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Best Fried Chicken

  • Restaurant Forte Baden Baden NY

    28 W. 32nd St., second fl.; 212-714-2266

    If fried chicken is narrowly defined as the American southern classic, cooked lovingly and patiently in a cast-iron pan, then Charles Gabriel, the man behind the supremely delicate and juicy birds served at Charles’ Southern Style Kitchen and Rack & Soul, would win the title of top chicken chef every year (like Wayne Gretzky collecting Hart Trophies in the eighties). Happily, a new genre of chicken has entered the New York lexicon, allowing us to go in a different direction. Korean-style fried chicken is cooked in a rotisserie to an exquisite tenderness, let to cool slightly, and then deep-fried, giving it a perfect combination of yielding moistness and crisp, garlicky exterior. The best in town is Baden Baden, a hard-to-find sports bar on an upper floor of K-Town, where the chicken in served sauceless, in all its stark brilliance. Pay no mind to the French fries, pickled daikon, and whole caramelized garlic cloves, which add little to the main course: The thing to do here is to drink beer and eat chicken, particularly the thighs and wings, which take to the double-cooking like peaches to cream.

From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine