10 Fried Chicken Options To Cluck About
September is National Chicken Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate this joyous occasion than with fried chicken. Of course frying is the cooking method that coaxes the most flavors from this ubiquitous bird. Check out these 10 fried chicken options in Newport Beach.
This institution dates to 1989 in Newport North Shopping Center. The space features a green awning and sun-shaded, bush-lined patio. Inside, find an open kitchen, ingredient filled market, and wood tables with cushioned booths. Southern Fried Chicken, an off-menu special at this institution somehow qualifies as “healthy.” All-natural, boneless, skinless breasts are marinated overnight in a spicy buttermilk marinade and flash-fried in oil that “sears in all the natural juices, making it tender, tasty and truly memorable.”
This burger-focused Corona del Mar gastropub from Steve Geary features brick walls, comfortable banquette seating, wood tables, and a full bar. On Monday night, they also serve some serious duck fat fried chicken. According to Geary, each order consists of one half-bird and is broken down into a thigh, leg and breast. That start their process with a 24-hour lemon-honey brine before dunking the parts in a two-hour buttermilk marinate. Finally, they submerge the chicken in duck fat until achieving “crispy deliciousness.”
This yardbird-focused restaurant features a red awning and ivy colored walls. Inside, The Chicken Coop displays all sorts of chicken memorabilia, including wooden figurines, paintings and stuffed animals. The dining room houses leather booths, a full bar and a bizarre lobster tank claw machine that reads, “You Catch ‘Em, We Cook ‘Em!” The star of the show is fried chicken with thin coats, which is available with green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Truett Cathy launched his first Chick-fil-A in Atlanta back in 1967. As of 2015, the company has more than 1,700 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C. Find the Newport Beach location in a Fashion Island food court, where red and white color scheme and an overhead menu greet fast food diners. Grab your fried chicken sandwich and retreat to a common seating area. Chick-fil-A exclusively uses boneless breast meat. Staffers bread the meat by hand and fry in peanut oil. The meat’s available in chicken sandwiches, spicy chicken sandwiches and “deluxe” sandwiches with dill pickle chips, green leaf lettuce, tomato and American cheese on a toasted, buttered bun.
Near the Huntington Beach border, Brian McReynolds, Amy Curran and Francisco Perez run this low-key grey box with skylights and “EAT” in big red letters on the wall. Eat Chow is a bastion for comfort food, so it’s no surprise they serve fried chicken. However, they present their yardbird in an atypical manner. Their Chopped Fried Chicken salad features panko-crusted chicken breast with romaine hearts, bacon, tomato, avocado, Parmesan, hard-boiled egg, and house-made 1000 Island dressing.
This nautical themed restaurant from Andrew Gabriel and Mario Marovic debuted by Newport Pier in 2015. A patio with wrought iron anchor and seaweed railing gives way to brick and reclaimed wood walls lined with vintage Newport Beach photos, exposed rafters, wood tables and blue grey seats. On the breakfast menu, you’ll find deluxe Chicken & Waffles that consist of a Belgian waffle topped with boneless, but still juicy buttermilk fried breast meat, which comes drizzled with rosemary maple bacon butter.
Michael Forge presides over The Porthole, a “chip shop” that opened this summer on Balboa Peninsula, right near Bay Island. The casual restaurant features a patio with white tables and benches, columns wrapped with nautical rope. The interior contains a wood bar, and walls housing, you guessed it, portholes. Their Homemade Fried Chicken may sound simple, but requires a lengthy process. They start by brining Mary’s Chicken breast for 24 hours before treating the bird to a buttermilk bath with a secret “hint of fire.” The chicken becomes crisp in peanut oil and finishes in the oven. The meat then joins mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach and sweet mango chutney on the plate.
Chef Marc Johnson presides over the destination restaurant inside the Island Hotel near Fashion Island. The restaurant features a spacious patio with marble tables and candle-accented trees. They also have a dining room with a bank of six TVs, though the patio gets more play. At lunch, their Cobb Salad stars chicken breast that’s pounded thin and coated in flour seasoned with smoked paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne. The breast is dipped in egg wash and dredged in seasoned cornmeal and flour, for crunch. The bird fries in vegetable oil and joins bacon, farm egg, tomatoes, avocado, Point Reyes blue cheese and yogurt herb dressing to form a boldly flavored salad.
Christine Overstreet’s neighborhood restaurant features an interior with L-shaped bar and high-topped black tables, and a comforting patio with lounge furniture. One of their most popular plates involves Buttermilk Fried Chicken served with buttery potato puree, garlic spinach, and a generous helping of roasted chicken jus, which doubles as gravy.
This Fashion Island outpost from Hillstone Restaurant Group features plenty of curves, including a wood bar, wavy ladder-like partitions, and sumptuous black booths. On Fridays, R+D Kitchen serves a fried chicken sandwich with Swiss cheese, sliced tomato, kale slaw and mayonnaise. Like every menu item at R+D that arrives between bread, this sandwich comes a la carte. Culinary manager Joe Panicola presides over this kitchen to monitor consistency.