

                                                                              1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                all right "live poet's society" members, i'm not going to join your club to post ;-); howevah, i will add that the colonel's cole slaw recipe has a perfect online clone. http://www.grouprecipes.com/48974/cop...

                                                                                i think the purveyors of fried chicken vary quite widely according to location. of course, all the chicken tasted better in the past before the gubmint got involved to tell businesses which fats they couldn't use.

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  Agreed on the clone recipe: I enjoyed the one I made at home even more than the Old Man's himself. And as far as chicken......I mean to say, where chicken is concerned.....how do I put this......chickens here in the States are bred and processed within an inch, and sometimes more, of their lives. Pale, colorless, characterless....Chicken just doesn't taste like chicken.

                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                    chickens used to taste like chickens. and they didn't used to have "SUPER-BREASTS." http://cellar.org/2009/chicken-breast...

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      Reminds me of Woody's "Sleeper," right? The gigantic chicken? The other day I was at the market needing leg+thigh pieces, and at this little crap store they only had frozens but I had to do what I had to do. Well, I thought the package felt a little large and heavy, but it wasn't till I got it home and thawed it and got a gander at those things, and it was just horrifying. The chickens those basstigges came off of would have to reach up to my ribcage in height, proportionately speaking. Just. Not. Right.

                                                                                    2. re: mamachef

                                                                                      Mama, you are sooo spot on! Iwas overseas for a long time, returned to the states, and gaged on the chicken. How can chicken be bland, yet still taste of chemicals at the same time. When we visiti out kids overseas, the chicken I eat, tasts of real chicken.
                                                                                      I wonder how many people realize that most of our meats cannot be sold in Europe or much of Asia??? Wonder why I hunt?

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        Pdk: Really. Once you've eaten Poulet Bresse (or any other non-appellated Euro-chicken, for that matter) there is just no comparison. Hah, "so bland, yet taste of chemicals.."
                                                                                        But, you don't have to play that with me. I KNOW that you hunt because you like to hunt, and enjoy doing very manly things in very manly ways, 'cause I don't think you're out there huntin' chickens, right? Maybe other game birds, but not..SQUAWK!!!

                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                          I might have wrung a neighbor's rooster once, so I can sleep. Tasty coq au vin.

                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                            But does that qualify as hunting for wild chicken? Or just hunting for peace & quiet?

                                                                              2. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                My problem with Church's is it's hard to customize your order. Their meals are rigid and you can't get much a la carte. So, if you tell the cashier you want a three-piece meal with two breasts it's as though you recited an hypothesis from Heidegger to Cheryl Crow or a rapper. No such problems at the trusty Popeye's.

                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                  Sheryl Crow is quite intelligent and clould not only challenge your Heidegger hypothesis in any of 17 languages, living and dead, she could count out your change in Base 8. And give you a three-piece meal with two breasts.

                                                                                  As for rappers, Ice-T could probably do the same.

                                                                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                    I rather doubt that. On both scores. But I'm sure Crow could give Ice-T a couple of environmentally correct pointers on lavaging his tookus.

                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                      *snort!!* why? why is poor sheryl crow in the same sentence as "lavaging" anything?!

                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                        and all y'all have COMPLETELY ignored what Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mills had to say on the subject. yeesh your arguments are incomplete without them or Susan Sontag for that matter.

                                                                              3. I'll go with hot dogs.

                                                                                If for the only fact that a lesser quality hot dog will still be pretty good. Not so with fried chicken.

                                                                                I think you can do more with dogs too.


                                                                                1. mmm hot, fresh, spicy fried chicken - you can't beat it!

                                                                                  1. I would have to say fried chicken, especially the thigh.
                                                                                    T also like hot dogs but fried chicken wins out.
                                                                                    If I had to choose, I would choose KFC over Church's or Popeye's.

                                                                                    1. Fried chicken all the way. Just about any kind will do, as long as it isn't drowned in a sauce. I love sausages, but there's just something very dull about placing it in a hot dog. The only time I really order them is if I somehow find myself in a ballgame, which is rare, considering my options are either the sad Mets or evil Yankees.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ediblover

                                                                                        For a very cheap, relaxing date, some Fri or Sat evening, take the 1 or 2 train down to Battery Park, grab the Staten Island Ferry (It costs nothing!), and enjoy the ride out to Staten Island. Stay on board and on the return, grab a couple of Franks (I get mustard and kraut) and a couple of Heiniken beers and go to the bow of the craft and, depending on the weather, stand at the bow or sit inside all the way forward on the second deck, and watch The Statue of Liberty glide by on your left, Ellis Island on your right, and the NYC skyline will rise up and enlarge into the giant glistening jewel that that great city truly is.
                                                                                        Get more beer as needed.
                                                                                        I've been doing this since high school.

                                                                                        Who needs the mile high club????

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          I'd do that (although I rather doubt we're compatible) but thanks for the tip.

                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                            You buy the beer and I won't complain.

                                                                                      2. Two words : Vienna Beef.

                                                                                        1. I eat hot dogs at baseball games. Ain't right to go to a game without a ceremonial dog.

                                                                                          But chicken is special. Popeye's will do, especially since they've got great sides. Love their red beans and rice or cajun rice. And damned decent biscuits.
                                                                                          But my real favorites are from some bulletproof carryouts in less-than-great sections of town. Just simple flour coating fried to a crackling crisp. Even good cold the next day - the acid test for great fried chicken.
                                                                                          Another option is the United House of Prayer for All People. Founded by Rev, Charles "Sweet Daddy" Grace, they seem to consider food as part of their mission. The one closest to my home has plate dinners on Saturdays and Sundays, prepared by the church ladies in the basement cafeteria. Fried chicken with two sides (great collards) for about $6.
                                                                                          The same light flour coating, perfectly seasoned, fried to a crackly crunch. Perfect Southern fried chicken.

                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                            yeah, but I find the bulletproof joints NEED a little extra salt and or mumbo sauce or even just tabasco

                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                              My current favorite fried chicken joint is Crown on H Street. 700 block almost to 8th St. This place looks really nasty. The word "ghetto" fits. But it's owned by a really nice family and the chicken is great. They always offer hot sauce but their chicken is fine as is, just like you get from the very best home cooks in the South.
                                                                                              They're open almost 24 hours a day. They close from something like 2 am to 5 am. Then they have great carryout breakfast.

                                                                                            2. re: MakingSense

                                                                                              good to see you back making sense. I've missed your well reasoned and thought out contributions!

                                                                                              1. re: nvcook

                                                                                                was MS gone for a while? hope all is well.

                                                                                                I was going to the one on 8th SE for a while between E and S Carolina. checked it out when the Popeye's changed the menu so you couldn't order by the piece anymore you had to get sides and what not and blow $7 (terrible marketing I thought, as that is also a transit corridor for people who don't have a lot to spend) so China Wall got my business and I wasn't sorry, I am just talking wings here so expectations weren't huge.

                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                  When i went to Popeye's the other day, my first time, they let us order two extra pieces of chicken, although that was after ordering a dinner. so, maybe you can't just order a piece, but they'll let you add pieces to a dinner. don't know how much the pieces cost.....

                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                    My experience w/ Popeye's, at least locally, is that they will sell you whatever you want - but you will be amazed at the exponential inflated cost of your order. Ya say it's 3.99 special night, but you don't want two thighs and a wing? Go on!! Order a breast to sub, and WATCH as 3.99 magically rises to 7.99! It's like the reverse of the Loaves and Fishes!

                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                      """It's like the reverse of the Loaves and Fishes!"""

                                                                                                      good one, mamachef, and very true!

                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                        At the Popeye's here in my local area, they always have a chicken only special of (11) mixed pieces for $10.99 and full chicken wings pieces (5) for $4.99. On Mondays and Tuesdays, you can get a (20) piece dark meat special with (2) Apple Pies for $15.99. That's more than reasonable and a lot easier than cooking it at home..

                                                                                                        I believe the single piece price for a breast is $1.89......sorry, but I do not know what the sub price is, but I'm sure it wouldn't be $4.00. If you want to special order the chicken in bulk, basically, since they have the (11) piece special, any order of 25 pieces or chicken only is sold to you @ dollar a piece for mixed pieces.....but you cannot expect to walk in and purchase small amounts for a buck each, chicken only.

                                                                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                          fourunder, clearly we don't live around each other!! : )
                                                                                                          Sure, there was an element of exaggeration involved - anyone here can tell you I'm long on that - but not by much. It truly has been my experience that if someplace is running a whatever-number-piece-special-on-whatever-night and I want to sub in some or all white meat, the price neatly and literally almost doubles. Which is why, on the rare occasions we eat fried chicken, it's because I made it at home, with only a few splash oilburns and a filthy kitchen to show for it!
                                                                                                          What, do you own stock in Popeyes or something? :-)

                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                            ......or something? :-)

                                                                                                            we can only dream......

                                                                                                          2. re: fourunder

                                                                                                            I was flabbergasted when I went into a Popeye's just up the street from me and learned that No, they WON'T sell me chicken by the piece. Which means of course that they won't sell me any chicken at all, because I am damned if I will tolerate that sort of inflexibility from a fast-food joint. Guess they don't mind keeping the Colonel in business...

                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                              Dang, Will. You sure showed them. I bet they're DAMN sorry now. : )

                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                Puh-LEEZE! Oh, yeah, they came grovelling to my doorstep...

                                                                                                                If the well-recorded ire of thousands of Southern cooks wasn't enough to keep Smucker's from essentially destroying White Lily flour, I really doubt one old dude's annoyance is gonna make a chicken chain mend its ways. However, if it pisses me off, it almost certainly does the same to lots of others, and our grousing about it on various public fora might spread the discontent enough to have some effect. Maybe. Anyway, it's worth the effort.

                                                                                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                  Hey, I'm in total agreement. I'm what you might call a young curmudgeon, and I do believe in raising my voice (and do it all the time.)

                                                                                                2. There's a chicken place on Riverside in Austin, Pollo a la Reggio, that has great chicken. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know if it is baked or fried, I never really noticed. It comes w/ corn tortillas and a killer green salsa. We take it a block down to a riverside park, sit on a blanket and crack a couple cold Live Oak Ales. Wonderful. When in Austin, hot dogs don't even enter the frontal lobe. We generally his a soul food restaurant once, and I mean to get the chicken, but a poor boy or some daily special seem to get in the way.

                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                    I'm willing to bet it's flame-grilled, which seems to be the Latino way with chicken. Here in SoCal we've long had El Pollo Loco and its imitators, and now the Guatemalan chain Pollo a la Brasa has been moving in as well. Usually marinated with lime juice and spices and grilled half-split and flattened. An alternative is spit-roasting. Delightful, but that's not a candidate for OUR national dish, at least not yet!

                                                                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                      I'm with you on that one Will. We have numerous taco trucks/chicken places in Houston with a variation on the name Pollo Asado Regio, estilo Monterrey and it's always grilled and served with a side of frijoles a la charra, and some good, hot red and green salsa. We have a place close to me that does a great costillas de pueco, fin de semana. These are grilled, not smoked ribs served on the weekends.

                                                                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                      slightly off topic - i've always wondered so i hope you don't mind, out of curiosity - places like el pollo loco that always give the tortillas - what do you do with them? i go to cali about once a year and every time we go to one of these chicken places you get the chicken and sides (sometimes includes beans, sometimes not) but always comes with tortillas....dip them in salsa? pull of pieces of chicken and roll them up? thanks!

                                                                                                      1. re: pie22

                                                                                                        Make tasty chicken tacos. Pull off the chicken, pile it on the tortilla and top w/ salsa. Great stuff.

                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                          The ones here also come with jalapenos and onions so you can kick it up a notch on your taco rolled in the corn tortillas.

                                                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                            ahh thanks so much! - that was the only thing i could think of but ya never know - i could have been missing something entirely.

                                                                                                        2. re: pie22

                                                                                                          absolutely make tacos out of them! that's all you need, chicken pulled off the bone, slathered in their salsa, rolled up in a tortilla. mmmm this is making me miss pollo loco, and i thought i was done with them.

                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            I used to do some work for a website guy in Tennessee, and wound up coming over to his house to give him Photoshop lessons. He and his family had moved there from the L.A. area a year or two before, and when I mentioned we were about to move out there his children popped up with a chorus of, "OOOOHHH, you HAVE to have El Pollo Loco!" That was apparently the one thing they truly missed about SoCal. However, given the growth in the Latino population around the Nashville area, I would not be surprised if there's either EPL or one of its competitors in the area by now.

                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                              we have tons of variations on the "crazy chicken" around here in d.c. tons, i say.

                                                                                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                my sister just reminded me that we had it again visiting our folks about two years ago, in So. Cal., and that we thought it had gone downhill. Now my dad is living near me in the Bay Area and I found one near us, so i'm going to give it a shot, as he liked it. but yes, as alkapal says, there are TONS of similar (and better) options of good roasted /grilled chicken around. But i used to love theirs with their salsa - it was not particularly spicy, but for some reason i hold the taste of it in my mind.

                                                                                                        3. This is me, trying to decide--

                                                                                                          1. Not that it's earth-shaking news, but I've moved into the "dirty-water dawg" camp for preparing hot dogs.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                              Ya, I saw that on CNN this morning.