1. Momofuku Noodle Bar
Yet another Momofuku checkmate move: You get two chickens cooked two ways, “southern style” and Korean-fried. The Korean is terrific, the Old Bay”seasoned “southern style” even better. The crazy-genius part? Serving them not with mashed potatoes and gravy but with moo shu pancakes, Greenmarket herbs, and zingy Asian-inspired condiments. $100 (by reservation only for parties of four to eight, at momofuku .com); 171 First Ave., nr. 11th St. Photos by Hannah Whitaker
3. Locanda Verde
Many things conspire to make this Monday-night supper the overall best fried-chicken feed in town. First there’s the sous-vide-moist chicken. What it lacks in crispness it makes up for in taste, as if each piece were imbued with an entire chicken’s worth of flavor. Then there’s the live band (five-string banjo!), the delectable sides, and the pie”especially the pie. Note: The remaining dates are sold out, but the restaurant may add more. $41 prix fixe; 379 Greenwich St., at N. Moore St.; 212-925-3797.
4. Perry St.
The most refined fried chicken on this list”and maybe the planet”takes a nerdy science-project approach involving a pan, a deep fryer, and a whipped-cream siphon that results in some supremely juicy flesh and a crust that’s bafflingly tender and ultracrisp all at once. There are many exotic spices involved, but the contrast of textures is the thing, and it’s astounding. $19; 176 Perry St., at West St.; 212-352-1900.
5. The Redhead
Beneath its burnished, craggy crust, with its resounding crunch, Meg Grace’s two-piece serving is preternaturally juicy”even the ever- tricky breast. That’s due, no doubt, to a three-hour salt-sugar-and-herb brine, followed by a leisurely soak in a buttermilk bath, a seasoned-flour massage, and a plunge into the deep fryer. $17; 349 E. 13th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-533-6212.
6. Brooklyn Bowl
A matzoh-meal-and-flour coating accounts for the appealingly grainy, crumbly crunch, but the distinguishing feature is the aggressive seasoning (cayenne, paprika, and salt, plus a flurry of house-dried herbs). The chicken arrives hot and juicy, perched on a slice of Pullman bread, with honey for dipping. It tastes pretty good cold the next day, too. $15 to $19; 61 Wythe Ave., nr. N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-963-3369.
7. Blue Smoke
Blue Smoke is first and foremost a barbecue restaurant, but the fried chicken deserves equal billing. What elevates it above the ordinary is careful cooking and a judicious hand in the spicing department, allowing the excellent flavor of the chicken”an organic D’Artagnan specimen”to shine. $18.95; 116 E. 27th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-447-7733.
8. Buttermilk Channel
This New Brooklyn Cuisine take on the trend includes a toothsome Cheddar waffle and a cup of balsamic-maple-syrup reduction to pour over the plate”both of which might distract you from noticing how good the peppery buttermilk-battered fried chicken itself is. $18; 524 Court St., at Huntington St., Carroll Gardens; 718-852-8490.
Until Pies-n-Thighs reopens in new quarters, partner Carolyn Bane is manning the deep fryer at this locavore pizzeria-plus. She’s the first to admit she’s channeling onetime Pies-n-Thighs cook Stephen Tanner’s Georgia recipe, but her rendition is a faithful one, in flavor and texture, and benefits from its setting”especially out back, under the roof garden and the Bushwick sky. $14; 261 Moore St., nr. Bogart St., Bushwick; 718-417-1118.