Somewhere around the time that barnyard chic was designated the go-to décor scheme for all of Kings County and every local restaurant began specializing in “New American” cuisine, southern fried chicken became a must-have on new Brooklyn menus. But forget who has the crispiest skin or juiciest breast meat—fried chicken has now hit a new, crazier level in Brooklyn. We’ve got fried chicken tacos, fried chicken pizza, fried chicken cupcakes and fried chicken pie. While we haven’t seen a fried chicken cocktail or fried chicken ice cream yet (what gives, Ample Hills?) we can only assume those are on the way. For now, take a look at our favorite new innovative fried chicken dishes from across Brooklyn.
Fried Chicken Pizza
New Crown Heights pizzeria Pete Zaaz comes from the culinary team behind No. 7, so we knew chef Peter Entner would offer up some wacky, over-the-top menu items. The most exciting option on his lineup of thin-crust pies is the “pretzel parm”—a smoked gouda pizza topped with garlic chip-studded béchamel sauce and crispy, golden nuggets of cold fried chicken, plus red peppers and squash. It’s actually a lighter, more delicate pizza than you would expect—and really, who can argue that pizza isn’t better with a hint of salty fried goodness in every bite?
Fried Chicken Tacos
Apparently, Crown Heights is the new frontier for Brooklyn’s most out-there fried chicken dishes, because just a few blocks from Pete Zaaz is Guero’s Brooklyn, which is currently offering the borough’s most creative new Mexican-inspired food. Most notable are the fried chicken tacos: crunchy strips of jalapeno, buttermilk fried chicken rolled up in flour tortillas along with cheddar cheese, refried beans and pico de gallo.
Fried Chicken Cupcakes
The batty bakers at Robicelli’s churn out an amazing array of creative cupcakes every day, but our favorite is their take on chicken and waffles. Buttermilk cupcakes are stuffed with a hearty helping of buttermilk fried chicken, then topped with maple frosting, plus a bonus piece of syrupy fried chicken on top. Robicelli’s rotating lineup of cupcakes are available at Dekalb Market and many other locations around the borough; they try to bring back the fried chicken version about once a month. Check the cupcake schedule for details.
Fried Chicken Pie
Cheryl Perry and Felipa Lopez’s Pie Corps brand has already made a name for itself with the innovative pie flavors on offer at Union Market and a few other NYC locations. When Pie Corps opens their own Greenpoint shop in September, we’ll be first online for the fried chicken pie, sort of an updated take on chicken pot pie. Two chicken thighs are marinated in seasoned buttermilk overnight, double dipped in a spiced flour mixture and deep-fried. Then they’re settled into a pie (along with buttermilk gravy and sautéed greens) and baked until flaky and crisp.
Fried Chicken Ssam Wraps
The popular Kimchi Taco Truck recently settled down for a minute to open the brick-and-mortar Kimchi Grill space in Prospect Heights. In addition to giving Guero’s a run for their money with their own take on Korean fried chicken tacos, they have the even more unique fried chicken ssam wraps. Sticky slices of sweet-and-spicy chicken—battered in rice flour, then tossed with agave nectar and doused in ginger-garlic pepper sauce—are wrapped up in lettuce leaves, along with a spicy serving of fresh cucumber kimchi.
Korean Chicken Wings & Waffles
When Talde, Park Slope’s hippest new eatery, added a brunch menu, clearly they had to include their own take on those omnipresent chicken and waffles. The fish sauce and chili-accented wings are double-fried until they take on an impossibly crunchy exterior, then served over a light, yeast-based waffle. Bringing the sweet: a rich, sticky coconut brown butter syrup.
Fried Chicken and Waffles on a Stick
Habana Outpost’s cheese-slathered corn-on-the-cob is already a legendary Brooklyn dish, but their latest menu option is perhaps even more exciting. “Roscoe on a Stick” rethinks chicken-and-waffles for our mobile-food-obsessed era, placing a tender chicken strip on a skewer and covering it in waffle batter, with syrup served on the side.
Chicken Fried Chicken
Proving that fried chicken doesn’t necessarily need anything more than chicken itself to make it great, No. 7’s latest brunch addition lets the bird take center stage. Whole chicken thighs are pounded out until thin and tender—a la chicken fried steak—then breaded and fried to order, served atop buttermilk pancakes, with two sunny-side up fried eggs on top, all making for one gooey, crispy, sweet and salty dish that incorporates everything great about brunch.