It’s surprisingly difficult to find fried chicken unaccompanied by a steaming stack of waffles anymore. Sure, Edmonton has been hot on the chicken-and-waffles trend for a few years now, but let’s face it: Sometimes a person wants to eat fried chicken without the brunch-dish disguise. That’s a concept the minds behind North 53’s menu seem to understand.
Three pieces of buttermilk-brined and battered meat powdered in jalapeo supply you with a crunchy, succulent chicken bite with just the right amount of kick. The dish is kept simple: No waffles, no fries, no coleslaw, no cheese, no sides – no nonsense. This is a plate for fried-chicken lovers only. The only accompaniment you need is the creamy sour-cream-and-onion dip, which adds smooth texture and offsets the spice and crunch.
The only catch? This waffle-less fried chicken plate is only available on North 53’s late-night menu, available on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. So let the brunchers have their waffles; fried-chicken purists have taken back the night. –Cory Haller
Many associate fried chicken with the American south, so it only makes sense to come to DaDeO – a New Orleans-themed diner and bar – for the good stuff. It’s not exactly a light meal – the plate comes piled with either DaDeO’s legendary sweet potato fries, jambalaya rice or potato hash and what the menu describes as a half-chicken. When I ask our sassy waitress what parts of the chicken are served, she gleefully replies, “All the good stuff!”
You’ll get a little taste of everything with the fried chicken entre as both white and dark meat are served. DaDeO opts for something a little different than the typical thick, mildly spiced batter you might expect. While the outside of the chicken is certainly crisp, it’s encased in a thin layer of heavily seasoned coating that packs a surprising amount of heat. –Adrianna Szenthe
It had to happen. Somewhere in the universe, someone would look at a hot dog and think: “Well, fried chicken should be a condiment, no?” It’ Dog, located across the street from the Garneau Theatre, might not be the first place in the universe to come up with a fried-chicken hot dog, but this Korean-fusion takeout spot has brought this had-to-happen flavour combination to Edmonton. A plump wiener is placed inside a pillowy soft pretzel bun and – ahem – garnished with pieces of fried chicken and onions. You can choose to get a spicy sauce, which isn’t that hot. Between the richness of the dog and the crunch of the chicken, it’s a meal that will make your doctor very angry. But, if Vancouver’s famous Japadog brought the Asian-fusion hot dog into the mainstream, Edmonton’s It’ Dog has upped the ante, then battered and deep-fried it. –Steven Sandor
8621 109 St., 780-438-4083
Korean Fried Chicken at Coco Deep Fried Chicken
Located at the corner of 34th Avenue and Parsons Road, Coco Deep Fried Chicken is out of the way for a lot of folks. But this is a restaurant worth crossing many roads to get to.
The regular fried chicken at Coco is fantastic on its own. The breading is crunchy from the first bite to the last – it even holds up after a day in the fridge, assuming it lasts that long – without being as greasy or over-spiced as you find elsewhere.
But the Korean sauce is what truly sets Coco apart. Sweet and spicy with hints of sesame, it clings to every nook and cranny in the breading, giving a great kick to the juicy meat.
Whatever you order, go either half-and-half or with sauce on the side so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. –Glenn Cook
Chicken and waffles is a dish steeped in the traditions of the American south. But what would a distinctive Edmonton take on the dish be like? Well, The Dish Bistro comes as close as we’ve seen to creating a uniquely local version of the brunch staple.
The waffle incorporates green onion and cheddar; it’s packed with comforting flavours to anyone who has feasted on green onion cakes at a local festival. On top of the savoury, crisp waffle sit two juicy pieces of fried chicken. They’re accentuated by the unique maple syrup. Mustard seeds are suspended in the syrup, and the results are unexpectedly delicious. Seriously, someone should start selling mustard maple syrup. Like, yesterday. –S.S.