Fried Chicken is just as good without a bun

Our epic journey into the oily, deliciously deep-fried world of fried chicken continues with a look into the wild world of wings, tenders, and beyond!


I know what you might be thinking,"Didn't we just talk about fried chicken last week, Blake? Are you just some sort of one-trick food pony? Is your whole life a lie and you're just hiding behind some mask made out of freshly fried fowl?" The answer to all of these questions might be "Yes". But, in truth, the world of fried chicken goes beyond the bun and I think we all know it. 

So while we may be living a fried chicken sandwich renaissance, let's face the facts, in this case we know that the chicken came before sando. Humanity wouldn't have evolved to this, it's final form if we hadn't figured out you can boil oil to insane temps then dip stuff in it to both cook it quicker and make it tastier. So without further ado, let's get down to it. 

Bone in or out?

Before we dive in there's one thing I want to address about the bones vs boneless debate: It's utter bullshit. 

Personal prefrence isn't something we should be arguing about. It should be about passion and finding common ground, learning to appreciate other's passion. I would never let a bone or lack thereof in my chicken stop me from experiencing pure delciousness and it shouldn't stop you either. Admittedly, bone-in wings do tend to be a messier meal or appetizer, but I once had someone tell me an old adage that a man eats like he makes love and I've endeavored to eat like a ravenous beast ever since.

If I'm being entirely honest though, I personally prefer boneless wings or tenders simply because bones get in the way of my Galactus-like devouring of chicken meat. I also find them easier to dip in sauces. And if you're feeling extra elegant, you can always eat them with a knife and fork like proper British royalty. 

Okay, now that we've cleared the air, let's take a look at some of my personal favorite Fried Chicken spots.


Returning for a 2nd round this week is the Colonel and his 11 herbs and spices. Like I said before, this is the chain I grew up with and when I'm touring I eat a lot of meals on the go, so I appreciate the consistency. It's not a hometown hero, but I know what I'm getting and if I'm going for just straight up fried chicken on the go KFC is what I'm picking. 


If you're ever in Japan you owe it to yourself to go and have the best friggin' wings of your life at Yamachan. They're a salt & pepper style wing that's unbreaded and they are just beyond delicious. Whatever seasoning our human/chicken friend Yamachan is using on these tiny little wings, I cannot get enough of it. I ate an insane amount of these bad boys several times when I was abroad and I can't find anything like it here in the US and it drives me crazy. I've tried several Japanese chicken spots since I got back and while I've had a lot of good meals, nothing hits quite the same. I miss you, my sweet Yamachan...


I don't want it to seem like this local Oakland, CA spot is a runner-up or anything like that because Aburaya is some seriously addictive Japanese-style fried chicken! Every piece of chicken I've had here has been perfect. We're talking pieces of poultry with just the right amount of breading and seasoning cooked for just the right amount of time to get that perfect balance of crispy, flavorful, and juicy. Their sauces are out of this world too. I tend to get their orange honey aioli, but I've also had their regular BBQ sauce and they're both delicious. They've also got a great punk rock atmosphere and their logo is a homage to the Ramone's crest. If you ever have the chance, go here and eat some goddamn fried chicken!

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

Roscoe's is where I discovered the holy grail that is eating fried chicken with a waffle and I never looked back. This SoCal chain is legendary and for good reason. It's just flat-out fantastic comfort food that combines breakfast and dinner into an unholy marriage of pure yum. You're also likely to spot a celebrity or two chowing down here. The first time I ever went Mac Dre was sitting at a table behind us. If you can't make it to Los Angeles to try it for yourself, at least do yourself a favor and try some chicken and waffles! 

Wing Stop

Another chain, but they're making my list for a couple of reasons. For starters, they've got an excellent array of sauces and dips to choose from. I tend to get their Hawaiian and Korean BBQ sauce with a heaping helping of honey mustard or blue cheese. They're also open very late and deliver, which are two things that are super duper important when you're a few episodes into a midnight South Park marathon and those B-loads are just starting to kick in. 


Well, I think that may be it for our journey through the land of fried chicken. Thanks for joining me on this trip. I hope you had a good time. If you've got any ideas for our next culinary journey I'd love to hear them! Until then, bon appetit!

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 3, 2021 10:31 PM

    I wasn't done talking about fried chicken

    Read more: Fried Chicken is just as good without a bun

    • reply
      March 3, 2021 10:40 PM

      mfw I actually want to go to KFC

      SoCal only

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        March 3, 2021 10:49 PM

        That green motif makes the beyond meat version look like it's medicinal fried chicken. lol!

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        March 4, 2021 12:38 PM

        So long as it's crispy on the outside, greasy on the inside and loaded with sodium I'd eat the shit out of beyond Fried Chicken.

        The chicken is the most inconsequential part of the fried chicken experience.

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        March 4, 2021 12:49 PM

        Someone try this and report back.

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      March 3, 2021 11:00 PM

      I made fried chicken with Korean seasoning for the first time about a month ago:

      It came out good enough I've done it twice more since then, with wings and drumsticks.

      It only takes half an hour and most of that is just leaving the chicken in the toaster oven. No breading or added oil, but the skin crisps up really nice and it takes the sauce very well.

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        March 3, 2021 11:08 PM

        That looks might tasty!

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          March 3, 2021 11:15 PM

          Lets just say I have yet to have any leftovers, even when cooking 20+ pieces and inviting a friend over.

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      March 3, 2021 11:18 PM

      Bone-in versus “boneless” is lame. They’re just chicken tenders versus wings. But I do like boneless when I want to seriously kill some chicken.

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        March 3, 2021 11:20 PM

        I almost refuse to cook chicken that isn't bone-in skin-on now. It just makes such a huge difference to the flavor.

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          March 3, 2021 11:21 PM

          Agreed, but you better get that skin crispy son.

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            March 3, 2021 11:21 PM

            Of course.

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              March 3, 2021 11:22 PM

              So no boiling them, we’re agreed? Because that’s lame and I’m pretty sure that’s what BW3’s and similar do it.

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                March 3, 2021 11:25 PM

                See the photo I posted above. That was done in a super convection toaster oven.

                It's plenty crispy.

                I'm sure there's some use case for boiled chicken, but I haven't done it.

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        March 4, 2021 7:45 AM

        I've reached the point where if I'm going boneless, it's going to be thighs rather than breast.

        It's just better. Stays more moist; very forgiving on temperature; cheap.

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      March 4, 2021 12:30 AM

      We don't have a huge fried chicken culture here in Copenhagen, but we do have a couple of funky spots.

      This guy serves homemade fried chicken in exchange for a good bottle of wine from his balcony:
      Matt Orlando who runs a zero-waste gourmet restaurant (that should've received a michelin star long ago), also runs amass fried chicken:
      And then there's Poulette that does fried chicken, fried chicken sandwiches and mapo tofu (!) sandwiches. I heard they are pretty good:

      Anyway, when I was in Melbourne in 2019, I went to and I thought that it was pretty great. Good wine too.

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      March 4, 2021 7:37 AM

      Seattle Shackers: Cactus has the best Chicken and Waffles. You’re welcome.

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      March 4, 2021 7:44 AM

      Just call them chicken tenders, or strips, or chicken fingers. Calling it a boneless wing means you have 0 idea what you are actually eating, there is no such thing as a boneless wing

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      March 4, 2021 7:45 AM


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        March 4, 2021 10:47 AM

        My favorite wings of all time were from a Pho spot down the street, but they closed down last year. :(

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      March 4, 2021 8:01 AM

      We like Wing Stop but I feel like their quality has dropped lately. I think it's just the local franchise issue though. Their fries are seriously addicting (ask for them extra crispy or double fried) when you slather them in ranch.

      Bon Chon is good for chain Korean fried chicken.

      Otherwise my favorite fried chicken was from a local place that did homestyle dining -- it was just a big ass farm house run by a bunch of grandma aged ladies, in southern Virginia, who would just bring you delicious fried chicken (and other meats and sides) until you popped. And then cobbler for dessert. They sadly closed during the pandemic. Hoping they can open back up at some point...

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        March 4, 2021 11:42 AM

        My local Wing Stop doesn't have the best fries, but I love their little seasoned corn cobs a whole heck of a lot.

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      March 4, 2021 2:36 PM

      Thanks to KFC (!) I’ve been verrrry slowwwwly building up a tolerance for eating chicken again (see: poultry allergy).

      It’s taken like almost 20 years (well maybe more like 15 as I didn’t touch it for 5-ish years) but now I can basically eat KFC and it doesn’t bother me at all, and I can eat some higher quality chicken and it either doesn’t bother me or just makes my mouth feel weird for a bit.

      For example I had a tonne of Chinese chicken balls (all decent white meat) on the weekend, and I would normally maybe just try “1” (I had 10).

    • reply
      March 4, 2021 2:46 PM

      korean fried chicken IS THE BEST chicken

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