Seven Fried Chicken Chains That Chefs Truly Dine At

When it comes to fried chicken, chefs know their stuff. Their discerning palates and intimate knowledge of the culinary arts mean they often seek out the best, even when it comes to comfort food. Here are seven fried chicken chains that have won over the hearts (and stomachs) of chefs.

1. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Popeyes is a standout in the fast-food fried chicken world, and it’s no surprise that chefs love it. Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes has built a reputation for its spicy, flavorful chicken that pays homage to its Cajun roots. Chefs appreciate the chain’s commitment to quality and flavor. The chicken is marinated for 12 hours, ensuring every bite is juicy and packed with seasoning. The crispy, crunchy exterior and the tender, succulent meat inside make it a favorite among culinary professionals.

2. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A has garnered a loyal following for its consistently high-quality chicken and impeccable customer service. Chefs often praise the chain for its simple yet perfectly executed fried chicken sandwich. The chicken breast is seasoned, hand-breaded, and pressure-cooked to perfection. What sets Chick-fil-A apart is its use of peanut oil, which gives the chicken a distinctive and delicious flavor. The attention to detail and the emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients resonate with chefs who value excellence in every bite.

3. Raising Cane’s

Raising Cane’s has a singular focus: chicken fingers. This chain’s dedication to doing one thing exceptionally well has won it many fans in the culinary world. Chefs appreciate the simplicity and consistency of Raising Cane’s menu. The chicken fingers are always tender, juicy, and fried to a perfect golden brown. Paired with their signature Cane’s Sauce, crinkle-cut fries, and Texas toast, it’s a meal that hits all the right notes for chefs who crave straightforward, well-executed comfort food.

4. Bonchon Chicken

Bonchon offers a different take on fried chicken with its Korean-style double-fried wings and drumsticks. The chicken is fried twice to achieve a super crispy texture, then coated in a choice of soy garlic or spicy sauce. Chefs love Bonchon for its unique approach and the layers of flavor and texture that each piece of chicken delivers. The contrast between the crispy skin and the juicy meat, combined with the bold, savory sauces, makes Bonchon a favorite among those who appreciate culinary innovation.

5. Jollibee

Jollibee, a beloved Filipino fast-food chain, has made a name for itself with its unique blend of sweet and savory flavors. Its fried chicken, known as Chickenjoy, is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Chefs often highlight Jollibee’s ability to balance flavors and textures, creating a fried chicken experience that stands out from the crowd. The chicken is marinated to perfection and fried to achieve a golden, crunchy coating that complements its juicy interior. Paired with sides like Jolly Spaghetti and mashed potatoes, it offers a delightful twist on traditional fried chicken meals.

6. Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits

Bojangles’ is a Southern favorite known for its Cajun-spiced fried chicken and fluffy buttermilk biscuits. Chefs appreciate Bojangles’ commitment to bold flavors and authentic Southern cooking. The chicken is marinated and seasoned with a blend of spices that give it a distinctive kick. The biscuits, made from scratch daily, are the perfect accompaniment, adding a buttery, flaky texture to the meal. For chefs who love a bit of spice and a lot of flavor, Bojangles’ is a go-to destination.

7. Wingstop

While Wingstop specializes in wings rather than whole pieces of chicken, its dedication to flavor and quality has earned it a place on this list. Chefs admire Wingstop for its wide variety of sauces and seasonings, which range from classic hot to unique flavors like lemon pepper and garlic parmesan. The wings are always cooked to perfection, with a crispy exterior and a juicy interior. Wingstop’s focus on bold, diverse flavors makes it a favorite among chefs who appreciate a well-executed wing.


Fried chicken is a universal comfort food, and these seven chains have earned the respect and admiration of chefs for their dedication to quality, flavor, and consistency. Whether it’s the spicy kick of Popeyes, the simplicity of Chick-fil-A, or the bold innovation of Bonchon, each of these chains offers something special that keeps chefs coming back for more.


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