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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.