The 10 Best Fried Chickens in NYC
Among iconic American foodstuffs, fried chicken has the ability to generate a particular patriotic zeal, and southerners are by far the most vocal (rightfully so). The dish has a dark past: The beloved cooking technique was introduced to this country by people who found themselves cooking here through no choice of their own. Today the bird is a true art form, and the best examples of the genre are positively addictive, a singular organism of skin and meat fused by hot fat. It's a food that deserves its global stage--excellent variations come by way of Asia and South America--though southern styles are most prevalent in NYC. Here are the 10 best.
10. Jacob's Pickles, 509 Amsterdam Avenue
With brick walls and brined vegetables, this yuppified Southern/Jewish hybrid has carved a niche for itself that screams "deep fried deli-chic". The best dishes here are the several varieties of fried chicken biscuit sandwiches. Buttermilk-soaked breasts come smothered in mushroom or sausage gravy and topped with fried green tomatoes, bacon, or a fried egg. Our favorite is the honey chicken, the rust-colored paprika-rich crust poking out under a mountain of spicy hot-sour pickles. The top biscuit provides additional crunch; the bottom biscuit is soaked through with honey. She's a knife-and-fork affair, and the pairing just plain works: All that fat needs the pucker-inducing kick of those adulterated cukes.
9. Peaches HotHouse, 415 Tompkins Avenue, Brooklyn
For all of the fried failures with no regional lineage, it's refreshing to get a taste of the heavily spiced Nashville-style hot chicken served at this Bed-Stuy beacon for Southern food. For best results, extra-spicy is the way to go. The cage-free birds are spiced twice during the cooking process and come sporting a greaseless crust so crimson with cayenne that the pieces look downright angry when they arrive at the table. Break through that fiery blockade and you'll find white and dark meat that's as tender as an R&B ballad.
8. Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter, 94 Avenue C
Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter
Keedick Coulter's pressure-fried chicken excels in all its knobby, crunchy splendor. Brined in sweet tea, the birds exude a hint of sugar underneath their spiced flour crust, which crackles with each bite. The tender meat comes on the bone paired with rich, flaky biscuits or boneless and sandwiched between grilled buns, where, as tradition dictates, it's topped with bread and butter pickles and nothing else.
509 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY