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Fried Chicken Recs?


Siouxsie
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My Jones post got me craving fried chicken. It's definitely a weakness. I moved here from NOLA, where there were a few good places, one of which was on Claiborne in an area frequented by pimps! Also had Gus's in Memphis and Mrs. Rowe's in VA. Yum.

I do like Jones for Center City, but also Fran DeBreaux's in Overbrook.

Where else?

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Ms Tootsie's in the 1300 block of South St. has some amazing fried chicken. Big George's Stop N Dine , 52nd and Locust, also had very tasty fried chicken when I stopped in there about 5 years ago

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

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Popeye's spicy.

Ya know , I wasnt gonna mention that, but Popeye's is a serious weakness for me, and a lot easier to get than any soul food version in Philly. That is some damn fine fried chicken.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Popeye's spicy.

Ya know , I wasnt gonna mention that, but Popeye's is a serious weakness for me, and a lot easier to get than any soul food version in Philly. That is some damn fine fried chicken.

I have a weakness for that as well, with their red beans and rice as a side.

AND the coleslaw and dirty rice and biscuits!

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

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Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Big George's, alas, is no more -- it closed about a year ago.

I was wondering how long it would be before a Crown Fried Chicken fan cropped up in this discussion. This seems to be the favorite chain you've never heard of unless you live in the 'hood or are among a select few cognoscenti.

Homestyle fried chicken is a thing of joy, but I must confess that Popeye's puts a hurtin' on most everyone else's.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

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Popeye's is a good fried chicken, but too heavy a breading compared to pan-fried chicken, which I consider superior to deep fat fried and especially franchise deep fat fried. I can tell you where to get great pan-fried chicken in the midwest or the south. But for some reason it's a rarity hereabouts. Down Home Diner used to, but don't know if it is still on the menu and still up to Jack's standards.

When I want to make biscuit sandwiches I head to Popeye's. Great blending of biscuit, fried breading and juicy thigh crust. Else wise Crown Fried Chicken though the one on South Broad is inconsistent.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

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When Crown's good, it's very good. When it's bad . . .

That's the problem: consistency among the various outlets. That's where Popeye's shines, as a good franchise should.

Last time I checked, "Cast Iron Fried Chicken" was still on the menu at the Down Home Diner, though I haven't tried it in a while. FWIW, I think Jordan is not only maintaining high food standards at the DHD, but has made great service improvements.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

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Best fried chicken I've ever had in US (not having had it south of M-D line)

is Korean fried chicken. Cafe Soho on Cheltenham Ave. just east of 5th is only place I know of in town.

Of course, it's $20 for 20 pieces, so it's expensive, but dammm good and not greasy at all.

RIP Big George's is no longer there, and since I've heard nothing about a move/replacement, I have to assume it's finito.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Down Home Diner Cast Iron Chicken

gallery_7493_1768_252501.jpg

This topic got me hungry for fried chicken, so I thought I'd try the Down Home Diner's yesterday for lunch.

This plate arrived at my counter seat maybe six or seven minutes after ordering, so it's hard to believe it was cooked to order. But it tasted that way. Very succulent chicken (at least the thigh, drumstick and wing; the breast was, as expected, just a tad dry). It was, however, very lightly seasoned, so if you definitely prefer spicy chicken, this isn't for you. It also has no breading or batter: just a thin coat of flour (or was it fine cornmeal?) to help it crisp up nicely.

The chicken was cut and fried in two pieces: thigh-drumstick and wing-breast. The breast had the ribs and all bone cut away from it, but still attached to the wing; this, I would imagine, would help it cook more evenly. Nice trick, and also made dealing with it on the plate much easier.

The potatoes were fine, though the portion looks bigger than it was: some broccoli and cauliflower was underneath them. The veggies were definitely not over-cooked; in fact, they were a tad under-cooked, and cooked very plainly.

Price: $7.50.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Oh, rlibkind, that looks scrumptious, and a wonderful price for a half bird. This is at the Reading Terminal? Better, you think, than Delilah's? Delilah's is in the bins, though, which is less appealing than at least a freshly "finished" entree like your pic.

My big issue in that regard is that I can't imagine getting good and messy with a fried chicken lunch, then having to go back to work! The place I sometimes got from in Baton Rouge was OK to take home and reheat, so I guess I could try that.

Mmmm!

Siouxsie

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Siouxie,

Yes, the Down Home Diner is at the Reading Terminal Market. The diner is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (til 8 p.m., but after 6 p.m. only entrance is on Filbert Street).

It's not at all greasy, and easily manageable with knife-and-fork, though I did pick up the wings to eat in-hand, as well as to finish off the thigh and drumstick. With just a modicum of care you won't get your clothes messed up. (Perhaps that's a point against this chicken!)

I do want to emphasize that it's a plain-tasting chicken; very little in the way of seasoning. But the chicken itself is very good and, based on this one experience, nicely fried.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I also had a craving for fried chicken after reading this thread...so on Friday night, I decided to try out Popeye's since it was on my bike route home, and I'd never been.

I ordered the spicy, with a side of cole slaw, a biscuit and mac and cheese. The chicken was delicious, moist and tender - the crispy skin, also good, with a nice bit of spice to it. Biscuit and mac and cheese were both dry, but good cole slaw.

Only problem with all of this was when I woke up at 3 am with stomach pains and headed for the Pepto B. Maybe it is because I haven't had it before - maybe because I don't normally eat fast food - but I think next time I'll head past Ms. Tootsie's instead or make it for myself :) I did find what looks like a great recipe in the James Beard cookbook for Bacon Fried Chicken with Brandy Cream sauce that I am definitley going to have to try out :)

Jennie Hatton

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Based on this thread, that I had fasted for blood work this morning, and that Popeye's is next door to the medical center, guess where I had lunch today.

While I still prefer DeBreaux for my local fix, I didn't have to wait 45 minutes for my spicy plate.

BTW, those fixes will remain few and far between due to the summer job I had at KFC many years ago...I usually get fish from the pink truck at 30th Street, but I'll probably give their bird a try in a few months.

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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Hi Mummer! As I wrote in the intro, I am a DeBreaux fan, but it definitely takes some scheduling. I once called in my order from Franklin Mills mall! It actually worked out perfectly. My guy pal who I took there about a month or so ago had the ribs and I was coveting them something fierce.

I am not often around 30th St. station, so that's out. I'm likely headed to RTM this week to check out DHD. Waves to rlibkind!

I hate to work a cheap pun, but this thread's got some legs. Glad I inspired a few ventures. I actually have never been a huge Popeye's person, even when I lived in NOLA, where it's from. One always pays for it down the road and I don't love their sides.

Siouxsie

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  • 2 months later...

I got to Fran DeBreaux's for the first time in six or seven years this afternoon and tried her fried chicken.

Hands down, it's the best I've had in town. Great seasonings. Huge portions. For $10.95, she gave me two huge legs (thigh and drumstick portions), mounds of mac 'n cheese, and a huge helping of the sweetest collards I've ever tasted. She Who Must Be Obeyed went for the monster-sized chicken breast, which was moist and juicy, opting for a double-dose of carbohydrates on the side: candied yams and what SWMBO described as superior potato salad. The skin on both birds was absolutely perfect: crisp, chicken-y with just enough seasoning to take it to a new level. The cornbread was slightly sweet and light, as if it had been made with cake flour made from corn. We merely dented our servings, so at least one full meal apiece awaits us in the fridge.

The time between ordering and getting your meal at DeBreaux's can be excruciatingly slow, but there's no reason to be in a hurry. Go with the flow and your patience will be amply rewarded. Good food takes time.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Yep. Fran's fried chicken, cornbread, and greens are superb; even more so when I learned that she apparently uses relatively healthy cooking oil. I do, however, recall not adoring the mac and cheese for some reason (too mushy?) and thinking the yams were just a bit too sweet (I like to still taste a bit of the actual yam).

The time factor doesn't bother me now that I know to budget for it. The first time I went, I was absolutely starving and nearly passed out at my table. The waiter was kind enough to bring me some greens out early and I slurped the whole plate in about thirty seconds.

In tune with my current BBQ thread running, I notice here that I never did try her ribs. Will have to make a trip out that way soon!

Siouxsie

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  • 2 months later...

What is so hard about frying chicken.

From a post about Kansas City area Fried Chicken,

I got a book called "Day Trips from Kansas City" for Christmas. In that book it calls Pittsburgh, KS the fried chicken capitol of the Midwest. I've not been there but the book highly recommends

Barto's Idle Hour,201 S Santa Fe in Fronternac

Chicken Annie's, 1143 E 600th Ave

Chicken Mary's, 1133 E 600th Ave

Gebhardt Chicken Dinners, 124 North 260th St

Pinchler's Chicken Annie's, 1271 S 220th St

That's Pittsburg KS, not PA. Poulation 19,243 in 2000. Five places famous for their fried chicken.

Other than a DeBreaux I can not name one place in the Delaware Valley that has built its reputation on fried chicken. Down Home Diner does great chicken, but it is not their reason for being.

gallery_14_356_4133.jpg

There are no places with a dozen skillets going, frying up batches of chicken.

If I'm right, that's a big void in Philadelphia eating that needs to be filled.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I have no idea whether they have lots of cast iron pans in the back or not, but as I mentioned in their thread, the Royal Tavern has been offering a really good version of fried chicken as one of the specials. I heard that it has been very popular, so it will probably stay around for a while.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

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