With the surge of new spots and cult-worthy sandwiches from chefs like David Chang and Danny Meyer, we've entered a wonderful era of abundant crackling, juicy fried chicken for every palate—whether you like it dressed up, dressed down or between two buns. And within this countrywide movement, an unlikely subtrend has emerged: really good chicken fingers.
Traditionally enjoyed at kids’ parties and bowling alleys, chicken fingers (or strips or tenders) are appearing on grown-up restaurant menus across the country. But they aren’t the dry, rubbery, factory-produced strips you might be expecting. These chef-improved fingers are upscale plays on nostalgia that take advantage of the tender’s size and shape to create the optimal meat-to-crunch ratio. Here are five great places to discover just how good chicken fingers can be.
- The Secret to Amazing Fried Chicken
- David Chang ♥'s Chicken Fingers
- The Secret to Ultra-Delicious Fried Chicken: Duck Fat
Fuku+, New York City
First there was Fuku, David Chang's habit-forming spicy fried chicken sandwich dispensary. Now there's Fuku+, a larger space with its own mania-inducing offering: Fuku Fingers (above). Created in collaboration with Danny Bowien’s Mission Chinese, these crispy all white-meat fingers come tossed in a mouth-numbing Chongqing spice blend, chili oil, sliced scallions and fried chiles. They’re also available at Mission Cantina in the massive Fuku Finger Crunchy Wrap (Bowien’s chef-y take on Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap), made with pepper jack cheese, smoked habanero honey, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño pickles, salmon skin chicharrons and buttermilk dressing wrapped up in a tortilla. Both the Fuku Fingers and the Crunchy Wrap are here for a limited time, and a dollar from the sale of each dish is donated to Edible Schoolyard NYC. momofuku.com