Screen shot 2016 07 05 at 2.26.50 pm cxdnbo

Fried chicken with all the fixins at Frenchy's

Image: Kate LeSueur

While any day is a great day to indulge in a few fried drumsticks and thighs, July 6 gives us “official” permission as poultry lovers across the states celebrate National Fried Chicken Day. Info is scarce on how this particular food holiday came into being (ahem, marketing, ahem), though the history of frying fowl dates back to between 7,000 and 5,000 BCE where early versions were enjoyed in China, the Middle East, and West Africa.

According to author Adrian Miller, “American-style” fried chicken can be sourced to Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, a British cookbook circa 1747, which outlines a recipe of chicken dredged in flour before frying in hog lard (um, yes please).  Despite its numerous origins, the dish is most known in the United States as a staple of the American South and locals judge birds by any number of culinary criteria depending on region and personal preference. Here are five locales to get your chicken fix this year.

Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts

Sustainably raised chickens at this Heights restaurant serve to bolster its perfect pairing of “one bite bite sweet, one bite salty”—that is, the seasoned fried chicken shares space with homemade donuts all under one roof. Looking for a picnic deal? Grab eight pieces of “Icebox Fried Chicken” for $10 and save your cash for tasty sides and numerous sauces like the bacon, onion, and jalapeño marmalade. New this summer is Htown Hot Chicken, which utilizes a custom blended oil recipe and launches July 6.

Screen shot 2016 07 05 at 2.28.02 pm av2kc8

Dig in at Dak & Bop

Image: Kate LeSueur

Dak & Bop

Twice-fried Korean fried chicken means extra crunchy exteriors and ultra-juicy interiors—and it gets even better from there. The fine folks here toss the hot birds in one of five flavors ranging in heat from soy-garlic to Sriracha honey-lime and buffalo hot, all of which pair nicely with Dak & Bop's menu of assorted fries and Asian citrus slaw. Be aware that fried chicken here takes upwards of 30 minutes to ensure proper prep but a selection of craft beer and cocktails makes that time fly. Ahem.

The Waffle Bus

Forget the fork and enjoy piping hot buttermilk fried chicken stuffed between thick Belgian waffles for a sandwich of epically delicious proportions. Chicken is available without the carby-accouterment, but don’t pass on the ancho chile honey. The condiment lends a sweet and spicy counterbalance to the savory meat. For extra fun try the chicken-and-waffle fryders, an ingenious coupling of chicken and waffle fries for slider action you won’t see anywhere else.

Screen shot 2016 07 05 at 2.26.56 pm bghlsq

Image: Kate LeSueur

Frenchy’s

A local favorite since opening in 1969, Frenchy’s now boasts an incredible 36 locations to satisfy your craving for Southern Louisiana-spiced fried chicken. Utilizing a New Orleans family recipe from founder Percy “Frenchy” Creuzot, the chicken that's been repped by Beyonce herself is available in a variety of meal options including meals, family boxes, and by the piece. Swap the wan fries for Creole sides like dirty rice, jambalaya, and gumbo.

Barbecue Inn

Though equally beloved for its hand-battered chicken fried steak, this Independence Heights institution is especially popular for its nationally-recognized signature fried chicken. Every succulent breast, thigh, wing, and leg is made to order ensuring subsequent bites are sensational. Take advantage of the 25 to 30-minute wait to soak in the atmosphere of this restaurant’s 70-year history.

Show Comments
In this Article

Barbecue Inn

$ American/New American, Diner 116 W. Crosstimbers

Houston was already in the very top rank of American fried chicken capitals long before the dish got trendy. The extraordinarily juicy, virtually greaseless ...

Editor’s Pick

Dak & Bop

$$ Korean 1801 Binz St., Suite 120

This is one of the only places inside the Loop where you can consistently find Korean fried chicken—which makes sense, as KFC is their specialty. What makes ...

Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts

$ American/New American, Bakeries, Dessert 601 Heights Blvd.

The fried bird made famous at Liberty Kitchen and BRC Gastropub finds a home of its own at this chicken counter. Save room for doughnuts, particularly the in...