Y'all Facebooked and Tweeted your little hearts out about fried chicken and for that, we thank you!
It was a tight race, with Spanish Village and Jones Fried Chicken just barely missing out on the top 5. And though reader Deborah Swanson was campaigning for her "mama's" fried chicken, she just didn't have enough pull to get her pick into the top 10.
After narrowing down the results, we tallied the votes to come up with five of Houston's most badass, under-the-radar birds, according to you.
Let us know if your favorite made the cut and check out our other Most Underrated winners at the end of this post.
Who knew that one of Houston's tastiest fried birds could be found at a mom & pop Middle Eastern spot? Well, it looks like you did! Al Aseel's incredibly crunchy bird gets a bath in a za'atar-spiced batter before being fried to a deep golden crisp, giving every craggly crevice a punch of herby, woodsy, and nutty flavor.
Meanwhile, even last year's completely false "rat fetus in the fried rice" scandal couldn't keep y'all from loving on Timmy Chan's. Likely because the Houston restaurant chain's slightly spicy, ultra-thin-crusted and uberly crisp fried chicken wings are kind of addicting. And they're just sooooo good with that rice.
3. Church's Chicken
This fried chicken joint, which started in San Antonio in 1952, may be a national chain, but that doesn't mean its chicken (available both in original and spicy) isn't pretty darn good. In fact, that just means you'll get the same thick-crusted, awesomely crunchy fried chicken all the time. As reader Becky Ardell Downs states, you "can't go wrong with Church's."
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It's no wonder this chain's Latin-spiced chicken took the No. 2 spot. Every piece, from drumstick to breast, is masterfully fried to a grease-free crisp. And things get even better when you break through the crust; inside you'll find moist and tender meat that practically falls apart at the touch. The fact that they sell empanadas doesn't hurt either.
With nearly 20 percent of the vote (out of the 10 joints we narrowed it down to), this grocery store's bird took the top spot. It's made our list of Top Fried Chicken in the past, but it's never taken the grand prize. Professional chef and former EOW columnist Jason Kerr once waxed poetic of the chicken, saying ""You might expect the fried chicken at Randalls to be mediocre, but someone there has a love for crispy, golden-brown, juicy country-fried bliss that cannot be denied." It looks like y'all agree.
See our other 5 Most Underrated Lists: The Five Best Underrated Greasy Spoons (According to You) The Five Best Underrated Breakfast Spots (According to You) The Five Best Underrated Pizzas in Houston (According to You) The Five Best Underrated Burgers in Houston (According to You) The Five Best Underrated Tex-Mex Restaurants in Houston (According to You) The Five Best Underrated Barbecue Joints in Houston (According to You)
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