Looking for some fast-food fried chicken? If you want the best, then you should start with the following chain restaurants. These are the brands that just make chicken a true delight for the taste buds!
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
No one who has spent some time on social media could have missed the adulation for the Popeyes brand, especially for their chicken sandwich. The hype was so bad that you might have suspected the fans of simply exaggerating the quality of the chicken sandwich, but the doubt generally vanishes once you get your first taste.
With Popeyes, it’s not just about the chicken sandwich. It’s their whole lineup of chicken delights. Somehow, they have managed to mass-produce deep-fried chicken at such a high quality. Their chicken often ranks as among the tastiest and the crunchiest in the whole fast food chicken sector. They’re really just that good.
It doesn’t hurt that the place offers a nice, homey vibe, plus their menu offers lots of classic Southern sides to go with the fantastic chicken. When you’re not sure about where to go for fast-food chicken, Popeyes is always a great choice.
This is the brand that generally contends against Popeyes for the title of America’s favorite fried chicken. Their classic original Chick-fil-A chicken is a work of art that stands the test of time. Their chicken nuggets are simply fantastic, and you may never find better nuggets anywhere else. They’re always made fresh and breaded by hand every morning.
It’s the breading that really makes their chicken stand out. The batter is sweet and peppery, and then it gets this unique flavor when it’s deep fried in peanut oil.
Then you have their signature sauces, which are so good that you might be excused for just drinking them all on their own. Add the Waffle Fries, and the whole meal is just sublime.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
Yes, the brand isn’t quite as famous as Popeyes or Chick-fil-A. It’s a privately-held, family-owned company.
They only have 8 locations, spread out in Tennessee, central Alabama, metro Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas. But you might end up as an apostle of good news once you get a taste of their hot chicken, served with some white bread and dill chips to balance the spiciness.
This is the hot chicken that originally came from Nashville, and now Hattie B’s is sharing the taste to other areas. Count yourself lucky if you have a Hattie B’s near you.
The brand started out as a burger competitor to McDonald’s back in the Philippines, but it’s now more famous as a fried chicken chain restaurant. An increasing number of Americans have discovered their famed Chickenjoy, and it’s aptly named. The crunchy chicken is sure to bring a smile to your face. They offer bone-in pieces, as well as boneless tenders. And every order of Chickenjoy comes with the signature gravy.
It’s also great that here in Jollibee, you can sample some Filipino side dishes to go with your chicken. You can try the sweet Jolly Spaghetti, or the Fiesta Noodles, which is a traditional shrimp and noodle combo. Then you can finish the meal off with some Peach Mango Pie, though you should try the iconic Halo-Halo concoction as well.
The first Zaxby’s opened in Statesboro, Georgia, conveniently located near the Georgia Southern University. That was in 1990, and today they have more than 900 locations. They’re located in just 18 states, though, so tough luck for you if your state isn’t one of them.
Zaxby’s really focuses on chicken, which helps explain why the chicken here is so good. They offer bone-in wings, boneless tenders, and chicken sandwiches as well, and the Zaxby’s menu prices are all reasonable.
Check out their long list of salads (“Zalads”) to go with your chicken. But you should also try the lovable Nibblerz, which is basically a chicken tender inside a mini potato bun, slathered with their house Zax sauce. This sauce is somewhat similar to mayochup, except that you really get a lot more flavor with Zax.
Shake Shack makes this list basically due to its Chick’n Shack. This was the debut chicken sandwich of the brand, and it only came out in 2016. But it quickly became popular, as it features crispy 100% all-natural and antibiotic-free chicken breast.
With the lettuce, pickles, and buttermilk herb mayo, it’s just great. It doesn’t hurt that there’s probably no crispier crust in the entire fast-food chicken industry, plus the chicken is always bigger than the bun.
Like Popeyes, this brand is also based in Louisiana. They have this terrific triumvirate of chicken fingers, crinkle fries, and Texas toast that should be your default order when you visit.
What really makes the chicken here unique is the Cane Sauce, which is absolutely perfect for the chicken and fries. It’s a special blend of ketchup, mayo, and Worcestershire, along with some garlic and black pepper. It’s a terrific combo of tanginess and richness, with just a hint of sweetness.