Yesterday was National Fried Chicken Day, which as best as I can tell is an Instagram Holiday. The occasion got me to thinking that for someone who doesn’t cook I sure know a lot about fried chicken. I blame my parents who used several different recipes. My favorite was one with a craggy crust à la Kentucky Colonel as my father called KFC, but they also used a smoother buttermilk batter, and even experimented with cornflakes.
All of which brings me to the subject of today’s post: my two favorite new fried chicken spots in Queens. The first comes from Dylan’s Forest Hills. By all appearances it’s pretty traditional in its takeout box with a lovely biscuit and corn on the cob. A closer look reveals a uniform crunchy crust and a slightly smaller bird. Dylan’s uses flavorful free range fowl that’s encased in a corn flake crust to great effect.
The second player in today’s fried chicken doubleheader comes from the good folks over at Papa’s Kitchen in Jackson Heights. The only other Filipino fried chicken I’ve had before comes from Jollibee, but Papa’s got a brand new bucket so to speak. That’s because the gent cooking up the chicken there fries it at a relatively low temperature for a longer period. The result is a drier, crackly mantle that tastes like the Filipino snack chicharron bulaklak. Maribeth Roa, the restaurant’s owner says that the new addition to Papa’s menu was born out of KFC cravings that developed during the pandemic.
I don’t advise eating both in one day, but I suppose one could start in Forest Hills and walk to Jackson Heights to burn off the calories. Better yet do the reverse so you can have dessert at Eddie’s Sweet Shop.
Dylan’s Forest Hills, 103-19 Metropolitan Ave., 718-880-2872
Papa’s Kitchen, 37-07 83rd St., Jackson Heights, 347-724-9586