Be honest. Who doesn’t feel a twinge of joy (other than our vegetarian friends!) at the sight of a big bucket filled with crispy, flavorful, batter-dipped fried chicken served at a summer picnic, a neighborhood block party or a backyard barbecue with friends?
I know I do—I am jumping up and down on the inside, even while verbally exclaiming, “Oh, how unfortunate that there’s nothing healthier available.” I am secretly thrilled for the opportunity to indulge in this old-fashioned American treat.
I embarked on a quest this week – a virtual “chicken run” – along with my mother visiting from Colorado, in order to find Northern Westchester’s best options for fried chicken. My mother – no stranger to chicken after growing up on a farm in the middle of Kansas – was the perfect partner for this mission.
We found many tasty options for folks living far north of Harlem, where there's an abundance of southern and soul food restaurant chefs known for their expertise in the art of fried chicken.
And for those who would rather do it themselves, I managed to finagle a fantastic recipe for cornflake-crusted chicken from Amy Minasian of Katonah. The recipe was passed down from her own Kansan grandmother; one might even say it’s “finger-licking good.”
GRANDMA’S PIES – YORKTOWN
Grandma’s is know for it’s wonderful pies, but it also makes a great “broasted” chicken, which combines frying with pressure cooking. The results smell and taste just like what my own grandma made—and since broasters are commercial grade and not available to the general public, you should stop in and try them here.
Grandma's Pies of Yorktown
3525 Crompond Rd
Yorktown, NY 10598
RED ROOSTER – BREWSTER
Come for the chicken, but you would also do well by the hamburgers, ice cream and miniature golf entertainment for the kiddos. I could do without the American Cheese added to the garden salad.
Red Rooster's chicken is crispy on the exterior, moist on the inside, and delicious all the way around. Call ahead to take-away.
Red Rooster Drive-In
1566 New York 22, Brewster, NY 10509-4008
SCOTT’S CORNER MARKET – POUND RIDGE
I wasn’t able to taste-test the chicken here due to a recent fryer repair BUT I have only heard good things about the fried chicken from several foodie friends.
According to owner Billy Fortin, they make several varieties of fried chicken, including Honey Barbecue, Buffalo-Style, and Italian-Style. I recommend calling a few hours ahead to place an order.
Scott’s Corner Market
55 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY 10576-2149
MEMPHIS MAE’S BBQ – CROTON-ON-HUDSON
This place smells absolutely amazing. Try it for the Carolina pulled pork, too… wow! The fried chicken is not traditional, as it is boneless, so be sure to pack forks and knives in your picnic basket. It’s delicious nonetheless, especially paired with the provided gravy and a side of their flavorful coleslaw.
Memphis Mae’s BBQ
173 South Riverside Ave.
Croton On Hudson, NY 10520
THREE LITTLE PIGS BBQ OF WESTCHESTER – ARMONK
This recently opened bbq joint has fried chicken available for delivery or take-away only, as well as other tempting barbecue fare. Call or order online.
Three Little Pigs BBQ of Westchester
465 Main Street • Armonk, NY 10504
Phone: 914-730-3330 • Fax: 914-273-1978
Though not officially in Northern Westchester, many of us find ourselves shopping at this market with locations in Yonkers, Danbury, CT and Norwalk, CT. I find they have high-quality meats, dairy and produce and satisyfing prepared foods. The fried chicken is known to be outstanding.
KANSAS FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE
Season a cut-up fryer-sized chicken (2.5-4 lbs) with salt and pepper. In a bowl, beat a large egg with 3/4 c milk. In another bowl, mix approximately one cup of seasoned flour (salt, pepper, & paprika) with one cup of finely crushed cornflakes.
Heat skillet over medium heat with vegetable oil – it should be about an inch in the pan. Some people use Crisco fat or a mixture of both. DON'T let the oil get too hot – you don't want to burn the outside before the inside cooks. Dip chicken in milk & egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture. REPEAT! Place chicken in the hot skillet. Turn chicken as it browns evenly to a crispy golden color. When it’s done, drain on paper towels. Take your cholesterol pills.