Got a craving for fried chicken? Sure, you could settle for fast food or supermarket takeout, some of which is pretty good. But a lot more is happening to our poultry pals in fryers across the Valley. Whatever your taste, one of these spots should have a bird to suit it. (And for you purists, we’ve left out the fried chicken skins about to be introduced at Cabo Wabo Cantina, since there’s no actual meat to that matter.)
M&M Soul Food Cafe
The chicken here is a classic Southern-fried treat: crisp and moist with a beautifully seasoned crust. But if you want to take it to the next level, ask for it smothered in the thick, rich house gravy ($10-$14). Sure, it can get a little messy, but I’ll gladly wear gravy stains on my shirt the rest of the day for that beautiful combination of flavors. Make sure to get the large order, because everyone at your table will be eating off your plate. 3923 W. Charleston Blvd., 453-7685, MMSoulFoodCafe.com.
Plenty of chefs can give you chicken and waffles. But leave it to chef John Church to offer chicken in a waffle ($13). At his new Downtown breakfast and lunch spot, Church’s crispy golden-fried chicken comes sandwiched between two halves of a fluffy Belgian waffle, lightly coated in homemade gravy. Forget the fork and knife, just pick it up and enjoy! 500 S. Main St., 380-8229, MTOCafe.com.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
In a restaurant that’s half sushi bar, half grill house, the signature fried chicken ($28) combines east and west. These plump, juicy nuggets of chicken are coated in a seasoned batter, but the real kick comes from the accompanying wasabi honey, a gooey mixture of hot and sweet that perfectly complements the saltiness of the chicken. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself licking it off the fork when the chicken is gone. And once Brooklyn Bowl opens in the Linq, there will be two places in town to enjoy it. In the Cosmopolitan, 736-0808, BlueRibbonRestaurants.com.
It takes chef Joe Zanelli an incredible three days to make the chicken he serves every Sunday for dinner ($23). These humanely raised birds are soaked in buttermilk for two days before being fried to order in his secret blend of masa (corn) flour and seasoning. The result is a beautifully spiced crispy skin that falls off of the bird—tempting you to eat it alone. But with chicken this good, that would be a mistake. 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., 445-6100, HoneySalt.com.
Hash House a Go Go
Hash House A Go Go’s three Las Vegas locations aren’t known for skimping, and the Andy’s Sage Fried Chicken Benedict ($15.25) is a true tribute to gluttony. Like all of the house Benedicts, it starts with a fresh, split biscuit and mashed potatoes. In addition to crispy, juicy fried chicken, chefs also pile on fresh spinach, hardwood smoked bacon, tomato, griddled mozzarella and scrambled eggs, then smother the entire mountain of food in spicy chipotle cream sauce. That’s a ton of flavor—as well as a ton of calories! 6800 W. Sahara Ave., 804-4646; in the Plaza, 384-4646; in the Quad, 254-4646, HashHouseAGoGo.com.
This burger chain’s Asian take on the American staple of classic fried chicken is more complicated than the traditional Japanese kara-age you’re likely to find in your favorite ramen house. The chili-fried chicken ($7) is a plate of crispy little morsels seasoned in chili peppers, garlic, ginger and shoyu-style soy sauce. As all of those flavors hit your palate at once, you might quickly find yourself addicted. Sure, this place is best known for its burgers, but these stand up just as well. 470 E. Windmill Lane, 242-2244; 9410 W. Sahara Ave., 255-3055, BachiBurger.com.
Bar + Bistro
Chef Beni Velázquez puts a Spanish spin on fried chicken in his Little Pollo ($9). In addition to coating his chicken pieces in buttermilk, salt, flour and traditional spices, he kicks it up a level by adding sofrito, a Spanish/Latin American spice mix. After deep-frying and sealing in all of that flavor, Velázquez serves it with wedges of lemon and lime for a little citrus lift. 107 E. Charleston Blvd., 202-6060, BarBistroAF.com.