Best Fried Chicken | Best of Chicago 2014 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

Best Fried Chicken

The Roost Carolina Kitchen

Critics' Picks

Chapel Hill-born food trucker Joe Scroggs changed the fried chicken game currently being waged across the city when he quietly moved into a Lakeview storefront earlier this year and began frying to order three varieties: herbal, spicy, and Nashville-style hot chicken. It's the last that has Scroggs sitting squarely on top; thoroughly saturated with a Vulcan glow, it has a powerful heat mitigated by a lingering sweetness. The Roost doesn't use lard in its spice paste, opting instead for olive oil, cayenne pepper, Louisiana hot sauce, and just a bit of sugar, applied after frying. It's the closest thing to the legendary Prince's I've encountered outside of Nashville.

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