Best Chicken Dishes in the U.S.
Barbuto, New York City
Jonathan Waxman has been famous for roast chicken since the 1980s. His latest recipe—the wood-oven-roasted JW chicken—achieves poultry greatness through a simple technique: “We baste the hell out of it,” he says. barbutonyc.com.
Nomad, New York City
Daniel Humm’s baroque chicken for two is fit for plutocrats, with a stuffing of foie gras, truffle and brioche piped under the skin before roasting. thenomadhotel.com.
Beasley's Chicken + Honey; Raleigh, NC
With extra-craggy triple-fried chicken paired with a thick, custardy Belgian waffle, Ashley Christensen’s take on chicken and waffles is “all about the textures,” she says. ac-restaurants.com.
Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, Miami
Jeff McInnis brines thighs for 27 hours, fries them, then douses them in smoked jalapeño pepper jelly and adds okra pickles and superfresh biscuits, made every half-hour. runchickenrun.com.
The Lobby, Chicago
Stuffed with brioche and butter under the skin and roasted to a hazelnut brown, Lee Wolen’s luxurious chicken is a riff on one he cooked at NYC’s Eleven Madison Park. peninsula.com/chicago.
Mark Fuller serves his organic birds Hawaiian-style—slicked with a fiery red chile sauce or a spicy Chinese mustard and honey glaze. Each order comes with kimchi and sticky rice. maono.springhillnorthwest.com.
Pok Pok; Portland, OR
Andy Ricker’s wings, a version of a Vietnamese bar snack, “hit all the pleasure principles,” he says. pokpokpdx.com.
The Bazaar by José Andrés, Los Angeles
How does a modernist chef make buffalo wings? Like this: confited, deboned, pan-fried and topped with blue cheese cream. thebazaar.com.
Comme Ça, Los Angeles
Cooked in a steam-and-convection oven, David Myers’s Jidori chicken for two is incredibly juicy. commecarestaurant.com.
Son of a Gun, Los Angeles
Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook serve a towering stack of crispy breast, spicy slaw and Sriracha-spiked aioli on a brioche bun. sonofagunrestaurant.com.
Kung Pao Chicken Wings
Former Top Chef chef-testant Dale Talde tosses deep-fried chicken wings in a sweet and spicy kung pao-inspired sauce, tops them with chopped peanuts, cilantro and scallions, and serves them with buttermilk ranch sauce. The chef also serves a variation on classic Buffalo wings at Pork Slope, his new dive bar and comfort food joint. The wings are coated in rice flour, then deep-fried, sprinkled with cayenne pepper and tossed in a hot sauce made with smoked garlic, Sriracha, Frank’s RedHot, honey and butter. taldebrooklyn.com
Chino, San Francisco
Eight years ago, when Nick Balla was working as the chef at a Japanese pub in San Francisco, he hit on the secret to incredible chicken wings: toasted ground rice, which created a crispy crust that could hold up to sauce without becoming soggy. His cross-cultural wings, buttermilk-brined in the Southern-American style and bathed in Southeast Asian garlicky chile-lime sauce, became a huge hit. Now that Balla is busy exploring Eastern European flavors at Bar Tartine, he no longer has those wings on his menu—but San Francisco hasn’t forgotten about them. When the people at a new dumpling spot, Chino, asked for the recipe, Balla was happy to share. “I hate secrecy,” he says. “The era of guarding your recipes is over.”
Pine State Biscuits, Portland, OR
For some people, a piece of fried chicken is indulgent enough. Those people should not go to Pine State Biscuits and order the Wedgie: a biscuit filled with buttermilk fried chicken, a fried green tomato, iceberg lettuce and blue cheese dressing. And they definitely shouldn't order the Reggie Deluxe (photo), because that's a biscuit topped with fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, gravy and an over-easy fried egg. pinestatebiscuits.com
Local Foods, Houston
Unlike New York delis, this one is vast and bright, with a friendly staff. And the overstuffed chicken sandwich is super. Chef Dylan Murray adds crunch with pulverized nuts and potato chips. houstonlocalfoods.com.
Hattie B’s, Nashville
Hot chicken is a blood sport in Tennessee, where chile-heads with death wishes line up at Prince’s on the outskirts of East Nashville to see God in a few bites of cayenne-rubbed poultry. With its two central locations and inviting picnic tables,Hattie B’s may not have the same journey-to-mecca appeal. But the place certainly brings the pain with its hot chicken, available in five degrees of heat. On Sundays you can order your choice of bird on a waffle, sweetened with Log Cabin maple syrup or a bit of clover honey. Executive chef John Lasater says he splits the difference between his grandmother’s waffle recipe and one Thomas Keller popularized, folding a fluffy meringue into the batter to keep it all airy and light.