Best of Philly: Eat More Fried Chicken

Best of Philly Fried Chicken Sandwich at Samwich | Photo by Jason Varney

Best of Philly Fried Chicken Sandwich at Samwich | Photo by Jason Varney

Best of Philly 2016 is now online as well as at newsstands. Check out the best in fried chicken as well as the rest of the Best in food, drink, shopping, beauty, health, fitness, fun and games.

Everyone is getting in on the fried-chicken-slapped-on-a-bun game these days, but the fried chicken sandwich (pictured) at Samwich (1040 North American Street, #1101, Northern Liberties, and 600 Catharine Street, Bella Vista) rises above the finger-lickin’ fray. A spice-blended, crispy-skinned, buttermilk-brined bird is topped with house-made bacon, pepper jack cheese, ranch dressing and sweet and sour pickles. You’ll need two hands and about 20 napkins.

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Field Guide: Where to Find the Best Fried Chicken in Philadelphia

Fried Chicken from Fat Ham Philadelphia

Fried chicken from Fat Ham | Photograph by Vanessa Beahn

While Philly isn’t a traditional bastion of poultry excellence, its fried chicken game has gotten strong. Today’s restaurants have innovated, resurrected classic styles, and even won awards for dunking birds. So check out these joints (some new, some old) next time you feel like getting a little fried chicken in you. We give you: the best fried chicken in Philadelphia.

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A Beach Picnic, Philly Style

foobooz-down-the-shore-squarePacking a picnic basket for a day trip to the beach can be a monotonous task. Water bottles, ham-and-cheese sandwiches on white, bags of salt and vinegar chips. Or maybe, because you’re a true Philadelphian, you’re making a pit stop at Wawa for an Italian hoagie with extra sweet peppers. There’s nothing wrong with the usual. Old habits die hard and it’s a fact that hoagies taste better with salt water in the air. This summer however, we’re breaking routine and packing up some of our local Philly favorites to bring down the shore because everyone needs a taste of home away from home.

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Cheap Eats: Wishbone

WishboneChicken

Wishbone is a curious name for a chicken shop that can go weeks without serving any sort of bone at all.  Alan Segel and Dave Clouser’s successor to the longtime Lee’s Hoagie House in University City promises “craft fried chicken,” but that turns out to mean boneless, skinless chicken nuggets coated with dried pretzels.  I can’t be the only customer surprised by that discovery.  But hey, who’s to deny the craft in separating breasts and thighs from their skeletons?

Chicken nuggets have had a rough run lately.  A 2013 analysis of nuggets from two unspecified national chains determined that chicken muscle only accounted for about half the content of one specimen, and a mere 40 percent of the other.  Plenty of ground-up blood vessels, nerve tissue, and bone fragments, though!

So in fact there is a decent case to be made for taking the industrial revolution out of the chicken nugget, and putting some craft back in.

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Fried Chicken Replacing Hoagies in West Philadelphia

The void left by Lee’s Hoagie House, which closed June 12th, is being filled … by fried chicken. The fried chicken restaurant Wishbone will open at 4034 Walnut Street in the fall.

From a recent article in the Daily Pennsylvanian:

Owners and chefs Alan Segel and Dave Clouser are planning to offer a signature flavor of chicken and one special flavor that changes every week or so, as well as a variety of sauces. The chicken will be cut into white and dark meat, as well as leg, thigh and breast made into tenders.

The owners are aiming for an October opening. Donald Klipstein, who was the delivery man at Lee’s Hoagie House for 27 years, will stay on the Wishbone staff.

Drexel alums to open fried chicken restaurant at Penn [Daily Pennsylvanian]