Crispy Quest: the 10 Best Fried Chicken in the World

Crispy Quest: the 10 Best Fried Chicken in the World
Image by AFP Photos

Who hasn't been tempted by the tantalizing aroma and crispy skin of perfectly fried chicken? From humble roadside stands to fine dining restaurants, fried chicken has captured the hearts of millions with its tantalizing crispy skin and juicy meat.

Every country has its own unique style and flavor of fried chicken, from secret family recipes to signature spices that give the dish its distinctive touch. TasteAtlas, an online experiential food guide, has taken us on a culinary journey to discover the "10 Best Fried Chicken in the World" that will tantalize the palate and whet the appetite.

10. Hot Chicken (Nashville, USA)

Hot chicken, a popular dish from Nashville, USA, is known for its spicy flavor and crunchy texture. Hot Chicken is often served with Southern accompaniments such as lettuce, pickles, and white bread to balance the heat and add different flavors and textures.

To make this dish, the chicken is marinated in a spicy mixture of buttermilk, cayenne pepper and spices before being deep-fried, with heat levels ranging from mild to extra hot. Hot chicken has gained widespread popularity not only in Nashville but across the U.S., with many restaurants outside the city offering their own versions of the dish.

9. Fried Chicken (USA)

Fried chicken is a popular dish in the southern region of the United States, famous for its crispy skin and juicy meat. There are many variations of Southern fried chicken, with different spice blends and cooking methods. Some recipes even call for a brine bath before frying, or use a different type of oil for frying, as well as adding additional spices to the flour mixture.

Southern fried chicken is often served with traditional side dishes such as mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, mustard greens, and cornbread. It can also be served as a sandwich or on waffles for a unique twist.

8. Backhendl (Austria)

Backhendl is a traditional fried chicken dish that originated in Vienna, Austria, and has been popular since the 18th century. The dish consists of chicken pieces such as thighs or breasts that are breaded and fried until golden and crispy after being seasoned with salt and pepper.

Backhendl is usually served with potato salad, cucumber salad or fresh vegetables. This dish is very famous in Austria and can be found in many traditional restaurants in Vienna. The name "Backhendl" comes from the German words "backen" (grill) and "hendl" (chicken), referring to the method of grilling or frying the chicken.

In addition to being enjoyed as a main course, Backhendl is also a favorite at festivals and celebrations in Austria.

7. Porzharskaya Kotleta (Russia)

Porzharskaya Kotleta, also known as Pozharsky Cutlet, is a classic Russian dish that dates back to the 19th century. The dish is named after the Pozharsky family, who owned an inn and restaurant in Torzhok, Russia. It was originally created in the 19th century and later became popular in French haute cuisine.

The dish is made from ground chicken or veal mixed with butter, which gives it a juicy and tender consistency. This meat mixture is formed into patties, breaded and then fried until crispy and golden. Porzharskaya Kotleta is a popular dish in Russia and can be found in homes and restaurants throughout the country. It is a classic Russian dish that is appreciated for its simplicity and deliciousness.

6. Ayam Penyet (Indonesia)

Ayam penyet is a popular dish in Indonesia that can be found in restaurants and food centers throughout the country. The dish has also gained popularity outside of Indonesia and can be found in other Southeast Asian countries.

The chicken is marinated in spices, fried and "penyet" (pounded). It is famous for its spicy sambal, a mixture of chilies, anchovies, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, shrimp paste, tamarind and lime juice. It is usually served with white rice, fried tofu, cucumber slices and tempeh.

5. Chicken Kyiv (Ukraine)

Chicken Kyiv, also known as Chicken Kiev, is a famous dish from Ukraine. Chicken Kyiv is popular in Ukraine and can be found in many Ukrainian and Russian restaurants. Its popularity has spread to other countries and can be found on menus in many places.

Chicken Kyiv is usually made from thinly pounded chicken breasts stuffed with a mixture of garlic butter and spices. The chicken is then coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, and breading before being fried or baked until crispy and golden. 

The dish is usually served with potatoes and vegetables, making it a filling and satisfying main course. There are many variations of chicken kiev, with different herbs and spices used in the stuffing mix. Some recipes may also include cheese or mushrooms in the stuffing.

4. Crispy fried chicken/Cuì pí zhá jī (China)

A traditional dish of Cantonese cuisine, crispy fried chicken involves a special process to achieve the texture of extremely crispy chicken skin and tender meat. The chicken is first steamed and drained, and then deep-fried using a special technique.

Prior to frying, the chicken is steamed with spices such as cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, ginger, anise and nutmeg to give it a distinctive aroma and flavor. It is then usually doused with a combination of sugar and vinegar to give the chicken skin a special crispness.

Crispy fried chicken is a traditional dish usually eaten in the evening and is often part of Chinese wedding feasts.

3. Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken (Taiwan)

Taiwanese popcorn chicken, also known as "鹽酥雞" (Yán Sū Jī) in Chinese, is a popular street food from Taiwan. Pieces of chicken, usually boneless and skinless chicken thighs, are marinated in a mixture of spices to enhance the flavor.

Taiwanese popcorn chicken is known for its fragrant and flavorful marinade, which often contains white peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns, salt, five-spice powder, and hot peppers. The dish is often served as a snack or appetizer and can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other dishes. Some popular ways to serve it are with fluffy white rice, fried noodles, fried rice, or as a stuffing for scallion beef omelet rolls.

2. Ayam Goreng (Indonesia)

Ayam Goreng is a classic Indonesian dish known as "fried chicken" in English. This dish is very popular throughout Indonesia and is loved by people from all walks of life. There are several variations of Ayam Goreng from different regions of Indonesia, each with its own unique recipes and flavors. The general method is the same, with the chicken being marinated and cooked before being fried to enhance the flavor and aroma. 

A popular variation is Ayam Goreng Kalasan, a Javanese specialty that is simmered with coconut milk and spices before being fried or grilled. There is also the Sundanese-style ayam goreng from West Java, which has a unique blend of spices and flavors.

1. Karaage (Japan)

Karaage from Japan is known for its exceptional flavor, where the seasoning penetrates the chicken meat, giving it a distinctive savory and umami flavor. The outer layer provides a crunchy texture that contrasts with the meat, which remains tender and juicy. While chicken is the most common ingredient, karaage cooking techniques can also be applied to seafood or vegetables. The marinating and frying techniques produce a crispy and delicious result regardless of the type of protein or vegetable used.

Karaage is also often prepared at home because of its simple recipe and tasty results, inviting many people to enjoy this delicious dish. Karaage is often served as an appetizer, snack, or part of a bento box.

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