Chicagoland may be known for pizza, hot dogs, and Italian beef, but the Chicago Tribune, in an article titled "Cluck-worthy Chicken" by Kevin Pang, begs to differ.
He and his cohorts' search was to "find a perfectly crispy, breaks-the-silence crunchy, juicy and beyond flavorful piece of fried chicken that would make the hairs on our arms stand up as straight as Colonel Sanders' cane."
They focused on restaurants serving buckets or eight piece portions. The place couldn't serve just wings or strips and evidently, they didn't care much for broasting. (Personally, I've had broasted chicken and it is great.) The restaurant also had to specialize in chicken,
A list of 13 was compiled and it was winnowed down to six. In one day, a panel of four visited all six and ordered.
At 11 AM they went to Harold's Chicken Shack #62 at 636 S. Wabash (there are 65 in the Chicago area).
At noon it was Pollo Campero at 2730 Narragansett.
At 1 PM they sat down at the KFC at 748 W. Diversey Pkwy.
An hour later, Evanston Chicken Shack at 1925 N. Ridge Ave in Evanston, was visited.
At 3, Brown's Chicken (a local chain) at 236 Ogden Ave. in Downer's Grove, was the target.
Last stop was at a Route 66 favorite, White Fence Farm, but not the original one. I didn't know they had multiple locations. This one was at 5005 Fairview Ave. in Downers Grove.
Their final ratings:
Bronze: Evanston Chicken Shack
Silver: White Fence Farm
Gold: Harold's Chicken Shack
As a Rt 66 person, I'd like a recount. I think it being the last stop in a long day of chicken-eating might have had something to do with White Fence Farm coming in second.
They also ordered sides to go with the meal. Their favorites:
creamy cole slaw- White Fence Farm
mashed potatoes and gravy- White Fence Farm
fried okra- Evanston Chicken Shack
corn fritters- Brown's Chicken
hush puppies-Harold's Chicken Shack
campero beans-Pollo Campero
When in Chicagoland...eat that chicken.
Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog