Summer is a great time to gather your crew, tuck a napkin in your shirt and share some fun meals together -- and there's no better food to get your hands on than fried chicken. Whether it's light meat, dark meat, a wing, breast or thigh, we can't get enough of this finger-licking good treat. Typically made from from floured or battered broiler chickens (those raised for meat production), fried chicken can be pan-fried, deep-fried, or pressure-fried to crispy perfection and seasoned with everything from garlic powder, cayenne and paprika to simple salt and pepper
Often regarded as an all-American favorite, it may be surprising to find out that the roots of this classic dish come from the other side of the pond. Fritters (battered or breaded bits of meat or other items) have existed in Europe since the Middle Ages. Scots traditionally deep fried their chickens in fat, and it was Scottish immigrants who brought their chicken tradition to America in the 1700's, passing along the delicious recipe we know and love today.
Here are 13 fried chicken dishes we can't keep our hands off!
1. BIRDS & BUBBLES (New York City)
From chef Sarah Simmons, Southern comfort food comes to life at Birds & Bubbles in NYC. Order a basket of Buttermilk Chicken, made with fresh Amish chickens from Pennsylvania that have been marinated for 48 hours, to enjoy with chilled champagne or a bottle of rosￃﾩ.
2. TOWN HALL (San Francisco)
Head to bustling New American eatery Town Hall for an order of Mary's Fried Chicken, served with buttermilk smashed Yukon potatoes, baby kale salad and bacon red eye gravy from the Southern-inspired menu.
3. THE FRANKLIN ROOM (Chicago)
Housed in an elegant subterranean space, The Franklin Room dishes out comforting, flavorful American fare such as fried chicken with sweet potato mash, biscuits and duck gravy.
4. MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR (New York City)
Momofuku Noodle Bar, David Chang's Asian-fusion destination in NYC, offers a fried chicken meal that serves 4-8 people and includes two whole fried chickens, one Southern style and one Korean style. The family-sized portion comes with mu shu pancakes, baby carrots, red ball radishes, Bibb lettuce, four sauces and an herb basket.
5. ALLA SPINA (Philadelphia)
Alla Spina is an Italian gastropub that may have a pork-focused menu, but the neighborhood favorite still turns out a mean Maple Glazed Fried Chicken that comes with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
6. TIGER MAMA (Boston)
Southeast Asian-inspired spot Tiger Mama delivers inventive takes on the region's cuisine, like a Khao Soi Chicken Drum dish made with crispy chicken, khao soi (soup) broth, pickled greens, shallots and lime.
7. MOCHICA (San Francisco)
Contemporary Peruvian restaurant Mochica offers regional tapas and bold entrees, including chicharrones -- a crispy, fried dish that comes in your choice of chicken, calamari, oysters or mushrooms -- marinated in a special sauce and served with rocoto (a spicy pepper) aioli and lemon.
8. FARMSHOP (Los Angeles)
Farmshop, a California-American restaurant and market hybrid, serves farm-to-table dishes like its savory Herb-Roasted Jidori Chicken with green lentils, braised Swiss chard, hydrated sultana raisins, charred lemon and smoked almond salsa.
9. 432 N. FAIRFAX (Los Angeles)
Inside one of LA's best kept secrets, 432 N. Fairfax, also known as No Name, is an exclusive restaurant and lounge serving delicious New American fare like delicious fried chicken, ideal for enjoying while listening to live music and sampling a killer cocktail.
10. TUPELO (Boston)
Boston's Tupelo serves up delicious Southern-inspired comfort food, including an award-winning fried chicken to pair with sides like mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, and plenty of ice cold beer.
11. SOUTHGATE (Philadelphia)
Crispy double-fried wings -- nicknamed "kfc" for "Korean fried chicken" -- hit the spot at Southgate in Philadelphia. Choose from soy garlic or spicy gochujang sauce (a savory, fermented Korean condiment), grab a few extra napkins and dig in at this Asian-inspired gastropub.
12. KIN KHAO (San Francisco)
Located inside the Parc 55 hotel, Kin Khao serves up locally sourced, spicy Thai cuisine including the mouthwatering Pretty Hot Wings, made with Nam Pla fish sauce and garlic marinade, tamarind and Sriracha glaze.
13. THE FAT HAM (Philadelphia)
The Fat Ham in Philly dishes out a delicious fried chicken for those who like to spice things up. Swing by this Southern-inspired favorite for some Hot Chicken -- a favorite of Chef Kevin Sbraga's -- on brioche with ranch dressing and dill pickles.