Kin Shop, the Chowhound-endorsed modern Thai place in the Village, puts a terrific Southeast Asian spin on fried chicken. Half a bird, quartered, comes with fresh herbs, coriander nam prik (hot sauce), and a sweet chile–fish sauce dip. kathryn says it's well seasoned, flavorful, and moist—even the breast meat. She faults only the crust, which could be slightly crisper and a bit less salty. Fried chicken appears on the lunch menu and occasionally as a dinnertime special. (Another highlight of kathryn's dinner was a new dish: lightly battered fried broccoli with basil, Chinese pork sausage, coconut-gooseberry chutney, and fermented plum vinegar. "Savory and crispy! A must order," she says.)
Fried chicken with Southern—not Southeast Asian—roots has been a hot topic in the East Village, where a couple of newish joints are going at it drumstick-to-drumstick. The consensus champ is Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter, which "wins this hands down," according to _emilie_. She also recommends the pork chop sandwich, the sides (get the tomato bread pudding if available), and the genuine down-home vibe. "There are so many fake Southern places in this town that it's refreshing to find someplace like this," she says. Others approve of Bobwhite's beer selection and biscuits—big, fluffy, and fantastic, says psybab.
The other neighborhood newcomer is The Cardinal, where voodoocheese finds the fried chicken lightly battered, well seasoned, and juicy, and adds that the mac 'n' cheese has a welcome hit of black pepper and nicely crusty edges. But others say prices are too high and service is slow. Ricky suggests that the Cardinal's strengths are barbecue and pies. But pie-lover _emilie_, a Georgia transplant, recounts being shut out as early as 6 p.m. "Do not tell a Southern girl you have pie when you don't," she says. "MEAN."
The nearby Redhead has been taking care of business for four years, and many rank its fried chicken among the best in town. "First time I had it, I thought my mom was back in the kitchen, it tasted exactly the same," _emilie_ says, though recent reports suggest inconsistent quality. Her current craving here is shrimp and grits. "I order that for myself," she confides, "and tell everyone else to get the chicken."
Kin Shop [Greenwich Village]
469 Sixth Avenue (between W. 11th and 12th streets), Manhattan
Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter [East Village]
94 Avenue C (between E. Sixth and Seventh streets), Manhattan
The Cardinal [East Village]
234 E. Fourth Street (between Avenues A and B), Manhattan
The Redhead [East Village]
349 E. 13th Street (between First and Second avenues), Manhattan
Image source: Fried chicken image from Shutterstock