Top 5 Fried Chicken Dishes in America
#5: Fried Chicken and Donuts — Federal Donuts
At Federal Donuts in Philadelphia, the customers come for the doughnuts but stay for the fried chicken, which is twice-fried. For the first fry the chicken is allowed to "luxuriate" in a vat of oil at a low temperature. For the second fry it's cooked in a fryer basket for a short time at a very high heat, creating what Chef Matthew Fein calls a "teeth-shatteringly crispy" exterior. Enjoy the chicken either with a chile-garlic glaze or dusted with buttermilk ranch seasoning.
Find the Restaurant: Federal Donuts
#4: Smoked Fried Chicken Sandwich — The People's Pig
You'd think that with a name like The People's Pig, this Portland, Ore., restaurant's biggest draw would be pork, but owner Cliff Allen says it's actually his chicken sandwich. The chicken is smoked over white oak for a short amount of time at high heat — the opposite of the usual slow-and-low method. Then the thighs are deboned, battered and fried. It's served on a housemade sourdough roll spread with spicy mayo and jalapeno jelly.
Find the Restaurant: The People's Pig
#3: Chicken and Biscuits — Watershed on Peachtree
At Atlanta's Watershed on Peachtree, an upscale farm-to-table restaurant co-owned by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, the chicken and biscuits are worth writing home about. The recipe belonged to Edna Lewis, and it's a three-day process worth every minute. The chicken is first brined, then soaked in buttermilk, then dredged in flour and cornstarch, and finally shallow-fried in "pork fat scented with ham hocks and butter," as Executive Chef Zeb Stevenson describes it.
Find the Restaurant: Watershed on Peachtree
#2: Fried Chicken and Waffles — Longman & Eagle
At hotel bar Longman & Eagle in Chicago, customers are pairing their Bloody Marys with the Fried Chicken and Waffles. Brined in a mixture of aromatics, rice wine vinegar and honey, the chicken is then coated in a seasoned flour mixture before being deep-fried in beef fat. It's served atop a hash made with sweet potatoes and Berkshire pork belly, and waffles that include maple syrup in the batter.
Find the Restaurant: Longman & Eagle
#1: Fried Chicken — Martha Lou's Kitchen
No frills, all taste — that's what you can expect from Martha Lou's Kitchen in Charleston, S.C. At this down-home restaurant, they serve up some of the best Southern comfort food around. But it's Martha Lou Gadsden's fried chicken that brings customers in droves. She starts by seasoning the chicken in a blend of secret spices before dredging it in self-rising flour, then dipping it in milk and back in the flour for a second time, and finally frying it in peanut oil.
Find the Restaurant: Martha Lou's Kitchen
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